Today is the first significant day of 2023, in Earth terms at least. It is Imbloc, or St Brigit's Day. The mid-point between the Winter Solstice (when the new year really begins) and the Spring Equinox.
In our book, Learning, Environment and Sustainable Development, Paul Vare and I write this:
"Brigit ... originally was goddess of the ancient British Kingdom of Brigantia. Brigit regenerates the forces of nature at the end of each winter. As Kathy Jones notes, Imbolc (half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox) is Brigit’s festival, “in which the Light of Illumination from Her perpetual flame is brought into a darkened room, heralding the coming of spring. Small honey and barley cakes are eaten and milk drunk in Her honour. On the first day, the ears of corn from the Lammas Corn Doll are planted in the ground and the dried stalks are burned, the flame releasing the life back into the earth. The ashes are spread upon the ground.”
So, Happy Imbolc. I should really be in Ynys Avalon to celebrate this, but West Wilts will have to do this year.
Birgit is pronounced Breed, and Imbolc is pronounced emolc.
‘Priestess of Avalon’, Kathy Jones describes Glastonbury thus: “Glastonbury is a small eccentric country town where many people come to live an internalised womb-like life for a time. It may be nine or eighteen months or more, before they are reborn, sometimes spewed out from the body of the Great Mother. As the Goddess in the landscape is ever-pregnant and continuously giving Birth, this process is repeated in the many different areas of life for those who live here. Visitors too are catalysed into new ways of living by the touch of Her Life-Giving Body.