Happy Imbolc and Lughnassadh
The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.
There’s no snow here in tropical South Florida and I won’t be watching for serpents emerging from their holes, but I’ll tune in to see what groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has to say about the winter and light a candle for Brigid.
Imbolc is one of my favorite Pagan holidays. It is an ancient Irish holiday marking the beginning of spring. It is associated with Brigid, a goddess of high dimensions such as high-rising flames and highlands and areas of elevated states such as wisdom, poetic eloquence, craftsmanship (especially blacksmithing), and healing. She is largely associated with the home and hearth.
Brigid was so powerful and beloved that her cult has endured into contemporary times. Her stories have survived in the persona of Saint Brigid, the patron saint of Ireland much adored by the Catholic church, who may have been a real nun and founder of several early monasteries. Brigid is a fascinating figure that stands at the boundary between pagan and Christian spirituality. She has a lovely tradition of priestesses and nuns tending her sacred flame, a tradition which is still observed today by men as well as women. The Feile Bride, a festival in her honor, is well underway in the town of Kildare, where her cathedral and sacred well are found, and Pagans all over the web are participating in the Brigid Poetry Festival (except for me because I haven’t a single poetic bone in me).
In Australia, however, Pagans are observing Lughnassadh, an old Irish harvest festival in honor of the god Lugh. So to my Aussie Pagan friends, happy Lughnassadh!
About the image: St. Brigid’s Well (in Kildare, Ireland) by cmcgui01, Photobucket