Imbolc is the astronomical midpoint between the Winter Solstice – Yule and the Spring Equinox – Ostara; when the transiting Sun is at 15 Degrees of Aquarius in the Northern Hemisphere on February 4th, traditionally marking the first stirrings of Spring. Some pagans celebrate Imbolc on the astronomical date (February 4th), while others celebrate on February 2nd out of tradition. The mid-winter festival anticipated the planting of crops, a central focus of the festivities was the forecasting of either an early spring or a lingering winter. Imbolc also marks the transition point of the archetypal Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.
Imbolc aligns with Candlemas, a Christian holiday that celebrates the ‘Presentation of Jesus at the Temple’ or the ‘Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.’ The name Candlemas comes from ‘Candle Mass’ because candles are blessed to be used in churches during the coming year or are given out to people for them to use in their homes and private prayers.
For Catholics, especially in Ireland, Imbolc is associated with the feast day of Saint Brigid of Kildare (451 – 525 AD). Saint Brigid was an early Irish Christian nun, abbess, and foundress of several monasteries of nuns, including that of Kildare in Ireland, which was famous and was revered. Historians believe that Brigid had been chief druid at the temple of the Celtic goddess Brigid (associated with the spring season, fertility, healing, poetry, and smithcraft) and was responsible for converting it into a Christian monastery.
Imbolc aligns with the contemporary observance of Groundhog Day on February 2nd. The Groundhog traditionally represents beginnings, cycles, and earth energies associated with the phase of death leading to rebirth, and divination. According to tradition, if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.
GROUNDHOG DAY AND CANDLEMAS LORE
If Candlemas [February 2] be mild and gay,
Go saddle your horses and buy them hay;
But if Candlemas be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back.
Just half your wood and half your hay,
Should be remaining on Candlemas Day.
On Candlemas Day,
The good goose begins to lay.
When the wind’s in the east on Candlemas Day,
There it will stick till the 2nd of May.
On Candlemas Day, if the thorns hang a drop,
You are sure of a good pea crop.
The “SUPER SNOW” MOON
February’s full Moon, which peaks on Tuesday, February 19, at 10:53 A.M. EST, will be the second of three supermoons to occur in 2019. Traditionally called the Snow Moon, it is being called the “Super Snow” Moon this year to reflect its status as a supermoon.
The official astronomical name for a supermoon is “perigee syzygy.” The word “perigee” refers to the Moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, and “syzygy” is when celestial bodies line up (such as the Sun, Earth, and Moon do during a full Moon). Because the Moon has an oval or elliptical orbit, not a round one, means that the Moon is either a bit closer or farther from the Earth than it was the night before. At its closest extreme, the Moon can be 14% closer to the Earth, and thus look 14% larger than at its farthest yearly extreme.
Although the full Moons of January, February, and March 2019 are all considered supermoons, February’s full Moon will actually be at the closest point in its orbit to Earth, making it the largest and brightest full Moon of the year.
New York astrologer Richard Nolle, has found historical evidence of supermoons with extreme weather events such as server storms and the increased frequency of seismic events such as earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The 2019 Farmers’ Almanac 2018-2019 winter outlook, calls for “teeth-chattering cold” across much of the nation and predicts colder-than-normal weather from the “Continental Divide east through the Appalachians.” The Farmers Almanac also predicts “the coldest weather of the season” in mid-February during the Super Snow Moon, with most of the nation “snow holds barred” with above-normal amounts of snow piling up in the Great Lakes, the Midwest, central and northern New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the Mid-Atlantic.
The astrological impact of the Super Snow Moon would be the archetypal intensification of Lunar energy several days before and during the event, creating a sense of emotional angst about the state of the world, or one’s inner emotional state. Often unresolved personal and/or professional relationship issues come to a head requiring healing and resolution.
Supermoons have the capacity to stir the intuitive function – the ability to grasp and get a sense of a pattern or meaning, enabling one be more open to the collective that enables one to feel as if they are receiving a “download upgrade” in consciousness.
The best way to harness the energy of the Super Snow Moon during the season of Imbolc (February 4 – March 19th) would be to conduct a ritual meditation session creating a calm state of mindfulness and stillness necessary to channel the archetypal lunar energy and enhance and raise one’s conscious vibration.
Another option would be to create a Vision Board. A Vision Board or Vision Map is a collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of your dreams, goals, and things that make one fulfilled and happy. Creating a Vision Board during the Supermoon can be a empowering and useful tool to help you conceptualize your goals and can serve as a source of motivation as you work towards achieving your dreams. The key, is to identify your vision and give it clarity. Besides pictures, it’s helpful to have quotes on your board as well.