This is one of my most favourite times of the year. The promise of Imbolc, for me, is one of the most powerful and moving of seasons, as we celebrate the fact, the truth that nothing ever dies. Here, for me, is where the wheel of the year brings forth its promise, those first stirrings of hope, those very early signs that the pain and challenge of the Dark Season is now bringing forth its promise. Just when it felt that all was lost, that death and dark were all there ever would be, comes the very early sign that there is hope. There is life . . . that the journey has not led to death, but it has led to transformation, to change, and now here, once more, is the promise of life. Nothing really dies.
And the Dark is often terrible – but necessary. I can’t subscribe to the fluffy notion that as a spiritual person all will be love and light. It’s not all about dancing and singing. That’s not real. That’s not life and it certainly isn’t a true spiritual experience. To embrace Light is to embrace Dark. Every seed of promise has its bed in the dark and germinates in the dark and only after the process of germination does it begin to reach of the light.
It’s so easy to lose sight of our spiritual reality and to believe that what we see, touch, hear, feel and taste is all there is. We experience this temporal existence through our five senses and at times it’s easy to become fooled into thinking along these temporal lines. We become attached to the material and to the physical, however subtly, and then it’s not long before we’re projecting the temporal into some kind of superior and only reality. This is a blind alley I have walked down too many times and it’s only when I fall into the pit at the end of this alley that I realise the folly of my ways. It’s The Fools Journey.
In my experience it is the Dark that reveals the folly of this and causes me to look within, as well as up, and to see the true reality and not just that which presents itself before me each day. Gwyn ap Nudd, Keeper of the Underworld, strips away all that is pretence, all that is not needed, all that does not serve, to reveal that which is of the Higher Mind. It is impossible to fully embrace the wonder of the Light if one has not travelled with the Dark. The Dark is the place of true transformation, where one is honed and then free to burst forth into the Light, as Light. Here is the mystery, here is the wonder.
Some like to look at the Dark as evil. This is a terrible but commonplace misunderstanding. The Dark is not evil at all, rather it is part of Life, part of the mystery, and part of me. As I journey into the very womb of the Mother so I am confronted with that which is unnecessary and contrary to my own spiritual evolution. Yes, here is often pain and here is often torment, but this is not evil or bad. The pain and torment comes from me, from my own attachment and refusal to let go. The pain is about my own resistance. The Dark is all about release, liberation and freedom and a true sense of being prepared for the wonder of rebirth. It is that continual process of Little Death that leads to the wonder of continual rebirth. I cannot appreciate the true wonder of rebirth if I have not allowed that to die which no longer serves my better interest.
There is nothing fluffy about this.
There has to be Death before Life. No matter how hard I have tried to avoid this in the past, the reality of the fact comes home, and at times has had to hit me hard. There are no short cuts, no quick fixes. If I want to walk in the way of the Gods, then I have to accept that I open myself to the fires of transformation and, if I want to know the joy and release that first has its promise at Imbolc, then I need to journey through the Dark that is Samhain.
So the promise of Light at Imbolc is a celebration because to me it’s about being catapulted out into a new place. It’s also about knowing that I am part of that Light. I am a Light of the World. As I continue to journey with The Mother, so I am being transformed, part of my journey before I return to source.
Nothing really dies. We may taste terrors, we may experience pain, we may stare death in the face, but we do not die and this is the promise, the wonder of Imbolc. The cycle continues, the circle is joined, the mystery is revealed.
Goddess and God reveal the wonder of this time of year in those swelling buds, those first green shoots that we can see in our own gardens. Within us too, those shoots are growing, those intentions set in the Dark are now reaching for the Light and will, very soon, burst out of the Dark, triumphant, as they reach for the Light, toward heaven, our true home.
And I am a Light of This World, as are all who walk with the Gods and who seek initiation. We bring Light because we are Light. The Light of our Higher Self radiates from within at ever increasing levels as we walk our path.
So at Imbolc I celebrate my true reality, my true connection. I am birthed, once more, from Darkness into Light and look to the forward year of promise and growth.