It's is the time of year often referred to as Imbolc. The smear of days or weeks where the weather is perceptibly changing; it is getting milder - warmer isn’t really appropriate yet, another month or two perhaps - the days are getting longer as dawn is pushed further back into the night as if some front in the battle between light and dark. The first flowers and buds are making an appearance; snowdrops, though an introduction of the early 1500's from continental Europe, have come to epitomise this time of year. They are the storm troopers of spring as it were, the crack troops to exploit the creeping warmth and light.
So what does this time of year mean to me?
To be honest, it hasn’t always meant much. In the past it is one of the pagan festivals, perhaps I would do something to mark it but often nothing at all. This year I feel the need to do something mainly because I am feeling it more, I am noticing the subtle changes more and finding myself bound into it in a much deeper way than previously.
Brighit (or one of the myriad spellings around) is the traditional goddess of this time. To me, Brigantia would be more appropriate; the Brythonic goddess who was tutelary goddess to some but to me she means very little. Perhaps that will be my offering to her this year, to learn more about her, to find out about her over the past 2000 years. There is a lot out there is the way of custom and folklore and perhaps this will hold something I can connect to and work with.
So, a sunrise ritual: milk, water, flowers, some simple words and a promise to get to know her better. She is important to people who are important to me, she is one of the gods who guards the Teguloktos and as such I feel I owe her far more than I currently give.
A passing note, something in my mind as the darkness recedes and the light pushes through: traditionally, this was a time when the horse skull was seen again. The Mari was abroad.