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" A good traveller has no fixed plans,

and is not intent on arriving "

Lao Tzu

Happy Imbolc!

February 1st, 2021

Saint Bride being transported by angels to Bethlehem to attend Christ’s birth. Artist: John Duncan

Penny Billington, Druid author and editor of the Order’s magazine Touchstone, is now producing a great newsletter, filled with beautiful imagery, like the painting above, and stimulating text. Have a look here to subscribe. Here’s a glimpse of its content, that is very fitting for today. Happy Imbolc to all!

And we welcome Bride: the maiden whose coming begins to green the earth. As the Cailleach of winter retreats. we think about why Bride might appear to us this way.

The year starts with a youthful presiding Deity who matures through the seasons; that is a simple association.

But what I especially love about the seasonal God/desses is their perfect personifications of the weather we experience. Think of a young maiden – any young maiden. We call them teenagers, these days. Finding her place in the world, what behaviour might she exhibit? She blows hot and cold in her opinions, likes and dislikes: she might be bold one moment, shy the next – her temperament is changeable and she presents different faces, depending on her mood. This is a description of typical UK February weather to me – it blows warm and freezing, mild and harsh, often in the space of one day. February/Imbolc’s bright sunshine shows us the promise and potential of spring-to-come, then freezes us with retrograde temperatures:
February cannot be taken for granted… but it is surprising to notice how often a rare mild, sunny day falls on Bride’s feast day. And one UK constant is that February rain will fill the ditches…

‘February fill-syke, whether it be black [rain] or white [snow].’

From Penny Billington’s email newsletter to subscribers on her site Living Druidry.