‘Blue moon you saw me standing alone.’ (Billie Holiday)
It’s Spring…..well nearly.
I know different parts of (even) the northern hemisphere may experience Spring in a number of weeks rather than in the next few days – such is the UK’s mild climate compared to other places – but there’s things are never exact, and traditionally on the wheel of the year the season’s change is celebrated as Imbolc or Brigid’s Day. So, whatever the weather, it’s time to celebrate Spring (in the northern hemisphere).
What follows is in two parts. Firstly there’s some awesome information about the upcoming full Moon – a ‘triple whammy!’ and a first since 1866, and secondly, there’s some wonderful ideas and words to assist you to celebrate Spring, Imbolc, Candlemas or Brigid’s Day on the 1 or 2 February.
Ephemera: The Triple Lunar Experience
In the small hours of 31 January, the moon will do something that it hasn’t since 1866. It will be super Moon, a blue moon and lunar eclipse – and all three will coincide for a rare and spectacular astronomical feast. And what a way to celebrate Imbolc, Spring, and Brigid’s Day, albeit a couple of days early – but who’s counting.
On January 31 the Moon will be a super Moon – meaning that, because its orbit around the Earth is not completely circular, but an ellipse, this time around it will be slightly closer to the Earth. If visible from your location, the Moon will appear about 15% bigger (and because of illusion, it will appear bigger still, if it’s low on the horizon) and about 30% brighter. That’s a super Moon.
In addition, this full Moon will be the second one in January, and will therefore as it’s the second full Moon in a month, it’s known as a Blue Moon – but it won’t look blue.
And, if all that wasn’t enough this full Moon will experience a lunar eclipse: those in western US, Australia and much of Canada, Russia and Asia will be able to see a total eclipse, whilst a partial eclipse will be see by those across the eastern part of the US, India, eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The Moon may look red during the eclipse.
A ‘triple lunar experience’, lies in wait for you – a great treat, the likes of which has not been experienced since 1866. More details and timings about this wonderful event can be viewed here.
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate)
It’s time to come together
It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure
Everyone around the world
(Kool & The Gang)
Celebrating Spring, Imbolc, Candlemas & Brigid’s Day
So, having outlined one way to celebrate Imbolc, Spring, or Brigid’s Day in an earlier article (see here), below is a practical suggestion to do, and an outline liturgy that you might like to use in part in your celebration (ritual), and adapt as required.
Ribín Bhríde: How about participating in Ribín Bhríde (the ribbons of Brigid)?
Brigid was/is renowned as a healer, and this can be used as an enacted prayer. If you need healing or know someone who does, then cut up brightly coloured material (about half inch wide and about six to eight inches long) and tie a few ribbons onto small branches in the evening whilst thinking of the person who needs healing. Left there, the ribbons will catch the morning dew, and can then be lovingly removed over the next day or two.
Because Spring is the season that celebrates the sun climbing higher into the sky, and winter receding, it’s fitting to celebrate with the use of light and candles (hence, Candlemas for some). And so, at various points when using the material, below, you might like to lights a candle at the beginning, during or end of the following (or several candles if you use several of the pieces below).
Blessed be you, Light of Life,
Source of the sacred flame within each of us,
light which the darkness cannot put out.
I rise up with you this day/I rest with you this night.
(The Celtic Wheel Of The Year, Tessa Ward)
….because we’re moving into the season of Spring (and the symbol of that is wind or air, and the dominant direction is east) you might like to use:
Still the Breath Divine does move, and the breath Divine is Love.
The secret life of Me breathes in the wind
and holds all things together soulfully.
(Hildegard of Bingen)
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
which fans your face on a sultry day,
the air which you breathe deeply, rhythmically,
which impart to you energy. consciousness, life.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
The soul rides on the feathers of the wind.
Blessings of wind be upon me.
May my sails billow wide,
May I breathe deeply the gift of inspiration,
May I be carried to the place of my resurrection,
May I be fully free.
(Christine Valters Paintner)
Turner of the seasons,
Energy of the first flaring forth,
Source of newness and creativity,
Hidden activity in the darkness,
Align us with your budding presence
In this season of Spring.
Heartbeat Of The Seasons: Earth Rituals For The Celtic Year by Kathleen Glennon
Blessings of this season to you and yours, Tadhg.
[Many thanks to Pennie Ley for the use of the moon photo. Coprighted]