The above image is from Lauren Curtis. It was originally drawn, based on my design concept, for the 2009 cover of Broomstix ( an e-zine for Pagan kids that Natalie Zaman and I founded. It still exists as a blog: www.broomstix.blogspot.com). It really sums up the symbols of the season.
Once again, the wheel has turned to Inbolc. I could go on about the meaning and history of this day, but I did all that last year. To read, all you have to do is go under my archive on the right, head down to 2013 February, and the post “As the Wheel Turns”. Yet, I will remind you all that on this day, when the Sun is obviously making its return, it is the feminine spot of 'yin” in the season of “yang” that we celebrate.
Here in the season of the God, we find the Goddess. Here in the snows and cold winds, ewes begin their gestation, come into milk, and seeds awake under the frost to begin their germination. It is a reminder of the coming season of life. So too, in Summer, there is a celebration of the God - a spot of “yang” in the “yin”. Ah, but that is for another time.
I remember one year, my x-hubby Gary showed up at my house with a plain paper bag. He reached in, pulled out a small, stuffed lamb, and a school lunch sized carton of milk. “Happy lactating ewe day” he said, sitting back with a wicked grin. Yes, my loved ones are all a bit...fey.
However, if the day is overcast, damp, uncomfortable, the hag will only be able to gather a small bundle of wood. With a diminished fuel supply, she would have to release her hold on the world sooner, allowing an early Spring.
But a groundhog? Yes. The hag is a shape-shifter and can appear as any animal. She is often seen as a rabbit or hare , but also other mammals and birds. A groundhog would be an easy guise for her. If it sees its shadow, the day is fair and the hag can prepare for a nice long end to Winter. If not – Spring will be around the corner.
Don't bother waiting at that corner this year, kids. Shadows were seen all over the place. Here in the East, a collective groan issuesd forth from a preponderance of soar throats. Ah well. What's a person to do?.... bless some new candles (it's also Candlemas, you know), settle down with a nice cuppa, and listen to this beautiful song by my friend Jodee James.
Imbolc Blessings, one and all!