We celebrated Imbolc last night with a fire on the patio. Firelight and a full moon - wonderful. A clear dark sky with only wisps of high cloud catching the moonlight, Orion and his dog star bright before the moon rose, then fading in response to her light. A cold north wind at sunset gradually dropped. A fire mostly of white birch and maple trimmings from a friend's trees, two years old at least and dry. A bed of glowing red coals with flickering blue halos below the higher flames. A few twigs from my trees, again old prunings, rowen and oak and cherry. Pale golden mead - the best - and fresh bread, shared around and with the fire. Then when the flames died down and the moon rose high, indoors for warmth and more food. And so home.
Imbolc is one of the four cross-quarter festivals in the pagan year, along with Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain, and marks the beginning of spring. It's a fire festival, and is associated with Bridged, Celtic Saint/Goddess, and with the beginning of the lambing season and the ewe's milk that goes with it. Not much sign of spring last night, but it will come.
May you have a good Imbolc.
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