- Elsie Harp
Imbolc- Nature Connection Practices for Black and People of Colour
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
Imbolc finds us at the threshold of darkness and light. Somewhere between Winter and Spring, Imbolc is a festival marked in the Celtic Wheel of the Year, an ancient mapping of the seasonal shifts we witness here on the British Isles.
In Celtic mythology, this moment in time , where the earth is fecund with the possibilities of new life, the Goddess Brigid is said to be pregnant with Spring. Traditionally, she is known as the Goddess of the arts, fire, magic, smithcraft, creativity and fertility.
While we may not identify with the stories or the imagery we see dipicting this day (tradtionally St Brigid's Day), the energy signature of Imbolc is a universal phenomenon, and it may be that your lineage or ancetry imbibes this signature too. There are palpable shifts in the energy of the land. The Earth begins to warm, signs of new life begin to reveal themselves to us and ,the winds of change can be felt. Viewing this from an astrological perspective, in the Northern hemisphere we are entering Aquarius Season. Aquarius season acts like a bridge, moving from the darkest month of the year, gathering light as it moves into Pisces.
Darrah Hewlett writes "Aquarius is the bridge between the skeptical melancholy of Capricorn and the colorful escapism of Pisces. It’s detached idealism. After spending all of that time indoors to hide from frost and brood over mistakes and self-improvement, you gain some insights, go back out into the rest of humanity, and implement them. Out with the old, and in with new"
There are nature connection practices we can do to help us tap into this threshold moment, to keep us grounded and present in ourselves, and on this land we call home. Get out into a green space, and try these.
Exploring The Threshold
Explore your surroundings and find somewhere that has both shadow and light. Spend some time in this place, noticing how it feels, and your connection to it. Starting in the dark, begin to slowly move into the light, one step at a time. What do you notice? Engage all your senses. Are there noticeable shifts in smell, or sound? How does it feel to be in the darkness? How does it feel to be in the light? Take a moment to sit in the sun, and see if you are able to open yourself up to receive this transforming energy,
Find a plant that has made it through the winter. What do you notice about it? Where is the new growth coming from? How are the dead parts useful to it? Take a moment to reflect on your journey through winter. If you were a plant , which parts of you would be dead and dying? Which parts of you feel alive? What are you ready to give back to the Earth? How are the dead parts and alive parts useful to you?
Take a moment to lie on the ground, and place your hands on your stomach. Envision yourself as an extension of the Earth, full with the potential of spring. How does it feel?
If you were a doula for the Earth, how would you support its birthing process? How would you comfort, how would you encourage? Write or draw any messages that come from this exercise. You may want to keep them somewhere for you to see over the next month.