Thursday, February 7, 2013

Help our Trees as nor'easter Nemo visits NJ!

There is another  winter storm heading our way:  Watch out for Nemo!  They are calling for 6"-8"+ in northwest NJ with dangerous sustained wind gusts.  Dr. Jim and Basia have tweaked the Storm Whispers that we used for previous storms, especially Superstorm Sandy last fall.  No matter where you are, you can send these Storm Whispers to our Tree friends in the storm's path.  Please help us to help them!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Celebrating Imbolc/Candlemas!

On February 1, Imbolc, also known as St. Brigid's day, is the first chilly harbinger of the season.   The Irish climate is more mild than ours, so for the ancient Celts, February 1 was their first day of spring.  Calling it "Imbolc" (from the words for 'ewe's milk' or 'in the belly', depending on your source) because pregnant sheep and cowsImbolc/Candlemas began to lactate at this time.  In the US, our Groundhog Day (Feb 2) celebrations with the anticipation of spring is a leftover from the Celtic belief that magical animals come out of hibernation at this time.

Even in the cold northeast,  Imbolc begins to show the early signs of approaching spring:  the daylight is noticeably longer and there is a new, vibrant energy in
the air.  Have you noticed that more birds are singing in the early morning?  And even a few hardy plants sometimes begin to show their first shoots.  However, most of the activity is still underground.  Imbolc celebrates the strengthening sun and also the waking of seeds that are beginning to stir in their cold winter beds.  

Green Blessings!  -Donna

Celebrating Imbolc!  
Imbolc/CandlemasIn addition to the celebrations and definitions I mentioned above, Imbolc is also devoted to Brigid, a fiery, independent ancient Celtic goddess of poetry, smithcraft and healing.  Brigid is all about the transformative power of fire, which we need right now as an antidote or balm for the drudgery of endless gray days, seemingly endless cold, ice and dirty snow.  Fire's transformative power is also about fire in the forge/hearth, fire in the poet's mind, and of course, fire in the healer's hands.  The Celebration of Imbolc is the perfect time to reflect and write a poem, or to take the time to make a special craft (weaving of Brigid's Crosses out of wheat or rushes is traditional, as is candle-making) or to perform hands-on healing for someone you love!