Imbolc 2012 – the Festival of Brighid

February marks the appearance of the first fires of spring. It becomes obvious that the days are growing longer as the sun sets later and later. Already my evening commute is in full sun; just a month ago I was driving home in the dark.

For the Celts it was a month sacred to Brighid, the Goddess of Poetry, Smith craft and Healing. A Mother Goddess she was associated with the cows and sheep. In the old days there were no super markets and you had to wait until the ewes began to lactate before fresh milk could be had once again. Once the milk appeared it was cause for a feast and a celebration.

The Christian church adopted the festival and re-named it “Candle mass”. Everyone would bring their candles to the church to be blessed.

Modern Wiccans have adopted February 1 as the day of “Imbog” (in the bag), a day to honor Brighid. I did place a basket of “clooties” (little strips of cloth to be tied to a sick person or animal throughout the year) on my doorstep on that night for Brighid to bless as she went by. But the astronomical Imbolg actually falls on February 4 this year (midway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox).

It gets complicated.

I asked the local farmers what day the sheep give birth in this part of New England and they said around February 15. The sheep start to give milk again about 3 days before they deliver their lambs, so the milk festival in my area should properly be observed on or around February 12!

I plan to observe the festival of Brighid with some local folk on the 11th.

Here are some links to more details about this all-important Celtic milk festival:

On a more secular note I was priviledged to attend OCCUPY CINEMA  a few days ago. It was a collage of films made by Occupy Wallstreet supporters. Six hundred folks showed up in this relatively rural area and everyone left energized and uplifted.

 The most interesting thing I learned from the films was what happened in Spain recently. Apparently Progressives lobbied to have “none of the above” added to their presidential ballot. “None of the Above” got more votes than any candidate. But because Progressives refused to vote the most right wing candidate got in. Very sad situation now for Spanish workers, students, and the poor.

 It is very important that everyone vote this fall. Even if a candidate seems less than perfect.

 Some upcoming gigs where you will find me:

  • PANTHEACON, SAN JOSE, CA
    The 18th Annual PantheaCon will be held Feb. 17 – 20, 2012
    (President’s Day Weekend) at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, CA
    I will be speaking on Scottish magic, herbs and Fairy lore.

Spring 2012

  • AGAWAM PUBLIC LIBRARY, MA
    Monday, March 19, 2012
    I will discuss the new novel PRIESTESS OF THE FIRE TEMPLE: A DRUID’S TALE and my other books and I will have books for signing.

    750 Cooper St., Agawam, MA. 7 PM   (413) 789-1550
  • HUNTINGTON LIBRARY, MA
    Thursday April 19, 2012
    I will be speaking on Celtic Gods and Goddesses and signing books.

    7 East Main Street, Huntington, MA. 01050 5:30 PM

    (413) 667-8847

LITERARY NEWS

MUSICAL NEWS

  • Irish festival comes to Portland, Oregon
    Featuring the Irish language, sean-nos singing, sean-nos dancing and Irish music.
    What: 5th Annual Sean-nós Northwest Festival
    When: February 17th, 18th & 19th 2012
    Where: Multnomah Village, Portland, OR
    Tickets: $35 daily pass, $60 weekend pass

ARCHAOLOGY NEWS

ANTHROPOLOGY NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

NATURE NEWS

ART NEWS

May Brighid bless your house, your kin and your cattle!

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