We’ve just passed the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, known as a Cross-Quarter Day, and the shift in energy is palpable. Celebrated as Imbolc by old pagan tradition, and Candle Mas by old Christian tradition, this is a time of reckoning – taking stock of what needs to be kept and what needs to be released. The pagan goddess Brigid (and all variations of that name) is especially honoured for bringing abundance and growth, along with spring.
Imbolc means “in the belly”, symbolising the gestation of new life. It’s the best time for a thorough spring cleaning of your prime living space, starting with your body, and continuing into your home. Shake off the dead wood, and use it for kindling. Fire is the symbol of the purification energy at this time of year.
I’m taking the advice of my dear teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, to Be Still and Heal, as I head off Sunday for a month-long Panchakarma detox and rejuvenation retreat. And not a moment too soon! After nearly five decades of intense living, my body-mind is craving deep healing more than ever. I’ll turn 50 at just about the point when the intense purgative treatments mellow into a luxurious pace of good eating, meditation, exercise and rest.
The timing is not accidental. As well as getting the support of Imbolc, the upcoming new moon on Monday February 8th (which will be celebrated by Asians as the New Year) occurs while many other planets are suggesting that the potential for deep healing will be both triggered and supported. If you resist the messages from your deepest self, it could feel like a rough ride on the outside.
If you feel the urge to shake of some dead wood, why not start a detox program with the support of this new moon? It should be easier and more profound than at other times, because you will feel the energy behind you, helping you to succeed. Detoxing the body also purifies your thoughts, and helps to clear out old habits and unhelpful “mental toxins”.
Fasting is one way of doing this, but it doesn’t have to be drastic – a mono-diet of kitchari can keep you strong and ease digestion if you are too busy to take a break. Switching off from news, social media and internet is an additional help when a drastic change is what you’re looking for – the most precious information will always come from within you!
What are your deeply-held beliefs about yourself? Are they still relevant to you and your life today? Were they ever true for you? Become aware of where you are living out of sync with what you truly believe, and even with what you think you believe! Our unresolved, difficult emotions are stored in our physical body, creating dis-ease and tension. Live by what is true for you now, and release outdated feelings and motivations, so you can release your whole being from the suffering and restrictions of your past.
We don’t do this healing for selfish reasons, of course. The purpose of life is to serve others from the highest place you can, and your healing is necessary to be able to accomplish your task. So get over yourself, drop the story and start living more fully into your unique role!
I look forward to seeing you again in March!
With much love and healing light,