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Moving gently from winter to spring


The activity under the soil in this cold and barren time of year, winter, has certainly been reflected in me, I have felt so many things moving beneath the surface, so much that has been calling my attention and asking me to work through it. It can feel uncomfortable and confusing at times, but the reminder that it is part of the cycle of the year, both internally and externally, helps us to not only allow and accept, but to transform all that needs to be transformed, turning it into food for growth in the coming season. On the 1st February, we entered a new phase in the wheel of the year, Imbolc. Imbolc marks the beginning of the Spring energy. It is another pause in the year for us to reflect, to take stock of the present and look ahead to the new beginnings of Springtime. It is certainly apparent that the season's are changing, there are signs of spring showing themselves in nature. In the woodland we have catkins, bulbs pushing up from the soil, and buds on the trees. Yet there is still the feel of the winter in the air. It is lovely really, how there is a cross over from winter to spring, giving us space to gently unfurl into the new season, we can draw on the wise words of Lao Tsu, when he said:

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."


Winter is a beautiful season, one of reflection, stillness and quiet, but it has its challenges. We can feel the bare bones of life, a sense of vulnerability, that comes from the lack of light and the colder days. We know that in the winter there is more death, depression and uncertainty, which shakes the foundations that we as humans depend so greatly on. So, when signs of spring appear, we can feel a lightness, a sense of relief and a hope for the remainder of the coming year. Imbolc, originates from the Celts and means ‘in the belly of the mother.’ Ewes are heavily pregnant or giving birth during this time, so Imbolc is all about nurturing, gestation and new life. I think this also helps us to understand, why we feel so happy when we see lambs in the fields, their symbology of new life is one that brings us such joy. Marking the cycle of the year has a profound effect on how we live on this earth. Knowing that these moments were so important to our ancestors, helps us to feel a deeper sense of our heritage and a greater connection to life. I was fortunate enough to spend the coming of Imbolc in relationship with the Earth, walking the land where the Celts and Druids walked so many years before me. Touching the stones of their circles, feeling their energy and allowing my imagination to carry me to the past, to the ancient rituals and ceremonies that took place in reverence to this earth and her incredible energy.

Standing in those ancient spaces, gave me a sense of timelessness. A direct connection to the past, present and the future all at once. It is hard to explain, but I feel like the ancient stones and trees, have seen all those before me and will see all those who come after me, they hold the secrets of the earth, they hold a wisdom, that if we are quiet we can almost hear. We can find a peace in ancient spaces, a sense of a deep knowledge, that the ‘progress’ we have made is nowhere near close to. Sometimes in relationship with our ancient land, I feel a longing to be transported back, to be in ceremony with my ancestors, to call upon their deep wisdom and knowledge. I know in those moments, that in silence and with respect, I can ask them for help and guidance and I will receive it, simply because they are in us, they are part of us. Let us keep them alive through our love and gratitude for this beautiful green land that we are fortunate enough to call home. And so, even though it is now a couple of weeks after the day of Imbolc, we are still gradually entering the spring energy, before the spring equinox on 20th March, which means it is the perfect time to bring together any reflections and thoughts on both the fading winter and the coming spring.

What is gestating for you currently, is there anything ready to be born? What little shoots or buds are starting to poke through in your life? What food from your winter will feed your growth this springtime?


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