Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Imbolc, Candlemas and Groundhog Day


Today is Imbolc, the pagan festival sacred to the Goddess Brigid. Not so coincidentally, it is also Candlemas, the Christian festival sacred to Saint Brigid. And of course, it is also Groundhog Day here in North America.

Last year I bitched mightily about the difficulties of celebrating Imbolc in winter-bound Canada (here and here) and about how Groundhog Day really suits us better (here). This year I choose to follow the brilliant lead of Goddess artist Thalia Took, who tirelessly promotes Groundhog Day over at her blog Amused Grace. She has created a whole series of witty Groundhog Day cards that you really should check out at her shop. Her illustration of Brigid and the Groundhog surrounded by Sacred Candles is one of my favourites!

And as Thalia Took says: Remember -- the Groundhog is the Reason for the Season!

14 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

Good morning. I love that illustration, but everything she does is great. Hope you have a wonderful day.
Mary

faerwillow said...

~too cute...sweet card above...brightest blessings and much love and light to you~

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I'd say... That this is an illustration of the saying; "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." :-))))))

Early wishes for a Happy Valentine's Day!
.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.

Blueberry said...

I was just thinking how it's practically Spring here. Most places would accept it as full-on Spring, high temps in the 50s, 60s, plus we have been clearing off dead winter debris for 3 weeks, with little green babies underneath, happy for the extra sunlight they are getting now.

Blueberry said...

That groundhog reminds me of my Jax (the cat) and his big Buddha belly, except that he keeps his hairless. Makes it easier to see on a black cat. ;-)

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

Oh, gracious me. I actually lived in Punsutawney, PA for almost a year once. And I experienced all the hubbub that town does through every year for GHDay. It's like something bordering on The Omen.

Barbara said...

And P.S., my weatherman said there was 100 feet of solid cloud cover over Punsutawney this morning and there's no way that ground hog could have seen his shadow! Personally, I'm going with the weatherman. Or that possum that keeps crossing my fence by moonlight. Maybe he knows.

miss*R said...

here in Australia.. well anywhere south of the equator actually.. it is apparently Lammas. I get confused... we don't have groundhog day, we don't really celebrate much at all..
this year I chose Candlemas.. my soul yearned for lighted candles etc.. so I followed its lead..had a lovely candle-lit night.. and thanks tons for telling that it was sacred to Saint Brigid.. didn't know that. I would love to find out all the connections to Pagan and Christian celebrations.

and yes, this husband of mine is one in a million. I am blessed and they do say 3rd time lucky. :)

Judith said...

I love the juxtaposition!

Thalia Took said...

He *is* the Reason for the Season! Don't y'all forget it!

Actually, the whole groundhog thing is directly linked from Imbolc. One of the traditions about the Cailleach, the old Scots hag Goddess of winter (who in tradition is driven out by Brigit) is that if the weather is fine on Bride's Day the Cailleach comes out of Her house, which, since She is the spirit of winter, means more winter. If the weather is crummy and She stays inside, it'll be an early spring.

There are other traditions associated with Bride's Day about animals coming out of their holes (usually snakes). Somewhere in there the critter-in-a-hole and the weather predictions thing got put together and the tradition became if a badger saw his shadow, &c., which got brought to America supposedly by German immigrants. But there are no badgers in America, so it got glommed on to woodchucks.

So Brigid + groundhogs = win!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I love that drawing..we have a armadillo here in texas that tells us if spring is coming..if he makes it to the other side of the road before a semi runs over .we'll have a early spring..if not..6 more weeks of winter...

of course that's true..would i make that up?

Jeanne said...

Love the card. Too cool! :0)

And a Happy Imbolc Groundhog Candlemas to you!

Blessings!

Mon said...

What an interesting mix. I'll check her out.

We don't have snow here, and much the opposite to you, it's quite mild. But I feel the shift in seasons nonetheless, and the growing light most of all.
Makes me feel wistful for my beloved Winter though :)

Bohemian Shadows

submerina said...

"The reason for the season" :D I adore Thalia and her art just makes me happy. It takes a special kind of creativity to elevate a groundhog to legendary status ha ha!