|Noosphere Day Image - digital - Tatiana Plakhova|
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"By her many graces I call to Brigit who graces us this day;
Grace of eye and grace of hand,
Grace of word and grace of will,
Grace of caring, grace of birthing, grace in mourning,
Grace of carriage, grace of courage,
Comforter and mother,
Brigit of the Blessings I name the one
Who blesses us this day!"
- Brigit Invocation from A Solitary Imbolc Ritual, Rob Henderson and Kami Landy, 1999
"Even after the Roman Catholics banned all Pagan ways, She was so firmly and permanently beloved, She was absorbed into Christianity as a saint. But the Wheel turns and we once more give honor to the Sun Goddess Bride (pronounced “breed” or “breej”), Brigit, or Brig(h)id. She is the Fire Goddess of Healing, Poetry, and Art. You can see Her embodied in the bright stars of the constellation we call Orion.
For millennia at Her temple at Kildare, Her priestesses, and later, the nuns of Her order, tended an eternal flame in Her honor. Although it was extinguished during the Burning Times (the Inquisition), in 1993, Sister Mary Minehan boldly re-lit St. Brigid’s flame in Kildare. It was lit again in 1997, in the square at Kildare by Ragny Skaisten, a member of the Norwegian Brigidine Sisters, at the opening of Her feast day, Feile Bhride."
- from Blessings of Imbolc!, Beth Owl, 2010*
There's sort of "Land of Milk & Honey" vibe about the pagan holiday of Imbolc (pronounced EEM bolg), also known and/or confused with the Christian holiday of Candlemas. While the actual date of the holiday varies, you can begin to see it in the change of light that occurs around this time. While winter isn't exactly over, it's possible to react like our ancestors must've reacted, inwardly breathing a sigh of relief: finally, a flicker of of hope on a previously desolate horizon.