Mid week we experience Imbolg, which in Ireland translates to “in the belly”, or simply, childbirth, and falls on the feast day of Saint Brighid and for the Catholic world, Ash Wednesday, when palm was burnt in the Mediterranean, so were rushes in Leitrim or Donegal, as later Christian tradition in Northern Europe, renaming Imbolg Candlemas, selected the occasion to banish wreaths and holy and Christmas ephemera from the home, lest it become infested with Hobgoblin, which I can personally attest to, do seem to creep into the house right at this time of year, so careful where you lock up your weapons and where the level resteth in the bottle of Hennessy, unless you were planning on stabbing or shooting that Shakespeare anthology. Anyway, the Roman’s referred to February as Februarius Mensis, the Month Of Ritual Purification, which has led to modern day conventions of spring cleaning, a time when even notable Romans such as Mark Antony took part in the Lupercalia, a lycanthropic siege of the streets involving erotic flogging, classic pagan behavior in a world more concerned with fertility than over population. Pope Gelasius of the 5th century banned the rite, but had to retract with an apology to the people of Rome who’s public outcry was near unanimous.
Imbolg usher’s in a dramatic difference in light, at least in places far enough North from the equator, the sun entering a Zenith of sky we haven’t seen since Samhain and painting the expanse above that most exotic blue which is so ubiquitous the rest of the year round. This corresponds most often with the very first visible crescent of the waxing moon at the outset of the Lunar New Year, when light becomes, as the Book Of Ballymote has it, a delight of the eye; Luisiu = Flame, in this case more major candle-power than bonfire, and awards us like the flickering of shadow play on the cave wall, another opportunity this week for copious scryeing, Imbolg typically celebrated on the Wednesday, Mercury’s day.
As the festival is one of the TripleGoddess, in her aspect of Virgin and Youth, the Lunar Crescent that currently races around the ecliptic gains particular stress this week, and it’s her acrobatics and tumblings that we’ll follow:
From the early hours of Tuesday through the first half of the day we find the Moon coming conjunct with Venus in Pisces and then Mars in Aries, the inner daimon of our soul-inhabited-body consulting with the third face of Pisces and then the first face of Aries, in a two phase meeting with Venusian and then Martian emissaries. The Moon meets Venus in the final concept of Universal dissolve, where the individual can join in finality with their most exalted ideal, in this case the greatest love/lust of their life, whether that be another person or a dimension of art. At the bottom of such urns it is not uncommon to find Vangogh’s ear or Burroughs’ finger, along with vortices of guillotine gleam, the grip of the noose and the witch’s burnt stake. What many along the way have found is the terror in doubting the very ideal they were martyring when the Reaper arrives and strips away the onion skins of the ego; suddenly dying for the sake of Pointillism seems vainglory and folly. The Moon pulls us by the crescent toward taking this baton of the hope-horror spectrum, which, reassuringly, all Avatar’s always know best, so make sure to check in with your Deity before leaping into the volcano. If it’s a go, the post-humous echo should be for whom the bell tolls. Directly out of this meeting we all file across the hall into a heated debate with the General-In-Cheif, but not before plunging through the depths of the primordial bath, down the drain and up out of the plumbing into viscous daylight. Here we are again, born into pure, dual, light and shadow, Zoroastrian style. Just having awoken from reanimation, the mind shocked into amnesia, you are loaded off the crescent craft, and dropped right into the survival zone. Immediately you are left to the task of gaining some bearings in your new environment and taking whatever action is necessary to stay alive. If you remember any of what had transpired, and added up to equal your self-sacrifice only moments before, you may activate them now, if you are so lucky. Hopefully the echo of your death-knell was loud enough, listen for it fading out, and if its message makes little sense to your new ears and logic, jot it down quickly to consider it when a chance for rest and reflection arrives. The moon makes this transition every 28 or so days, but doesn’t always pass from the Zodiacal end to beginning with a Yin and Yang Gatekeeper stationed at the portals, the former in Exaltation and the latter in rulership.
This drama will color Wednesday, where we begin to enter the orb of Imbolg’s rites. If you can track the hours of Mercury, use them to target some communication with deceased relatives or heroes, since the messenger has just passed Pluto, and probably has some info. After dusk the Sun takes rulership of the night, and the Sabbatical Sidereal re-centering of ancient Celtic fame takes place. Find your cosmic center and tune it to a candle flame. Meanwhile, the moon is applying to a conjunction with Uranus and opposition to Jupiter as well as a trine to Saturn. Back to the fucking newsreel. This dynamic circuit sets up to touch all the planets except for mars by aspect, with the exception of being conjunct with venus who reluctantly steps out of exaltation into detriment. Detriment doesn’t mean weakness, just very unruly and often extremely unharmonious expressions of a planet’s nature. Be sure to commune with Venus on Friday as she will have lines of communication via Mercury and the Moon, because by Saturday she will explode into demonic form, more akin to Kali in full wrathful rampage, plugged into ALL the events of the world (Moon trine Mercury, Mercury sextile Moon, Moon sextile Venus, Venus conjunct Mars, Sun trine Jupiter, Jupiter sextile Saturn, Sun square Moon).
Hail to Durga the Demon Slayer. By the end of the week, the virginal waxing crescent we marveled at with such awe of ice sparkle purity will be a sharp weapon, and perhaps dripping with blood, the Triple Goddess now flashing into her terrible form as Hecate, Hera, Morrigan, a crone with a lolling tongue, but one that takes swift and bitter revenge on those that desecrate her creations, offering her enemies nothing less than annihilation. The blade of the Moon may be strike swift and then retreat, but the Destructive Female form stays with us until she turns retrograde in early March, and walks backwards through the gate, reversing through the waters of Death, before repeating her rebirth again later in the spring. The theme of a dynamic year is again thusly bolstered. Art itself will be altered by this motion, so if you have an idea to cast yet unexplored and revolutionary creative forms, do so in 2017, because if you are not vigilant the wall of noise and disruption may rob you of the chance.