Happy Imbolc & Aquarian New Moon! Imbolc is a Gaelic holiday that marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, a time that begins the process of life's reawakening, of nature rebirthing itself. The word 'Imbolc' means 'in the belly,' referencing the hidden potential of Spring, of renewal and revivification. At Imbolc, we sense the stillness of winter beginning to shift toward a more lively state. It reminds us that Spring is on its way, and in order to prepare for its arrival, we are asked to make space. Which aspects of our winter selves are we ready to be cleansed of, letting go of the somewhat slumbering forces that keep us moving more slowly, in order to make room for an enlivened way of being?
This weekend has been a celebration of Imbolc at my house, if simply because it involved a lot of cleaning! This felt like such a purification ritual, one in which both my partner and I were in a flurry of activity to accomplish. With 3 dogs, cleaning is a regular pastime, but today felt like quite a special occasion with us both spending extra time to clear out what had been building up in the nooks and crannies of our home. It felt deeply gratifying, and I feel like I can enjoy our space even more after occasions like this. I find that our bodies can be thought of similarly. While I truly love the yoga practice no matter when it happens, I find the transition from 'winter body' to a spring/summer version of my organs, bones, muscles, tendons, fascia, and skin to be quite a welcome one! Postures that have felt a little more challenging and closed to me begin to feel more easeful, if but for the shift in temperature, attitude, and season. This is something I naturally find myself sensing and relishing at this time of year, perhaps opening to possibilities for the practice and for life.
It seems like the birds in my hood had the same idea today. As I walked through the snow this afternoon with my partner and 3 dogs, I heard what sounded like 20 of them chirping away in the trees, hearkening the revival of life. It felt like a nature party, lifting my spirit and heart. I find that if I simply make space to observe what's happening in the present, the wisdom of life just expresses itself in clear and effervescent ways. The inherent intelligence that's always present just comes through if only I bring my attention to it, and whenever I do.
This year, Imbolc has fallen just a few days before the Aquarian New Moon, which takes place on Monday, February 4th at 1:04pm PST/4:04pm EST. What are we making room for as we open to Spring and its season of renewal? Calling upon a little Aquarian wisdom can bring clarity here, helping us tap into the essence of authenticity and genuine expression. Aquarius reminds us of the importance of listening to our most resonant path, of living a life that is authentic to who we are in our heart of hearts. Even if it's doing something different than what others may think is best for us, Aquarius knows that listening inwardly and living this truth outwardly is healing and thus of utmost importance. Perhaps a dream that hasn't yet come to fruition but that's been brewing beneath the surface is ready to make itself known in the world. Or a dream that's been realized in part is ready for a new phase of its existence, shapeshifting to express another cycle or level of nuance. As long as it's still feeling deeply resonant and consistent with the energy of the intention with which it was created, all is well. And if not, it can be an amazing practice to check back in with the original dream and what it offered. Is there alignment on all fronts with intention, action, expression? If not, how can this be clarified so the truth of this expression can be articulated more skillfully? There is always a way to realign and "course correct" when necessary!
I think about my decision to go back to school for 5 years as I write this. Did I make the right decision? Yes, undoubtedly. Is it challenging in most of the ways I can think of? Also, yes, undoubtedly! Would I change this decision? Absolutely not! But there are ways I can stay more true to myself, to the way in which I move through the program, the time, energy, and attention I place on what's important in life. Like cleaning! I kid, but keeping a clear space helps me have a clear mind and spirit. So taking the time to nourish myself with the practices that feed my soul is more important than pushing too hard to make it throug a program in a year less than I would've otherwise. And that feels right. We could call this Aquarian wisdom. Or we could call it a deep knowing that comes from within. Either way, it's something I'm grateful to experience and to integrate into my life.
What are this Lunar Imbolc and Aquarian New Moon welcoming for you? Whatever it is, may you enjoy it thoroughly. The Force is always with you!