My Candlemas altar. The image of Brigid is from Joanna Powell Colbert, which she graciously gave to us to color and use on our altars in a Candlemas class I took from her several years ago. My parents brought me the silver Brigid’s cross pendant from Ireland last year.
I have to admit, life has been challenging lately. I imagine many of you are feeling the same way. I feel like I’m being bombarded by horrible news on a daily basis, but I can’t seem to look away. I’m trying to balance staying informed with staying sane, but it isn’t easy. Things feel heavy and overwhelming, but there are also hopeful moments like the Women’s March, and the way people are being activated to get involved.
I’ve been doing what I can to cope with it all. I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors, walking or just sitting in the sun (when we are lucky enough to have some!).
I’ve been starting most of my mornings at my altar, followed by half an hour or so of yoga (I have been enjoying the Revolution series by Yoga with Adriene). That gets my day off to a good start, as long as I manage NOT to check Facebook or the news afterwards while I eat breakfast.
I’ve been reading a lot of women’s spirituality books. I just finished When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone, which I found at a used bookstore a couple of weeks ago. Why had I not read this book before? It is so good.
I’ve been watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix when I need a mindless break from it all. I’m not usually much of a sitcom/comedy person, but I like the characters and it always makes me laugh.
I have been struggling to get myself to make art, although I know it would help.
And so it goes, one day at a time.
Now, Candlemas is almost upon us, and it is one of my favorite holy days. The days are noticeably longer now. Here bulbs are sprouting, buds are ever-so-slightly swelling, and hazelnut catkins are opening, releasing their pollen to fertilize their tiny magenta flowers, the first flowers of the year. There is a sense of hope in the air. Spring is on its way, life and growth are returning to the world. Even for those of you who are still deep in winter, the increasing light promises that the snow will melt and spring will arrive.
I love the themes of Candlemas: cleansing and purification, illumination and inspiration, rebirth, initiation and dedication, creativity.
This is the time of year to asks ourselves what needs cleansed in our lives. Do we want to do a thorough spring cleaning between now and the Spring Equinox? Or maybe just clean out a certain part of our homes—a closet that really needs attention, our kitchen cupboards, our clothes, or our bookcases. Do we want to cleanse an activity like checking the news or Facebook (I’m looking at myself here!), cut sugar out of our diet, or commit to drinking a detox tea each day?
It is also a time for initiations and dedications. Are we ready to commit ourselves to a course of spiritual study, to working with a particular Goddess for the year, to reading a certain number of spiritual books, or to practicing regular prayer or devotions? What part of our spiritual path or practice is calling us to deeper commitment and devotion?
As the light grows, as new life begins to emerge all around us, what do we feel inspired to do? Is it time to get to work on an idea for a project or creative practice that has been simmering deep inside during the winter months? I know it is definitely time for me to get myself back to my art table, if only to play in my art journal and enjoy myself. Because this time of year is also the time of the Maiden, who is young, light, free, playful and full of life. Let’s shake off some of the winter darkness and have some fun!
Here is a tarot spread you can use on Candlemas to answer some of these questions and find your own inspiration for the next turn of the wheel:
Question: What do I need to know during this next turn of the wheel?
- Overall Theme
- Key Opportunity
- Key Challenge
- What seed is beginning to send out roots within me? (This could be an idea for a project, a dream, a new beginning.)
- Where in my life can I be more playful and creative?
- How can I more fully devote myself to my spiritual path?
Candlemas blessings to you! May you find a spark of light to guide you when things seem dark. May we all be blessed with hope and love as life returns to the earth. Blessed be.