Happy Imbolc, Beautiful! Today is the traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Here in Toronto we’re still blanketed in snow, but I’m holding tight to the promise of Imbolc: that new life will stir, that the earth will be renewed, that the light is overtaking the darkness as we cycle toward a new season.

Imbolc means “in the belly,” and it’s known as the quickening of the year–the first time you feel the tangible promise of what is to come…

“All is pregnant and expectant–and only just visible, if at all, like the gentle curve of a ‘just-showing’ pregnancy. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening and life-force stirring. Here is hope. We welcome the growth of the returning light and witness Life’s insatiable appetite for rebirth.” The Goddess & the Green Man

Life’s insatiable appetite for rebirth. I love that.

Because spring intiaties new life.

And a fresh egg’s journey toward ovulation initiates that same rebirth cycle in your own body.

No matter your losses, both the Earth’s cycle and your own cycle keep you moving forward.

That’s the beauty of living somewhere with seasons: even if you feel stuck, even if you’re grieving, even if you feel like life is not supporting your desires, you’re propelled forward by the momentum of the cycles of the earth.

You’re forced into change–forced to switch your closets from winter clothes to summer, to spend more or less time outdoors, to put on or take off snow tires. You have no choice but to transition.

For years I’ve fled the Canadian winter for a week in the Caribbean. 

This winter I intentionally stayed home. I felt it was important for me to honor and embrace the natural cycle of the place where I live, important not to escape the Crone’s pull into darkness. 

2020 may be a Maiden year and today may be Imbolc, but in Toronto we are still in the Crone season, the death phase in the natural cycle of death and rebirth.

And I’m feeling grief. I really just want to hide — to crawl under a blanket and disappear. 

I think many of us feel grief in January. Grief and exhaustion. We’ve just come through this period of intense pressure to celebrate: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s (for me there’s also my January birthday).

For a full month or more we’ve been in forced merriment, trying to have a good time–to snap and post and share so we can show the world how happy we are. Whether or not we feel like having fun we’re supposed to be. All of it is out of alignment with the Crone phase and her call to rest, turn inward, drop into the darkness. 

So here I am: at home, in winter, feeling my grief, wanting to hide. 

Here I am embracing my darkness. 

It isn’t fun, but it’s okay. I know it’s part of the Crone. And I also know light follows darkness, just like day follows night.

On our first live Moon Goddess Mentorship call last week, grief kept coming up. For many of the women, the intention-setting process that begins the program stirred a lot of stuff: inherited shame, fear, limiting beliefs. Stuff that was hard to recognize and name but has always been there under the surface.

A lot of inherited dishonouring of the Feminine. 

There’s grief that goes with that. We have to acknowledge it before we can let it go. 

And now, today, Imbolc has arrived: an opportunity to welcome the growth of the returning light and witness Life’s insatiable appetite for rebirth.

An opportunity to set an intention, too, that if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and you haven’t given yourself a pause this season–if you haven’t done the work of slowing down and turning inwards–before we launch into the Maiden season of this Maiden year you’ll carve out some time to truly rest. 

How well you start the next cycle all depends on how fully you answer the call of the previous one. 

The Maiden is all about reinvigoration, renewal, energy. And she’s almost here. 

But you first have to restore your own energy. And maybe even grieve. 

Look out for my invitation to our next full moon live cast. It’s a Worldwide Womb Blessing that will help bring womb renewal and carry us into the Maiden.