The second half of Winter has begun. Imbolc on Feb 1st was the turning point, the magical moment where the Goddess drops her ancient Crone aspect and becomes again the Maiden, symbolising the potent energy growing in the land as Nature prepares to spring back into life.
Winter is the Earth season. It is when we are asked by nature to slow down, to turn within, to reflect and to recharge. During the Winter we probably need to take some time off from other people, from duties and work, and allow our own inner processes some time to move. If we don’t do this willingly, colds and flu come along to push us into this state of inner focus. Then Imbolc comes along and gives us the moment to stick our heads out of our caves, connect with other people and review our intentions for the coming year. Goddess ceremonies at this time can help us to find our place in the whole, feel how we are held by the universe and guided on a path of self-discovery. They help to affirm what we wish to put in place, to heal what it is we are working on internally, and to boost our emotional and spiritual strength ready for the last blast of winter, for after the bright illumination of the Imbolc Full Moon, the planetary energies will now take us into a deep healing place.
2018 saw a Full Supermoon Eclipse at Imbolc, activating the Aquarius-Leo axis of the zodiac, which is about the balance between the personal (Leo) and impersonal (Aquarius), between romance and friendship, between the individual and the group. The eclipse makes this a particularly potent full moon, whose effects will be felt for months, giving us a cosmic push to make the changes we need in our lives to be more fulfilled, expressive and creative.
The Imbolc energies were a time of heightened experience and enthusiasm, of outward connections and confident expression. A week later the moon has reached its Last Quarter and we are diving fast towards the deep healing period of the waning, dark then new moon around February 15th. This will be the second deep dark moon dip of this winter, the first came in mid January, two weeks before Imbolc. Dark Moons always take us into our inner worlds, into feelings, fears and frustrations – giving us a chance to release difficult emotions, or at least honour them, so that we can enjoy the expanding energy again once New Moon comes. In the Winter season the dark moons can be very intense for some people. We can blame the lack of light, the weather etc but the fact is we have to journey into the darker, deeper, sadder parts of our emotional bodies in order to heal what is there and prepare ourselves for the growth energies of Spring and Summer. If things get really tough, it pays to recall that the lower we can go the more healing we can do, and consequently the higher and happier we can potentially be in the year ahead.
Aquarius gives the gift of impersonality – it enables us to stand back from our issues and sufferings, observe them, forgive them, change them. Invoking the Aquarian power within us can help to shift the inner vision to a broader perspective, so illuminating ways out of our quagmires, our ‘stuff’, once we remember that we are not helpless victims in a cruel universe – quite the opposite, we are divine co-creators of everything we experience in our lives. Every thought, every emotion we carry around in our energy field, attract energy and experiences into our lives.
It is entirely in our hands to work out how to use our minds to create the joy, the love, the experience we want in life. Winter is the time to go within, be with ourselves, and sort out our inner worlds. We might try being grateful for the dark moon dips, for the strong pull to isolation and retreat – time with Self, time to study, dream, write, draw etc, can be seen as a powerful gift which we can gladly receive. The time to reconnect, to get out in the world, will come again. The heavens suggest we are in for an incredible year of positive shift and expansive growth – taking time to pull in, to rest, to recharge, to dream, to reprogramme our inner processes, during the dark Winter months is the best way to prepare ourselves for it.
The New Moon on February 15th brings the Chinese New Year. We leave two years of FIRE based energy, the years of the Fire Monkey and Fire Rooster and enter two years of EARTH led vibrations, starting with the year of the Dog. After the intensities of the last two years we can anticipate and look forward to a more balanced, gentler and more ‘sane’ time, globally, communally, individually. A time of overcoming conflicts and seeking solutions.
If we are working on ourselves, embracing the soul within and the unity of life, these seasonal turning points become moments to relax and breathe, to gain perspective and to reaffirm our place in the whole. For those people resistant to the flow of Spirit in their lives, who insist on clinging to the materialist paradigm of separation, lack and fear, things will not get easier. We exist in a magical universe where the beliefs in our minds attract experiences that confirm those beliefs. To really break free of the cycle of suffering and confusion we need to make a simple magical act – affirm our unity with all creation, then continue to affirm it at every seasonal festival, every dark moon and full moon, and indeed, every moment we are awake and aware. It’s not that all issues and challenges will then fade away, but their power over us will wane as we become conscious co-creators with the powers of the universe open and flowing within us.
These human bodies are miracles of creation. Within these frail forms exists the infinite power and light of the divine source, compacted into bodies and here to have fun, to know love, to make mistakes, burn, dive and rise again, until we are transfigured by life’s thrills and spills and know ourselves as divine souls on an eternal quest. In the game of life, there is everything to play for in 2018.