Brighid and the Groundhog See Their Shadows and Go Bowling

I must confess, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, that the Pagan sabbat that I know the least about is Imbolc.   Imbolc is approaching on February 2nd.  My pagan friends used to explain this holiday to me as it was when the Lambs arrived and the Ewes began lactating.  You will find out  more about Imbolc here

My local CUUPS Group is having an Imbolc Gathering on Tuesday evening, February 2nd. The announcement says, “We will Gather at 6:00 PM to invoke the Triple Goddess Brighid. We celebrate the first stirrings of Spring. We will gather in the Amphitheater in Holton Eco-Preserve of the UU Church of Fort Myers. Our intention is to call for protection and blessings of the Waters of the World. We will especially focus on our waters of SW FL and the Everglades.”   I understand “First signs of Spring,” and “nursing Lambs,” in general terms, but it hasn’t quite fit my reality here in Florida because in the Florida Earthways Shamanic Path Wheel of the Year, this time of year it is (NORMALLY) Dry Season, and we are headed into Fire Season.  I’ll cover that in the next post.

When I was growing up Unitarian Universalist in the Northeastern USA, I loved the whole liturgy  about the Groundhog — Punxsutawney Phil — coming up out of the ground to greet the guys in their top hats  and to see his shadow.  My Mother taught me about Groundhogs’ Day.  She said it was half-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  This is a factoid my young, rational mind could grasp:  It’s six more weeks of winter, no matter whether Phil sees his shadow or not.   But I remember how happy I was when the days began to lengthen and the snow began to thaw, and the mud began to return.  And I loved the days when muddy footprints would freeze up.   I remember waiting for the signs of Spring.


When you are a kid,  you don’t have to “deal with your shadow issues,” because you are a kid and you are actually busy accumulating shadow issues.  It is left to maturing people, to inspect the cold dark places of their soul, and thaw them  out with sunshine, so that new shoots can grow.  And this work of deep introspection, and the radical growth of springtime, is incredibly told in the story in the movie, Groundhog Day,  which you can look up here  on the IMDB .  The movie stars Bill Murray, and Andie MacDowell.  In this movie, Bill is a weatherman and he wakes up February 3rd and discovers it is Groundhog’s Day, again… and again… and again…   it’s like rolling gutter balls repeatedly, until something miraculous happens.

And, Share Your Peace with Our Earth.

~Whale Maiden~

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Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere. You just need to explore the magic of your land. What is it saying to you? What are the seasons, where you live? What do they mean to you? How are they celebrated?

Join Whale Maiden in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path – Facebook Group

(c) 2000 to present, Whale Maiden. All Rights Reserved



Springtime…is a state of mind

Spring is an undeniable astronomical event.  But where we live guides our perception of it!

When I was growing up in the North East, My Mother used to sing, “When it’s Springtime in the Rockies, you’ll be coming home to me…”

And, she used to plant crocus and daffodil, and forsythia, in her garden.  As you probably know,  crocus and daffodil are bulbs and so we all had a great time each year, waiting for the flowers to sprout each Spring, bulb hunting.  (I think that’s the origins of the Easter Egg hunt, if you ask me.)

This was of course after we had spent a long cold winter, ice skating or playing in the snow, and feeding birds at our bird feeder, and collecting bird feathers.  We longed for Spring, for the flowers to come, and the soft rains and the mud.  I actually enjoyed mud for a day or two until it would freeze or dry (or both) and then it was very hard to walk over those gnarly frozen muddy tracks.

But Spring would come each year and we would enjoy the influx of the flowers and birds and flowering shrubs and budding trees.

Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved
Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

THIS is a totally different reality from the way we experience Spring in Southwest Florida.  We have flowering shrubs, already flowering:  This is Tri-colored Bougainvillea-(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

and of course, we have the Gulf.  It is beautiful.  (A little chilly for me to go swimming in.)Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014.  (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014. (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

This is why I encourage you to synchronize your pagan observances with where you live.

Happy Spring!