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Friday, February 3, 2012

Imbolc & Groundhogs

In pagan and Wiccan belief, February 2 is known as Imbolc or Candlemas. It's the first recognition of the sun's return, a festival of candles and lights. It's also a time where we plant the seeds for the new year, though in most parts of the world it isn't planting time at all. Still, we can plan. We can make decisions. And then we know what we need to do in the coming months to make our goals grow.

This was the time when a farmer would look at his land and livestock and make decisions for the coming year. In Thoroughbred breeding, since all Thoroughbreds have birthdays on January 1, this is breeding season. You want the foal born as close to January 1 as possible, so now you are looking at and booking matings with stallions. You're planning matches and researching pedigrees. Business owners plan their years. Authors plan what books they may be writing. This is a time of planning, of predictions.

So it probably makes some sense that a cute, cuddly, hibernating mammal comes into play this time of year. Ground hogs actually hibernate the longest. So if Phil did see his shadow, he probably thought something like "damn it! I was sleeping! Turn off the lights!" And if he didn't, well...we know no matter what the groundhog says there will be six more weeks of winter.

This is the time of year when we set goals and when we plan. As we move toward spring, what seeds will you sow? And what will you strive for this year?

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