Today and tomorrow are, for many, the beginnings of spring. February 1 or 2 are celebrated as the Feast Day of St. Brigid, who, according to various sources, was the attempt to christianize the goddess Brigid.
Brigid traditionally is associated with home and hearth but also with wisdom, poetry, craftsmanship, and healing.
It also is Candlemas, the day midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and traditionally associated with cleansing, renewal, and, of course, candles. But first Candlemas was known as Imbolc, associated with the flowing of ewe's milk for new lambs -- the awakening of the world for spring.
If you've noticed, the light is coming back: days are lengthening quite visibly. In just over a month, on March 9, we begin daylight savings time again -- spring forward. The dark is over for this winter.
My friend Lunaea gives directions for making your own Brigid's Cross. She says, "The cross represents the cross-quarter days of the wheel of the year and the sun and the balance of energies and elements, and many other fine things. For me, it also represents movement, progress, and radiant strength, all good things to affirm as the light returns to bless the land."
I've got a fire in the woodstove and will light candles tonight as I honor these days both pagan and Christian, and reflect on creating, purifying, and renewal.
May light shine in your life.