The end of January/beginning of February marks the first fertility festival of the year, frequently called Imbolc, which means “milk of the lamb.” In my head, it’s when the snowdrops begin to emerge. Obviously, I didn’t grow up in Southern California, and the weather isn’t what it used to be anywhere, really, so I might have some cognitive dissonance around the holiday. No matter, it really just marks the cross quarter – the halfway mark between Solstice and Equinox. Much like its counterpart on the opposite side of the wheel, it is the festival of deity energy, in this case, feminine. To the Celts, that means Brigid, but you don’t have to be tradition specific for this, or any, astrological marker. The Feminine Divine speaks to us through the chemical reactions, and the sensations of those chemical reactions, in our bodies. She is internal, visceral, sensual. She is about being present and in your body. She asks you to be here, now, and to pay attention. Can you, first and foremost, be present for yourself? Now, can you be present for those you hold in your heart? And, finally, can you be present for your community?
On a more secular and mundane level, February is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day (in case you hadn’t been to a store lately). Whether you are in partnership or not, there’s an interesting Spiritual component to this day that might appeal to you. The main symbol for the holiday is hearts (I’m sure you knew that, I don’t have many hermits on my mailing list). The heart is the switching station in the body, that which connects the physical to the spiritual selves, and it’s also operating system from which we connect to everything and everyone around us. So spend some time this month contemplating connection. You do you connect with the people around you? Where do you avoid connection, and why? How can you strengthen the connections you have and with to keep? How do you connect with yourself? Have you been listening to your own heart?