Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bride and the Snake...

The halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox has just past... 44 days marked the mid point and by my calculation made it February 4th. In some pagan traditions this time of year is called Imbolc, Brigid, Candlemas. 

It was also the start of a new cycle in Chinese astrology- the Year of the Snake which began on the 4th even though the official New Year Celebration wont be until New Moon tomorrow, Sunday February 10th.

Snakes are on my mind at the moment as there is also an interesting association between Brigit and snakes. The first reference that comes to mind originates from The Genealogy of Bride in the Camina Gadelica, a Scottish sacred text compiled by Alexander Carmicheal in the 1900s (Carmina Gadelica Vol. 1: II Aimsire: Seasons). It goes like this:

Early on Bride's morn
The serpent shall come from the hole,
I will not molest the serpent,
Nor will the serpent molest me.

'Moch maduinn Bhride,
Thig an nimhir as an toll,
Cha bhoin mise ris an nimhir,
Cha bhoin an nimhir rium.'

In ancient Gaelic mythology, snakes often symbolize a time of 'silent observation' and heightened awareness... which to me seems perfect for this time a year as it is still winter - a time of hibernation, peace and quiet.

The serpent coming out of its den to take a peak worked much like the American gopher on GroundHog Day... if the weather on St. Brigid's day was good - it would signify that winter would last longer.

Here's another version of that quote from Bride's Genealogy...

The Day of Bride, the birthday of Spring,
The serpent emerges from the knoll,
'Three-years-olds' is applied to heifers,
Garrons are taken to the fields.*

'La Bride breith an earraich
Thig an dearrais as an tom,
Theirear "tri-bhliadhnaich" ri aighean,
Bheirear gearrain chon nam fonn.'

*nb: heifers, garrons, livestock... were traditionally counted and dedicated to Bride on St. Brigid's Day.

Regardless of how long winter weather lasts- Imbolc brings the hope of Spring to our consciousness which as a season, promises renewal and transformation. 

Thank you to for their interesting article / translations on the Genealogy of Bride.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Bee at Brigit's Table...

A big black bee landed on a bouquet of narcissus Sunday. The vase had been placed on top of the storage box that stores the budded apple wood twigs that I use to make Brizel's Apple Wood Brigid Crosses. I had wanted the wood to charge up in the wonderful blessed sunshine...

Whilst I worked on making Brigid Crosses - the bee stayed on the blooms... I told him that i hoped he wasn't planning on dying today as it would reverse the good fortune that he was bringing to the project. But he just stood there - basking in the intense scent of the flowers and said nothing back to me.

At one point, after I had crafted 2-3 crosses, he flew off but oh-no! fell to the ground 'drunk'. I felt it was my duty to go investigate. I picked him up on a stick and transferred him to a safe location where no one would step on him. He really did look completely incapacitated.

I've really been enjoying the sunshine and the verdant land that very much reflects how the Imbolc and Brigit Season is like here... but our spring-in-the-winter wont last forever. Nothing ever does...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Mists of Twilight...

The Mists of Twilight
when the mountains float above the clouds

photo taken from main upper orchard... 
looking thru the apple winter spiral...
then the enchanted forest... and
beyond that... the spiral garden.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Merlin is Ten - Happy Birthday !

Happy Birthday, Merlin !

My sweet boy completes his 10th year today !

It was love at first sight when we met...
Oh my goodness- such cuteness :)


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