Welcome to the first signs of abundance to come, the first milk of the ewes, the stirrings of life beneath the snows, the Imbolc Tarot Blog Hop!
We’ve had more freezes this year in Houston, Texas, than in several of the previous ones, so the grass and subtropical shrubs are brown and leafless, although the Chinese fringe flowers continue to thrive and will produce little pink flowerettes soon. Oh, and we still have a bloom or two, plus leaves, left on the roses. Roses actually seem to like it better in the cool weather. We rarely get the snow that falls farther north, but the damp cold of January does feel like England, and a cup of hot tea goes down nicely. Whether you’ve come in from Chloe McCracken’s Inner Whispers in one direction or from the Joanna Ash’s Sun Goddess Tarot blog (from tropical Singapore, no less!) in the other, welcome!
Our lovely Hop wrangler, Christiana Gaudet, has given us an inspiration to celebrate Brighid, the Celtic goddess of healing and fertility (or in this case, creativity). Brighid, or St. Bridget as she seems to have morphed into in her Christian guise, is one of my very favorite Celtic deities. Here in Stuart Little-John’s artistic eye, she’s surrounded by what looks to me a sword of great intent, a crook to herd the pregnant sheep, the snow-drops a-blooming, the healing serpent emerging from the newly thawed soil, and a swan who will soon be tending her young. She carries the torch of eternal light while the trees in the distance still sleep. Earth, air, fire, and water, the whole universe, waiting for the sun to arc just a little higher.
“Imbolc” or “Imbolg” means “in the belly” and refers to the season where sheep and goats are carrying their young, the first domesticated mammals to be born in early spring, and therefore are, or will soon be, lactating. Wait! Milk and snow = ice cream! A very tasty thought, although I think I’ll have mine by the fire at this time, thank you.
One good way to break through the cold fog of spring’s early morning and expose what might be striving in the womb of your heart is to set the beautiful images of Tarot down and see what the cards, and you, say will lead to the healing that opens the gap for creative beauty to surface.
I know my best creative work has often come from healing some inner fear or sorrow and then finding the opening to grow into something new. Lately for me, new creation has meant knitting, although sometimes I feel like I’ve ripped out and started over more than I’ve stitched. 😉 I love the process of making stitches more than the final product so far. I wonder if snow drops enjoy the sting of the snow as they unfold and stretch into the sunlight?
How do challenges inspire you to do more creative work and play?
Let’s use this Imbolc spread I developed last year with some modification for this year’s theme to see what sorts of breakthroughs we can find:
1) As it seems: What’s on the surface? Is it crusty or soft with new rain from released emotions? Where’s your obstacle to growth, or has it just now dissolved?
2) As you will: Reveal your great desire, that push to see the sun. Why do you want to grow into something new?
3) As you feel: How does it feel to stretch and grow past those barriers? Tears or laughter? Or deepest calm?
4) As you move: Will it be all easy and flow, or will you be “ripping out” and starting over more than once?
5) As you are: What is really inside you that longs to see the sun?
Ah, lay them out then, your five cards, in whatever shape you like (a star, flower petals, the face and ears of your favorite ewe, even) and see what comes up out of the snow. And let me know in the comments, if you will. I love to chat!
I will leave you with my Rebirth card (#20) for the Cosmic Whispers deck, since Imbolc is all about the beginning of a new cycle of growth rising up after the deaths of winter have passed. Bright Blessings!
And when you’re done, don’t forget to visit my neighbors (links reprised below) or head over to the master list to get re-oriented after a break.