03 August 2012

As the Wheel turns ... the Imbolc Gateway

Last Wednesday evening saw a double event happening in the Botanic Park.  Not only was it the monthly Full Moon Gathering that the Temple of the Dark Moon hosts during the Winter months, but it was also Imbolc, the gateway, or the beginning, of Spring.  So despite the temperatures plummeting, a group of dedicated moon worshippers gathered.

The chilly night's air depicted the moon with a ring around it which is caused by the refraction of moonlight (which of course is reflected sunlight) from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring.

We were not the only inhabitants in the park this evening ... circling around the trees were a number of flying foxes that had been "removed" from the neighbouring Botanical Gardens last year due to the damage they were starting to cause to some of the rare plants within the gardens. 

The moon was in the astrological sign of Aquarius, a sign where, according to Lynn Haynes, the moon is not very "comfortable" in.  This is because Aquarius is unconcerned with the small feelings and fears of being human, yet during this full moon, our emotions are illuminated by the solar consciousness.  This means that we may have to take a good look at our inner worlds without necessarily becoming stuck in them.  With the sun in Leo, the key is to find balance between the polarity of individual ego (Leo) and transcendent universality (Aquarius).

As the Wheel of the Year has turned once again to show us a major gateway, the Greater Sabbat of Imbolc.  This sabbat marks the beginning of Spring.  As the earth slowly spins on its axis, we in the Southern Hemisphere find ourselves moving closer to the sun, and as this happens, our earth starts to warm up. 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Goddess Brighid is associated with Imbolc with her sacred day occurring from dusk on 1 February and concluding some 24 hours later.  This was the time when Brighid, with her white wand, is said to breathe life into the mouth of the dead Winter in order to make him to open his eyes to the tears and the smiles, the sighs and the laughter of Spring.

Candles were lit on Wednesday night from a flame that had travelled, through various incarnations, from the flame being burnt at Brighid's holy shrine at Kildar, Ireland.  These candles are to represent that things we wish to bring into our life ... As the sun gradually growths in strength and power, so too will our desires.

To the Yaraldi people of the Murray River and Lakes in South Australia, the time of growth and mating, riwun, has arrived. The narangateri (the blow-rain) with strong west winds occurred during this phase, and the cold easterly pilbiangk (south tidal winds) prevented the catching of fish.

Imbolc is also the time when, in the southwestern waters of Australia, the Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) arrive at their breeding grounds, as well as the reclusive platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) commences making home long the barks of small streams as it is the commencement of its breeding season as well.

A delicate balance is around us but everyday, as the southern part of the earth wobbles ever closer to the sun, the signs of life returning is more and more evident.

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