This weeks blog is about Spring, which has officially come to pass here in Australia. For myself that means celebrating Imbolc in my tradtion.
This was first published on MySpace but that profile and blog now being defunct I wanted to add it to my archives here on WordPress before writing new material for the seasons.
As always if Paganism is not your cup of tea, then you’ll want to skip this blog.
For those of you who will be joining me, make yourself a good cuppa and I hope you enjoy the poem and following impression.
Wishing you all an invigorating and productive week to come.
New Harvest (Imbolc)
Beneath winters’ carpet of snow and ice.
Protected from her wailing blasts.
I have lain hidden.
In the darkness of
A deeper warmer earth.
Waiting for his gaze to fall upon me.
His light, his warmth.
Come fill me with life!
Shielded from a lesser light.
Blind and deaf to the greater world.
I have lain hidden.
Known only to she
Who holds me gently
In the folds of her black nurturance.
Waiting for his warmth
To permeate my hardened flesh
And warm my core.
I have lain hidden.
I have no name
I though, have a purpose.
Through her gentle embrace
Through his resurrecting gaze
I am re-born into a new life.
Emerging into this greater world
Still harsh and cold
Still wrapped in snow.
I glisten bright with melted frost
As I first behold the glory of his shining light.
I hear her whispers from deep below
“It is safe now my little one.
“It is time grow.”
In this New Dawn
By this first light
In silence born of deep sleeping still.
The New Harvest.
A trumpet blast in the early light
For all to wake!
© 2010 Tikarma Vodicka
Poetical Impressions-Imbolc-Creative Spring-New Harvest August 1st 2010
Imbolc for our ancestors was a time of firsts. The first uprising of joy after a long winter. The first morning of a lesser chill. The first evening the sun lingered upon the horizon, for just a while longer.
Spring had arrived.
It’s first stirrings in the air which herald the first thaw.
Ice was beginning to melt. Snow was forming into puddles on the harder ground. The first bubbles from the creek as it began to flow again. There was the first day the sun’s light also contained warmth and following from there the first blossoms and leaf buds, the first blades of grasses and wild flower.
Pine cones that had clung tightly to their branches through winter were now beginning to fall with the snow from the pines branches.
Imbolc was a time when the barriers of snow, cold and ice gave way to the creative wellspring, the New Harvest.
Where was the Harvest?
In the houses. Belts, clothing and mats that had been woven through the winter now would have their first airings. Tools that were carved and decorated would have their first trial runs. Bows and arrows, spears, skinning knives would be tried and tested on the forest and field animals that now were emerging to feed on the new shoots of grass and wildflowers.
Imbolc emerged as a time of great activity. Snow still lay upon the ground but it was evaporating with each new day. In the growing light, fear, darkness and the unknown could be cast off and aside.
There was real hope now as the land began its slow greening. Domesticated animals like goats and sheep were pregnant which meant a fresh food supply and fresh supply in trading goods in the wool, milk, and meat. Migrating herds that were soon to arrive meant more variety in the food supply. The ground would soon thaw and that meant grains of barley or wheat could be planted.
The New Harvest came out of the minds of our ancestors. In their plans for the future and in their actions over winter pent-up now to be released.
The creative wellspring of Imbolc was also in the mind. New ideas, plans, optimism, enthusiasm. Inspiration was at a fever pitch.
Soon work could resume in the mines that bought forth the material needed for metal working. Often these tools were ornately carved and no doubt many hours were spent thinking about their design. Semi-precious stones too would now be mined and cut and polished in such a manner that their beauty in the sunlight could be admired.
Plans were everywhere. From the livestock that would soon journey out into pastures thick with grasses, many heavy with kid and lamb and our ancestors full in the belly. The women carrying the next generation.
They too were planning. Not just for the babies to comes but the stock built up over winter. Trading goods like mats, belts, clothing, ornaments had to be packed in anticipation of the first markets. Animals that had boarded with the family over winter had to be moved outside which meant repairing and building fences, the house which had held animals and generations of a family had to aired and cleaned. The last of winters food stock had to be prepared; Food for now, food for a feast of thanksgiving with the first community gatherings.
Real hope for the future returned. Hope for the continuation of life and an easier living returned. Imbolc was probably celebrated with the first rabbits or hedgehogs that were trapped and the last root vegetables under a new and warmer dusk.
These were the days of community and communal living, our ancestors who forged their way through winters blanket of icy darkness that we may be here this day.
Here now in Strathalbyn. The dawn will be slightly warmer, a light haze of fog but the frost will be absent. I know this because the almond blossoms have begun to bloom in profusion. They mark Imbolc for us. Soon spring flowers will begin budding and new vegetables like tomatoes can be planted. The greening that erupted in winter will peak as the warmth spreads over fields and paddocks.
The spring calving and lambing season will soon begin. Grasses are long and nettles high and they’re beginning to form seed. Magpies sing their soul lifting warble for longer stretches and Kookaburras can now be heard laughing in the mid-day sunshine.
Shafts of light reveal skinks warming themselves. The sparrows that roost in my studio rafters are spring cleaning their nests. The smoke from neighbouring fires fills the air for the last time.
Imbolc is a season of transition.
Cold lingers but is waning with each new day. It is agricultural only in part as there are a few bitter days yet to be had.
Imbolc is a time of birth and renewal. The first stirrings of mental and physical activity. Imbolc is a time to prepare for the abundance of Springs’ bloom.
Imbolc celebrates the creative mother, the nurturing mother, the mother of life. Many goddess were revered at this time. In the west probably the best know is Brighid or St. Brigid. Goddess of poetry, smith craft, home crafts and the well amongst others. Brighid is a Goddess who survived the New Religion. The aspects of her nature and her blessings upon those who worshipped and revered her epitomise Imbolc and its significance for today.
The higher mind is at play at Imbolc and the driving force to create and manifest our dreams in the physical world. Imbolc is pure hope, from the fragile bloom on the almond tree to first stirrings of a new idea. Imbolc was and still is a time to shake of winter, emerge from our homes and embrace new opportunities.
Wishing you all a blessed week to come. May the turning of the season whether it is Spring or Autumn be full of inspiring beauty for you.
For more information of Brighid please follow the link.