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Signposts

Imbolc and New Beginnings
Following the Sabbats is one of my favorite parts of being Pagan.   I like marking the change of the seasons.  I like the different ways we welcome the changes, whether simply updating the colors around our house or just focusing on something different in our lives.
As cold as this winter has been, I’m really looking forward to Imbolc.

While nothing beats the picturesque views of snow falling outside while a fire roars in the fireplace, my home is in Texas.  I like warmer temperatures.   Like may not be the right word – I need the warmth.  For me Imbolc is the first sign that warmer temperatures and greener landscapes are quickly approaching.   They simply can’t arrive fast enough.

It’s also a time for new beginnings – for figuratively planting seeds in our lives.   The seeds aren’t always new – sometimes they are just old ones that we’ve forgotten, or ones that we’ve let life keep us from nurturing along.  Like everyone else, my life gets pretty busy – busy enough that I sometimes forget the seeds I’ve planted and suddenly realize another year has come and gone.

So this year I’m using Imbolc as a starting point for some things and a do-over for others.  Not so much ‘resolutions’, as much as intentions.

I’m going to try to move further into my practice.  I’ve spent the last few years learning about my path – reading, journaling, and talking with others – but not as much time actually practicing it, living it.  I feel like I’ve been watching from the outside more often than not – learning, but rarely using what I’ve learned.  It’s time I took more steps into the pool.  I’m going to start small with a simple ritual to honor Brighid and go through my intentions and take it from there.

I’m also going to start enjoying the seasons I spend so much time preparing for.  I got so caught up in running around preparing over the winter holidays that I forgot to enjoy them.  So, starting with Imbolc, I’m going to slow down a little.  I’m going to spend more time doing those things I enjoy.  I think I say that every year – we’ll see how that goes.

As much as I can’t wait to move past the cold, I know that towards the end of the summer I’ll be wanting the cool weather back.  And, right on queue, Lughnasadh will be here, reminding me that Fall is on it’s way.  The signpost for me is that the Sabbats and the changing seasons are opportunities to take inventory of our lives and where we are on our path.  We can make adjustments, reaffirm our intentions, or just let some things go.

How do you celebrate Imbolc?  Planting any seeds in your life?  Are you ready to shed the cold weather for warmer temperatures, or do you cling to the cold as long as possible before the heat index skyrockets?