During the month of February we sit in the stillness perfectly between solstice and equinox.
To the Romans, this time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox was the season of the Lupercalia. For them, it was a purification ritual held on February 15, in which a goat was sacrificed and a scourge made of its hide.
In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brighid was viewed in her aspect as crone as Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers who was older than the land itself.
Brighid was also a warlike figure, Brigantia, in the Brigantes tribe near Yorkshire, England.
Welcome in the coming Spring with great joy, but do not forget that the Brigid who is the smith, the Brigid who is the healer, and the Brigid who is the poetess each serve the warriors as well, by making weapons and equipment, by tending to their wounds of every sort while in battle and when returning.
February’s full moon has been called Snow Moon, Big Winter Moon, and Hunger Moon, as well as Storm Moon, letting you know that February is a cold month and often a lean one too.
There were many different festivals and ritual practices that took place during this month related to purification, spiritual sacrifice, and fertility. These included Februalia, a month-long period of prayer and sacrifice, the festival of Parentalia which honoured the ancestors through sacred offerings.
This is a transition month, a time in which winter begins to let go and the promise of spring is reborn.
Brigid, a goddess whose names mean “exalted one” but whose even more ancient Gaelic name Breo-Saighead means “fiery arrow”. It is said she was born at sunrise to Dagda (god of the earth) and Boann (goddess of fertility). Brigid is the embodiment of the element of fire and she is said to represent the triple flames of inspiration, the hearth, and the forge.
Imbolc is a powerful day for magick and witchcraft. It is on this day when young witches were initiated into covens and the Path.
On Imbolc we are working with two Elements, Earth and Fire.
This is the Feast of Light, as the winter is dying away, and the sun grows stronger, and so bonfires are especially appropriate as well. In ages past, people jumped the bonefires to be cured of winter colds and flu.
Folklorists say that a Dr. Valentine in ancient Greece used to perform illegal Christian weddings and he was sacrificed to the lions on this date and became Saint Valentine.
Imbolc is an ancient tradition, probably dating back further than the Neolithic age since it is a celebration of the seasons.
Ireland tombs like The Mound of Hostages on the Hill of Tara and Cairn L at Slieve na Calliagh or “Callieach’s Mountain” align perfectly with Imbolc and Samhain.