Saturday, January 31, 2015

Here Comes The Sun...

Hello, All! I wanted to do a little something about Imbolc, but realized I had done that in years past. So, being numb and tired from the drastic cold (that's my story, anyway), I decided to reiterate the highlights. See below:

We are on the verge of Imbolc (or Imbolg), otherwise known as La Fheile Bride in Irish (the Feast of Brighid, or Brighid's Day. Name variations include Brigid, Bridget, Brigit, Brid and Bridgit). Any Pagan or Wiccan can tell you, this is one of the four cross-quarter points on the wheel of the year. It celebrates the coming of the ewes into milk, the lambing season (Imbolc means “in the belly”), the germination of seeds, and the goddess (or saint) who represents fire, smithcraft, and poetry. (Poetry was considered a “fire in the head”.)

It is a time of celebrating the Feminine principle in the season of the God, just as Lammas celebrates the Masculine principle in the Goddess season. It also marks the beginning of longer days, and the sun's obvious return and gathering strength. Several monolithic monuments are aligned so that the rising sun on Imbolc illuminates their inner chambers.

Brigit Crosses were woven at this time as a symbol of the turning of the wheel. They were often put in the roof beams of the house as a protection against fire.

By Irish tradition, a “bed” was fashioned for Brigit before the family hearth, and a doll representing her (the Brideog) was carried from house to house as a blessing.

Food offerings were left by the fire, and articles of clothing placed outside so that she may bless them as she passed by. One related belief specifies that a length of white cloth should be hung out the window on the eve of the feast, so that it can catch the morning's dew. This cloth can then be tied around the head, the jaw, or an injured limb, as it removes pain.

When the new religion gained power, Brigit was too ingrained in the minds of the common folk to banish her. In actuality, much that was part of Pagan Ireland was merely absorbed by the Church. Brigit's feast day, power and traditions were now ascribed to Saint Brighid the “Mary of the Gael”. Even her sacred fire, once tended by her priestesses, is today maintained by nuns in Kildare.

The Feast of Brigit, or Imbolc, also corresponds with Candlemas on Feb 2nd. This is the Church's fire ceremony when candles are blessed for the coming liturgical year. It is another shadow of the power of the Goddess and her element of fire.

Imbolc was a day of weather prediction, so it is not surprising that Groundhog Day occurs on this date as well. The old legend is that Brigit – in the guise of a crone – goes out on this morning to collect wood for the rest of Winter. If the day was sunny and bright, she could see to gather enough wood for another 6 weeks. If the weather was cloudy or foul, she would only gather a small amount. That would mean Spring would have to come early.
Now. Here is something new to chew on..The Crone was a shape shifter. In Ireland, she usually assumed the form of a hare. She could also assume the form of a hedgehog.

 In this guise, she could  be used to predict the weather. In America, we have no native hedgehogs. The nearest stand-in was.. drum roll ... the groundhog.

Ergo, the Goddess Brigit = Crone in Winter = hedgehog guise = groundhog.

PA has their famous groundhog. In nearby Milltown NJ, we have Mel. 

Staten Island has Chuck. I don't know what poor whistling pig will have the duty in NYC, but last year the mayor dropped Charlotte, who later died. He is not allowed to touch this year's rodent. Good.

Sherlock News: The filming of the special continues, with the stars showing up in Victorian garb.


What evil do you think Moffat and Gatiss are brewing this time? As we wait to see, enjoy a very campy parody. It's from “Rubber Chicken Films”. That should be your first clue....

For my fellow Pagans, Happy Imbolc!

For my fellow Sherlockians, Happy Groundhog Day. Watch for clues of a short Winter!


  1. Hi Kat, I didn't know they were doing a special for Christmas 2015--lovely to hear. I was a bit disappointed that we have to wait until 2016 for season 4 (after the special) but they are like movies rather than a regular TV series, so filing takes time.

    Season 3 I principally remember for the deliciously nasty Charles Augustus Magnussen--the house they used for him--drop-dead gorgeous architecture.

    Was thinking of you today because of how you got me interested in Mickie Mueller decks. I think I might try and get the Mystical Cats one so I finally have something with her artwork.

    Now, if only I could find a tiny Minion figurine...

  2. Minions are out there - human and otherwise. Look on Ebay. I saw a collection of 12 for under $10. Push come to shove, shop for a minion keychain. Remove the "keychain" part and you can have either a figurine or a pendant. Aaah...didn't think of that, eh? I live to serve. As for human minions, publically come out as a Wiccan or Druid...they will come out of the woodwork to be your "student" or "helper". Kinda sad, actually. I, too, need a Sherlock fix. Kinda sad, actually... :-)

  3. Aha, I found one for $11 at so have ordered it with the deck. It's a small vinyl one about 3.5 inches tall. The deck's on backorder so I have to wait. Crummy buttons.

    I have a Jack Skellington keychain where I took the figure off--he shows up in posts with cards now and then. If I find a Minion one elsewhere I shall snap it up.