Well it is. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Christian or Pagan, the time from sunset on February 1 to sunset on February 2 is a big deal. It’s the official start of Spring – I know the East Coast is still waiting for Winter and the Midwest is still buried under the white stuff, but according to the ancient calendar this is the beginning. Like all beginnings, it’s slow going.
During this month the ancients prepared for planting and we aren’t so different- think of the seed catalogs that are lining our mailboxes right now. Also during this month the ancients began to plan for livestock births (it was too expensive to feed baby animals during the cold months, so February was the time to let your livestock hook-up
for spring summer births)….hence the earliest beginnings of Valentines Day.
No, really. In expectation of a fertile future the Pagan holiday was referred to as Imbolc (or Im-Bolg, meaning around the belly)
A crossover between Pagan and Christian tradition is St. Brigid. Brigid was a fire and
fertility goddess and her celebration was February 2. St. Brigid founded the first Convent in Ireland. The church crossed the two and St. Brigid’s day is February 2. Her celebration is a nod to the ancients by lighting candles. The candle ritual is also known as Candlemas, in order to honor the Christ as the “Light of the World” (John 8:12) the churches were filled with light from ….candles.
According to Jewish tradition, women go through a purification ceremony 40 days after giving birth to a son. Once Christianity adopted December 25 as the official birth day of Christ, and 40 days later is February 2, hence the Feast of Purification. To honor the Purification, Lent was often started February 4, as a symbolic rite of personal purification.
No matter how you slice it, February, especially the first and second, is a big spiritual and action month.
How it applies for us today is that by February we know which New Year’s Resolutions are possible and which should be trashed. This is the month to set those serious resolutions in motion. Start working on your garden, be it metaphorical or in the ground. If your weight loss goals can’t be done on your own but you are really serious, now is the time to join a gym, go to Weight-Watchers, or get a Beachbody coach. If you want to get organized but just haven’t been able to get traction, now is the time to take stock and make a plan. The seasonal Juju doesn’t happen on New Years – that’s the time for dreaming and wishing. The seasonal Juju is February!!!
Oh yeah, and a word about Lent. In the world of balance, we need to give up something to get something. Whether you are Catholic or not, this year think of what you can give up. If you’re trying to get healthy, give up watching TV for 30 minutes in the evening and take a
walk. Give up sugar,to gain a smaller waist line. Give up buying stuff. Give up a bag of stuff everyday and give that stuff to charities. Your Lenten sacrifice could be in line with the seeds of desire that you’re planting. Maybe even good for the World.
Yup, this month is a big deal. Start by celebrating today.