Saturday, February 1, 2014 – 7:22 am EST (sunrise)
Names: Candlemas, Imbolc, Oimelc, Brigit, Brigid’s Day, Bride’s Day, Festival of Lights, Brigantia, Gwyl y Canhwyllau (Welsh), Lady Day
Date: Feb 1st (sometimes celebrated on the eve – Jan 31st)
Astro Correspondence: 15 degrees Aquarius
Color: reds for the blood shed by lambs, whites for the milk
Food: lamb, nuts, legumes, breads, egg dishes, chicken, cakes, chocolate, wine
Common Info: Brigit or Brid is honored (Keepers of the Flame at Kildare, Ireland), Brigit’s Crosses are made, first Fertility Fest, Initiations/re-dedications,
Imbolc (Oimelc) is the festival of candles, aka as Candlemas. The date is usually around the 1st or 2nd of February, or when the Sun moves 15′ degrees into Aquarius. It is the mid-point of the winter season, when a single candle is burned from dusk to dawn to commemorate the waxing Sun. The days are getting obviously longer now, as the Goddess grows pregnant with fertility. Some folks will celebrate it in the US as Ground Hog Day or St Brigid’s Day. However, other cultures will recognize other animals as they come out of hibernation. St Brigid, Danu and Epona are the celebrated Deities of choice, which makes this Sabbat female-oriented. Customs include candle making and burning, relighting the Hearth and snuggling in with a partner. Foods used most often are the canned foods and preserves of the previous harvest.
I would like to share an Act of Power we use in the Coven for our Imbolc Sabbat. We call it “Banishing the Winter”.
Quite simply, we make paper snowflakes. After folding and cutting them, each person opens them one at a time to divine the different shapes and figures that reveal themselves within the snowflake. It’s amazing the things you can see within the paper snowflake after cutting and opening it. It is similar to reading Tea Leaves, except it’s a snowflake…
Second, we ball the snowflakes and have a paper snowball battle. It releases the tension that cabin fever can bring… And paper snowball battles are relatively safer indoors. Oh, the frivolity it alludes!!
Last, we take each snowball and burn them in the cauldron to “Banish the Winter”. We recite the following incantation over the paper snowballs before we burn them:
“Awaken, O slumbering Earth.
Bring us Joy and bring us Mirth.
The long Winter’s Sleep lingers still.
Cold nights decreasing
And warmer days increasing.
Cease ahead the cold Winter’s chill.
Banish the snows traditional,
Until the need arises next Yule.
So Mote It Be!!”
I hope that anybody who likes this specific Imbolc Act of Power shares their interest. Obviously, anybody who uses it has the option to augment it to their desire as it is given without interpretation.
Ground Hog’s Day
Sunday, February 2, 2014 – 7:21 am EST (sunrise)
The Pennsylvania Tradition of Groundhog’s Day stems from the Norse, where they celebrated Horning. This celebration happens midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Although it was not really emphasized as a major holiday, it did mark the calendar to prepare for the return of spring. The Norse would keep vigil on hibernating animals, such as the badger, to see if it would emerge from its shelter. The myth says that if he sees his shadow, it will foretell six more cold weeks of winter. However, if no shadow looms, then spring would soon be evident. This tradition is carried over into North America as the “watching of the groundhog”, a counterpart of the badger, by the PA Germans. Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby is the name given to the Groundhog of Gobbler’s Knob, where he lives with his wife, Phyllis.
Astrologically, Imbolc marks the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox, so there are approximately 6-7 weeks left of the Winter Season. Whether that is cold and harsh or mild and warming is all part of the prognostication of the Badger or Groundhog.
Mercury goes Retrograde in Pisces – 3 degrees
Thursday, February 6, 2014 – 8:58 pm EST
Be prepared for communications to go awry. Back up your computers, verify your writings and think about what you’re going to say before you utter a word. As a Planet of communications, Mercury’s role can elicit free-flowing words of wisdom. However, make it retrograde and you might find that foot in your mouth more often than not.
You might find computer glitches and down-time as commonplace during a Mercury Retrograde. At work, bring a book to read while you wait for the computer geeks to reboot the computer systems. As a minor Planet in health issues, it is best to watch your diet, drink plenty of water and wash your hands often. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when Mercury prepares to slide across the face of the Sun.
Valentines Day – Venus in Capricorn – 16 degrees
Friday, February 14, 2014 – 00:01 am EST
St Valentinus was martyred for performing forbidden marriages. Now known as Valentine thru Anglicization of his name, the Martyr is now venerated as a love idol of sorts. He is called upon to invoke lust and love twixt two individuals. Modern times have instituted cards, candies and decorations to commemorate this love-intentional holiday, (not Hallmark).
Look at the weekend ahead for settling in with somebody you adore. St Valentine’s Day will be the beginning of a new facet of your relationship.
Mercury enters Aquarius
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 – 10:26 pm EST
Mercury is quite compatible with this Air Sign, except that it is retrograde… You may find yourself with original thoughts and abstract ideas, but they seem to slip away. Try to write down your ideas and go with the flow to be yourself. If you have been working on a project, you may find yourself on that proverbial hump. It will be quite difficult to break out of that mental block you have been in… Instead of wracking your brains over your project, have a cup of Earl Grey tea and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet. Maybe you will find inspiration…
Full Moon in Leo – 26 degrees
Friday, February 14, 2014 – 6:53 pm EST
Being the best person you can be is the rule of the day. Leo is all about being proud of who and what you are. Show off your pride. The Full Moon expands on that and allows you to come into fruition. You will have a healthy ego, so let it show! Share that pride among your family <OR> show off the family and the pride you have in them.
Snow Moon or Hunger Moon – February is a month of heavy snowfalls, thus the Full Moon is referred to as the Snow Moon. Due to the heavy snows of February, it is more difficult to go hunting for food. Animals tend to burrow deep into their holes. The land is covered so there is very little vegetation. Hence, the Full Moon of February is also called Hunger Moon. It is best to eat and get plump before the snows of February keep you from leaving the nest.
Sun enters Pisces – Happy Birthday, Pisces!!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 – 12:48 pm EST
The energy of the Sun is overwhelming, but is subdued when in Pisces. It’s a time to make final attempts to relax and get ready for the impending Spring. It is a time to enhance your supernatural energies and hone your spirituality. Avoid being a pack-rat… when in doubt, throw it out. Start your Spring cleaning now.
The Sun conjuncts Neptune
Sunday, February 23, 2014 – 1:06 pm EST
The Sun seems to be chasing after Neptune and catches up finally to surpass it today. The feelings of courage and leadership seem to be impressionable, but delusional at times. Neptune is quite comfortable in its Rulership of Pisces, so when the Sun finally rides past, Neptune will be able enjoy its peace and quiet of mysticism again. So for the moment, rise above, avoid the drama and share the love!
No Planets go Direct in February.
There are no New Moons in the Month of February. We will examine the two New Moons in March in detail.