As the cold dark days are here, mid winter really peaks, seeds are stirring under ground, under a blanket of snow, snowdrops appear, and Brighid blesses the land as she passes by in the air. It creates such a good time for making changes and creating new beginnings as the wheel of the year turns.
If you want to use this time for making changes, if you are reading this and you are pregnant there may be changes you wish to make before your baby arrives. It is a perfect time for creating new beginnings just as the seeds quicken in the earth.
Imbolc provides quiet space for reflections, even if you have nothing to change for your pregnancy journey or year ahead.
I had the honour of supporting a lovely birth this week too, A perfect Imbolc baby born with first snows under a beautiful illuminated night sky of stars and bright waning cresent moon.
I had a few days of quiet afterwards while I slowed down just in case my birth clients needed me in their first days settling into their new family.
So I have spent my days this week reorganising my Doula offerings. I realised then that it was all fitting in naturally with Imbolc and all that Imbolc means.
It seems Imbolc is always a natural time of change for me.
It was at Imbolc fourteen years ago i discovered Druidry, after attending Brian Bates and Susan Greenwoods first Shamanic Consciousness course. I first stood in a circle on the side of the downs under The Long Mans watch, feeling like I'd found my home. My heart leaped, at the thought that fantasy could be real, I was standing in a tolkein novel, I was holding hands with druids, magic was in the air, the Awen chant vibrated through my body, connecting us all with the sky and earth, it felt amazing!
It wasn't until years later, I really truly explored and begun to understand Imbolc. Eleven years ago when I was expecting my daughter Anya, I had walked up to the Long Man for our Anderida Druid Imbolc ritual, three days off our due dates when my labour twinges began. The twinges didnt stop and beautiful Anya was born two days later.
It was five years ago at Imbolc I learnt of my pregnancy with Runa, my youngest daughter.
It almost seems as though my year begins at Imbolc.
I booked my initial doula training around Imbolc in 2016.
I first met up with my husband for a wintery walk at Imbolc in 2013.
Bridhid is also the first goddess I felt drawn to, to learn about during my pregnancy with Runa following a goddess retreat (Women Witch and Woman Gatherings). I always have a warmth in my heart as I think of Brighid and what her stories mean to me.
Imbolc was the first time we began Awen Pixies too, a pagan family moot, four years ago. (Although this was planned to start at Imbolc at the time).
Always a change, new insight or new beginning, I could write so much more of my experiences of Imbolc. What is interesting is that all these changes coincidentally have happened naturally at Imbolc. I never said consciously it's time for change it's Imbolc, its all natural events and experiences.
A big change this year is that I have removed my postnatal support package. I will still support my birth clients postnatal forty days, but have removed the long term offer. Supporting birth and helping with birth preparation is my biggest passion, it always has been. I will still offer my recently updated Postpartum Healing (closing the bones) as extra for mamas that arent my birth clients too.
I am finally understanding where my passion as a doula lies. I have decided to fully follow my heart. I am being true to my feelings through my own experiences and wisdom i feel I'm acquiring. As my experience progresses and I feel i am gaining new skills and insights to help me help mama's on their pregnancy journey. This is primarily in bringing more shamanic aspects into my work. Gathering eighteen years of practise together.
I am having to think more of my inner feelings too within my offerings to others, as I embark on a bigger journey of learning to teach Sacred Drumming with my teachers, its an honour but a huge commitment that i need to have secure feelings on to be able to truly stand in my power with honesty, integrity, empathy, and love to be able guide others.
In my reflective moments I am also using the peace and inspiration of Imbolc in writing a booklet on Pregnancy By The Moon, and researching for expanding my dissertation to create a book on Drumming for Pregnancy and Birth around the world.
When I first started writing this blog I thought it was about Imbolc and Changes and how to help yourself at this time, as i lit my candle and set my sacred space in my mind to write it became my own reflections of my own changes at Imbolc and my current changes.
I don't like writing about me particularly, it feels like hanging your bridget jones underwear out to dry in an open space for all to see, but I feel sharing is often the only way to teach at times, to show through experiences and insights. We are all stories, experiences, and all we have after we pass over, is stories to pass on, so sharing is positive.
Many people around me are new to paganism, or want to find out more, I often get asked now for links and ideas on how to start walking a pagan path. I send links and ideas, but I feel Paganism is within, just as Brighid lights our hearts, and Imbolc stirs in our changing surroundings, you only notice if it's all within your heart.
Many will say Imbolc is a time for spring cleaning, clearing your space, clearing your mind, and smudging your own energy. A time for clearing your path ahead for your year to come.
If you want to honour the time of Imbolc use the dark quiet cold nights as you sit indoors warm and cosy, find an empty space of your mind, light a candle, smudge your space, spend a quiet moment reflecting, allowing thoughts and feelings to flow, and just have a ponder on what this time of year means for you. Your own feelings of reflection are not wrong.
There is much more you can do to honour this time but I feel its a self discovery, an inner journey.
Imbolc Blessings! May Brighid warm your hearts as she warms the earth.