The feeling that comes from within this week is one of having passed a threshold of something that held us in a static position, almost dragging us back, but failing in its efforts. Nature speaks of forward movement in all its manifestations from a vibrant bird song to snowdrops appearing on the forest floor.
Imbolc carries a subtle yet moving energy and what I love at this point is the knowing that spring will come, flowers will bloom and light will continue to grow with increasing warmth.
Archetypes and deities of the season, Brigit in particular, are all around us on the eve of Imbolc. They are so much more than an imaginary energy of psyche and nature. They are not here only to tell us metaphorically of spring coming but, most importantly to awaken us to our own potential blooming. Its aim is to remind us we look at nature and life from a perspective of moving forward with present moment awareness, with every step, every day, every month. It is uniting in its perspective, whatever we do and whoever we are nature is a form of reflection of what is possible. One can always change perspective, direction and we will be supported on that journey. That is the message. It is a reality that is wide and all-encompassing reminding us that we are all part of the whole, part of the bigger picture. Just as the divinity of the goodness is in everything so are we. Brigit begins her dance in and through the fabric of life. It is like water penetrates every corner and opening she seeks to fill our awareness with the potential of life.
Imbolc is a milestone in Celtic calendar and nature-spirituality beliefs that speaks of a soul needing to be stirred up with every step, a reminder of conditions being present for waking up. It is not abstract but grounded in nature, which is always present, changing no matter what. It is like love that never goes away, a well open and ready for drinking, ground ready to cultivate. She’s in the mud under foot and in copper coloured tree tops that will soon take shape in its blooming canopy.
The light is lit and with awareness of its faint glow through consciously keeping its flame alive we will reap rewards of its power.
Brigit is the most visible deities, goddesses if you like during this time. She comes forward at Imbolc predictable and strong carrying flowers, light, nurturing energy to the land and us all. Incredibly reassuring and for that I am always grateful. Her fiery hair and gentle manner and compassion warms the heart and the earth.
She’s a saint dressed in delicate white and with a soft smile and bowed head watching over the light of divinity. She is also an earth mother goddess, dressed in browns, grey and copper dancing in the woods singing with the birdsong. She is Celtic and Christian loved by so many for centuries.
Blessed Imbolc, everyone! Let this time bring balance into all that is in life and in spirit and open our eyes to possibilities.
My devotional to the Land in poem collection
The lesson, new and fresh and perfectly framed, that I have experienced lately was of a thing called self-containment. It is visual for me, as well as, sensory in the body. I tap more into it when I dance, for example. Self-containment is a space where nothing and no one can access you or affect you to describe it in simple terms, but, of course, it is more than that. It feels wonderful. It is one of those states that bring peace, pleasure, calm and divinity into it. I have known this before in a different way with other things, but this is a new one. Perhaps it is not new but simply another one that has a clear frame, structure, name and vibration. It is soul-centred, but in a very human way and I suspect when in this embodiment of self-containment others around you will get affected and not just that, but they will be able to join in with it in their own way and much easier that through anything else. There is, therefore, huge potential in it for yourself and others around you. I am in love with the feeling of it. It has an orangey/pinkie colour to me like a ball or an egg that has edges, but they are allowing, flexing, moving yet protective. I find that this coming out in winter is very on point and relevant, as what does it mean for us to have a space of our own, a ‘womb-like’ state of ecstasy where we are away from it all yet connected. If we picture winter as our psychic underground space, dark and contained, this comes up in line with that only keeping our connection to our ‘new, birth-like, spring-like’ state alive. It has light in it, sunshine and warmth, but the wisdom of the darkness. We are essentially untouchable once we discover us, as unique us, no one else is like that, nothing else is like that in existence. You are YOU and only YOU. It is original, utterly beautiful and powerful in terms of being a gift towards life. Being able to incorporate this state into our lives, although, I suspect, it does not come up always or willingly, but trust that it will when you need it, can change things. It can slow things down, offer reflection and focus. We could ask for it whenever we feel pushed and pulled and overwhelmed, when things are demanded of us without a thought for whether we are ready to offer. It is that ‘stop’, wrap yourself up in YOU, bring yourself back to the centre, stay there for a bit and decide if you want to come out or not when you decide or not. It is a protective something, a covering, a vessel, a container that we can invoke and settle into it while we figure things out.
Winter is a rich gift. I will not tire of saying it over and over. Things must be dark and quiet and still in order for what needs to be clear and in view to be seen properly, in its naked form, in its broken form, in its expansive form. Like a voice in an expansive space of mountain or a valley, it needs expression, but for that to happen we need ‘the death’ of bubbling life internal and external, we need to see, hear and feel without being overwhelmed.
Silence is a state where things do happen, but it is subtle. It appears in a natural order and flow of external and internal. It is not the absence of things, it is a different experience and a feeling of everything around.
Most of us know how pleasant silence can feel on outside. It is relaxing, soothing and spacious. We notice the silence around us especially when we seek it and our bodies welcome it. But external silence is useless if there’s an absence of silence within. To become silent from within is a real skill. It requires practice. When one masters internal silence and, by mastering I mean being able to come back to it over and over, not just experiencing it once, that’s where true pleasure and bliss is. Something I have been discovering over the years. When I am silent on the inside everything on outside slows down and softens. Triggers, hooks and reactions get muted somehow. They still happen but there is no noise or longevity to any of it. That state is truly and genuinely blissful. Body is relaxed in a real sense through the physical, not through mental visualisation of relaxation.
One of the first things I practiced when started exploring inner silence was to remain silent when on outside there was a situation that would ordinarily provoke a reaction or had a potential to trigger an emotion. I practiced not reacting and remaining silent and there it began to happen, the softening, the flow, the non-attachment. It felt freeing and like something new was entering my experience. It felt healing, delicate and utterly compassionate to myself and others. Inner silence is neutralising to any outside turmoil, external wars that we are presented with all the time in life. Furthermore, it appeared to neutralise my own historical wounds that would normally open and start to hurt. Instead it felt balm-like, a gentle stroke or a silky, most delicate feeling of pacifying everything. It didn’t feel false or forced, avoidant or resistant. Everything just was as it was only with the inner silence I remained intact and so did the world around me.
I have been on a life-long journey towards inner peace. Since I was a small child I knew that’s what was missing not just in me but in everyone around me. It’s no surprise for anyone with this physical reality and all we go through and finding peace amidst it all felt important. Remaining silent, taking a sacred pause was something that worked compared to all other methods that I now know came from a mental-state involvement. We simply can’t think ourselves peaceful. It has to be on a feeling level, on a physical body level, on a level that allows a different space to open up. We all have that space within but finding it takes a long time and it is so worth it when one does.
I am looking to further my experience and practice of inner silence and wonder what else can lead there. It needs and wants to be practiced on a collective level almost due to how it feels and effect it has on everything. I invite you to try finding your way of finding inner silence and truly feel it.
The darkest night, oh how rich and comforting your gifts
Like the darkest depth of the earth it contains our sorrows and joys
Care taking all potential
It keeps it, churns it and later
We emerge as new towards the light
We stretch into the sun seeking transformation