Monday, February 2, 2015

Goddesses in the Dust: Groundhog Day or Candlemas?

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

February 2nd has traditionally been known as Groundhog Day - the day we see if winter will continue for 6 more weeks or if spring is around the corner, ludicrously determined by whether a rodent sees his shadow or not. But February 2nd is also known as Imbolc, the Celtic holiday of Candlemas, which also celebrates the first signs of spring.

Known as Brigid's Day, this represents the Triple Goddess, who is changing from the Crone to the Maiden. At the time when it seems winter might never end, this is when the earth shifts and warms, getting ready for the first shoots of spring to begin pushing out under the frost. So even though spring still seems far away, Brigid as the Triple Goddess reminds us that the rumblings beneath the soil and the germination of plants are occurring now, beneath our feet. 

14 comments:

  1. out the other day down a country road in the brutal winter wind, the snow sculpted remarkably with happenstance and wind, and i was struck fully and dumb by wonder that i ate apples from such and such a tree, i filled my mouth with raspberries from the briars... !!!

    but for now we wait. -40 with windchill this morning))

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    1. What a gorgeous image - the thought that that apple tree sit frozen and seemingly inert, but soon enough is bursting forth with fruit. How we manage to feel a season seems to last forever, forgetting altogether that it will soon pass?

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    2. P.S. −40 windchill.........gads. Memories of Minnesota. Stay warm, dear Erin. xoxo

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  2. That is interesting that the dates of holidays survived throug ages !

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    1. One of my favorite things is tracing the origin of holidays (holy days) and finding all the interconnections that exist...

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  3. Thank you for this. Very interesting.

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  4. I think February must have been quite the party month before the early catholic church decided there was far too much fun being had and introduced lent to cool things down and spread some of that drinking money their way instead.

    Do you know the painting by Pieter Bruegel (elder) titled The fight between carnival and lent ? Makes me smile and that scene would have had to have been played out in most northern countries after making it through the long winter months. In the north, February was known as ewemeolc - ewes milk and time of birthing of the lambs - anglo-saxon and the goddess associated with spring was Eostre.

    High summer here so plenty of good reason to raise a long cool glass for both godesses ... Smiles*!*

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    1. Haha! Love your take on the Catholic Church Annie!

      I will look up that painting - sounds fascinating. Yes - I remember that Imbolc is the time of lambing and just last year learned the connection between Eostre and Easter!

      Raising a glass to your high summer - enjoy! xoxo

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  5. I love the link between past and present that all these traditions and legends provide.

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  6. This made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I did neither, of course. Just blinked back the lump in my throat and gave a wobbly smile and thanks for your perceiving spirit.

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  7. Spring? We have over 3 feet of snow out back and another foot will be falling tomorrow. Still interesting folklore.

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  8. amanda, it is very kind of you to provide some hope for a warm thaw ahead. it is a wonderful thought that there is growth beneath the frozen ground.

    that said, i'm with sarah. more snow than i can believe and more coming. holy moly!

    thank you anyway. i'll keep this in mind. :^)

    love
    kj

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  9. Interesting, but I wonder how Groundhog day ever came to be (after all, it's not a holiday Hallmark has been able to bastardized)... Last winter I lived in the northwoods, now there is a tree blooming down the road from my house!

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