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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Stilling

The Darkest Time of the Year is Behind Us

There is an old Celtic and Pagan Festival called Imbolc that takes place today February 1 through tomorrow at sundown. It marks the time of year between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Being someone who spends a lot of time outside, I am so drawn to these ancient holidays. They just make sense.

Truth be told, most of the holidays we celebrate were simply stolen from these ancient rituals. Did you know that Jesus was not born on December 25th? But the Pagans - even ones who converted to Christianity - would not give up the Solstice traditions around bringing trees into their homes, burning yule logs, having feasts from the animals that wouldn't last through winter. They worshipped the SUN's birth -not the SON's birth. So a little switcharoo and voilá Jesus's birthday is now close to the Solstice.

This listening to Nature and celebrating according to light and darkness speaks to me so profoundly. You've probably heard this before, but many years ago I noticed the blooms and changes in nature are much more connected to light than temperature. Notice the crocus in your gardens. You will get a chill seeing their little heads poking through when we are still getting frosts and even snow. But they are hungry for the light. And those dandelions - they just say, "Eff you temperatures - we are blooming!"

This feast of Imbolc is all about the Goddess Bridget, Goddess of fertility and fire. This feast revolves around the quickening of seeds in the belly of Mother Earth. It isn't about birthing yet, but about growing and carrying.

This leads me to you . . and to me. What are we growing? What are we carrying? Birth doesn't just happen. There is a gestation period. It is the time of expectation and wonder and heaviness and wanting to push.

I'm getting ready. In the last few weeks I have felt a stirring inside. I am person who tends to be messy. Stuff everywhere. But this last week I have been motivated to clean out and clean up. To get ready for the birth of new things as the light comes in full force.

What am I birthing?

  • More freedom from what others think

  • Trusting myself more with each sunrise

  • Pausing before being pushing the "Checkout now" button

  • Creating more and more and more Healing Circles

This last one though - seriously - it brings tears to my eyes. I don't know why it has taken me so long to listen to my ture Self. And yet I do (but that is another blog post).

In my 60th year I know who I am and have stepped into my gift of bringing people together to heal.

I could get stuck in "I am running out of time," or "Why did it take me so long," or "WTF, just do 1:1 work and call it a day!"

But if you have ever had a calling, you know. You know you can't just turn away from the quickening in your belly. You need to see it through.

This is where I am supposed to give a shameless plug for you to join me. And yes that would be great. But my message is not to join me, but definitely FIND your CIRCLE.

Not just your dinner circle or book group - although they are super duper important circles. But a Healing Circle where you gather in an intimate group to talk about things you never talk about to say, "me too" and "oh my god, thank you for saying that outloud" a bajillion times in a 2 hour meeting. When tears start leaking out of your eyes no one asks you to stop crying.

We also laugh. A lot! We even laugh at things we only cried about in the past.

I've been a therapist and gatherer for decades, and I've never experienced the beauty and healing that's been happening in these circles. It truly does take a village - please, don't wait, find yours!

Also, stay tuned for more info on my healing circles. Check out my website for classes and retreats - as they are often the beginning to the circle.

I'll also facilitate some gatherings to celebrate light around the Spring Equinox . . .stay tuned.

In the meantime pay attention to the quickening in Mother Earth and in your own belley. Above all, be gentle with yourself.

Peace and light - xoxo

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