Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Promise of the Light

Today marks the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Astronomically, it looks like this:

More importantly, it means that the promise of the returning light made at Winter Solstice is being fulfilled.

On December 21, sunrise (near where I live) was 7:15am and sunset was 4:22pm.

Today, February 2nd, sunrise was 7:02am and sunset will be at 5:06pm: a gain of 13 minutes in the morning and 44 minutes at night … a total of 57 minutes. Over the next two days, we add another 6 minutes making it more than a full hour of additional sunlight since Winter Solstice.

Of course, that is the sciencey stuff. We know that there is more to it than that.  

Twice a year, at the solstice holidays, Basement Cat and Ceiling Cat are locked in mortal combat over the Light. At Summer Solstice, Basement Cat prevails and the light starts receding … gradually at first and then more quickly until the light and dark are equal at the Autumnal Equinox.

The daylight continues shrinking but then … on Winter Solstice … ceiling cat prevails!!

Today, as the midpoint between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox arrives, the memory of basement cat has begun to fade …

… as light is peeking in from every corner

… from around every doorway

… from above and below us

… popping up where you least expect it

… between every nook and cranny

Until finally, on March 20th, we will have just as much light as dark. I promise!

The promise of the light always reminds me of HylasBrook, a woman who, while no longer physically on this earthly plane, lives in our hearts. Her words:

“I love the wheel of the year – I love how it marks not only the different seasons, but on the ‘cross quarter days’ one begins to see signs of the season to come.”

Imbolc is defined as a cross-quarter day on the wheel of the year, midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara). The precise astrological midpoint in the Northern hemisphere is when the sun reaches fifteen degrees of Aquarius. Among Dianic Wiccans, Imbolc (also referred to as “Candlemas”) is the traditional time for initiations. In Wicca, Imbolc is commonly associated with the goddess Brigid, and hence the Wiccan Goddess, and as such it is sometimes viewed as a “women’s festival”.

To all my pagan friends, Blessed Imbolc! And to everyone, may the light find you and bring you the warmth of the early spring and the promise of new beginnings.

(Crossposted from Views from Northcentral Blogistan.)


75 comments

  1. blue jersey mom

    Yesterday was the feast of St, Brigid, probably a Christianized version of Imbolc. In early Ireland, Brigid was about as poplar as Patrick. I have visited her cathedral in Kildare. According to the Irish Countryman, this is the time when Irish farmers begin to prepare for spring.

    Happy Imbolc. I am looking forward to the victory of the light. Let’s all tip our glasses to HylasBrook. Some of her kindness lives on in Celeste.

  2. kirbybruno

    enlightening! Thank you!

    I saw you refer to imbolc a few times the last few days and had no clue what it meant and was too lazy to use teh google.

    Although I heart the more dark than light days, I am a weirdo. 😉

  3. cassandracarolina

    Springtime in Texas Painting

    It’s 75 and sunny here in Texas today. When I lived in MA and NH, I was very prone to seasonal gloominess with the short days, the cold, the bleak cloudy days, the yucky looking dirty snow. I have to say, living in a warmer sunnier clime has done a lot for my mood 😉  

  4. Ebby

    the significance of Imbolc, and for remembering HylasBrook today.

    I bought a little apple tree this afternoon, not thinking of the significance of the day at the time, but perhaps it was not a coincidence that I felt so strongly compelled to get a little tree today.   🙂

  5. our Labrador on winter solstice in 2004 (or do I have that reversed?), and our older daughter a few days from Spring solstice.

    So solar orbital mechanics are never far from mind. :~)

  6. bill d

    that would have gotten me burned at the stake 400 years ago.

    We’ve come a long way and got a long way to go.

  7. 1864 House

    To all who celebrate.

    Today was my grandfather’s birthday so it has always been a special day to me. On Wednesday, it will be 40 years since he died. I was 17 and not ready to let him go. I’m not sure I would ever have been.  

  8. 1864 House

    To all who celebrate.

    Today was my grandfather’s birthday so it has always been a special day to me. On Wednesday, it will be 40 years since he died. I was 17 and not ready to let him go. I’m not sure I would ever have been.  

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