Happy Imbolc, Groundhog’s Day, Brigid’s Day, or whatever you celebrate. I call this holiday Candlemas, which is a call back to my Christian/Catholic roots, I suppose, but I don’t feel comfortable with Irish/Celtic holiday designations, since I am Hellenic.

Candlemas itself is an “adaptation” of a pagan goddess holiday by the church, where people light candles to banish dark spirits and the dark of winter. Today represents the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Animals are beginning to be born, and seeds planted a hope for the coming spring. In fact, a ritual involving starting seeds for the coming spring, along with the things you wish to manifest is a good inclusion for your Candlemas ritual.

Candlemas/Imbolc is a cross quarter day (not one of the four main quarter days that mark the start of each astronomical season), and is also why it is famous (in the US) as an inverse weather indicator. If the groundhog sees his shadow (we have a bright, sunny day) there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t (the sky is gloomy or overcast), spring comes early. This year, ‘Punxsutawney Phil’ saw his shadow, so six more weeks of winter for us.

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