Posted by: JanF | February 2, 2013

The Promise of the Light

Today marks the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Astronomically, it looks like this:

More importantly, it means that the promise of light from Winter Solstice is being fulfilled.

On December 21, sunrise (near where I live) was 7:15am and sunset was 4:22pm.

Today, February 2nd, sunrise was 7:02am and sunset will be at 5:06pm: a gain of 13 minutes in the morning and 44 minutes at night … a total of 57 minutes. Over the next two days, we add another 6 minutes making it more than a full hour of additional sunlight since Winter Solstice.

Of course, that is the sciencey stuff. We know that there is more to it than that.

Twice a year, at the solstice holidays, Basement Cat and Ceiling Cat are locked in mortal combat over the Light. At Summer Solstice, Basement Cat prevails and the light starts receding … gradually at first and then more quickly until the light and dark are equal at the Autumnal Equinox.

The daylight continues shrinking and then … on Winter Solstice … ceiling cat prevails!!

Today, as the midpoint between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox arrives, the memory of basement cat has begun to fade …

… as light is peeking in from every corner

… from around every doorway

… from above and below us

… popping up where you least expect it

… through every nook and cranny

Until finally, on March 20th, we will have just as much light as dark. I promise!

The promise of the light always reminds me of HylasBrook, a woman who, while no longer present on this earthly plane, lives in our hearts. Her words:

“I love the wheel of the year – I love how it marks not only the different seasons, but on the ‘cross quarter days’ one begins to see signs of the season to come.”

Imbolc is defined as a cross-quarter day on the wheel of the year, midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara). The precise astrological midpoint in the Northern hemisphere is when the sun reaches fifteen degrees of Aquarius. Among Dianic Wiccans, Imbolc (also referred to as “Candlemas”) is the traditional time for initiations. In Wicca, Imbolc is commonly associated with the goddess Brigid, and hence the Wiccan Goddess, and as such it is sometimes viewed as a “women’s festival”.

To all my pagan friends, Blessed Imbolc! And to everyone, may the light find you and bring you the warmth of the early spring and the promise of new beginnings.

(A version of this was originally posted on February 2, 2012).