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Imbolc – Festival of the Goddess

February 4th, 2015
Snowdrop - the Imbolc flower. Galanthus nivalis - photo by André Karwath

Snowdrop – the Imbolc flower. Galanthus nivalis – photo by André Karwath

Imbolc was one of the first festivals I experienced when I encountered Druidry. Nuinn, the old Chief Druid, explained to me that it was dedicated to Brighid. As we sat in the circle gazing at a bowl of water, out of which eight candles rose, we listened to poetry devoted to the Goddess. It was touching and beautiful. I’ve never forgotten that evening. On Sunday Stephanie and I held a quiet ritual on our own – reading the same poems I had heard almost fifty years ago.

In celebration of this time of year, let me offer three inspirations on the theme of the Goddess: the first a very short essay on what a particular Druid thinks about the Goddess and the question ‘Why gender Deity? The ‘Seaside Druid’, Bill Bitner, writes: ‘When I use the term “Goddess Spirituality” to affix one of many adjectives to my spirituality, it’s not because I believe “God is a woman.” God isn’t even a person. I don’t even like the word “God.” I believe “there’s something out there.” But I don’t know what…’ Read more

Joanna van der Hoeven writes a short article on ‘Women in Druidry’: ‘Within Paganism, there appear to be an equal number of women and men in leadership roles.  One of the most popular Druids today is Emma Restall Orr, one of the most popular Wiccans is Starhawk.  Heathenry has Galina Grasskova and Diana L Paxon.  There are countless others in all pagan paths and traditions that stand alongside the men in equal roles of leadership, teaching and more. We know historically that there were female Druids, often termed as Druidesses…’  Read more

And then, just today a beautiful essay arrived from an OBOD member that touches on the experience of the Feminine in a very personal, but universal way. My assistant, Maria, pipped me to the post and has just posted this up on the blog, so you can read it in the post below…(scroll down to ‘Skyclad, the previous post, or click here)

Lots of food for thought! Happy Imbolc!

12 Responses to “Imbolc – Festival of the Goddess”

    • What a lovely, lovely article, Anne. I LOVE the pics. And I love the Bee text that Stephanie and you Philip wrote. (And the deck and book are sitting on my desk as I type.) Blessings to all!

    • What a lovely, lovely poem Fabio. And it was doubly beautiful to read it to the sound of rain falling on the pool and the tin deck roof. I felt Brighid’s mantle descending on Mother Earth once again, as it always has, and always will. A sure sign that Spring is upon us again. Thanks so much for writing and posting. May you have a most Blessed and Peaceful day!

  1. Saw the first snowdrops this week. As I wrote in a poem (in Dutch): … and in white whisperings I hear Bridget’s name… Blessings /|\

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