|The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple by Hans Holbein|
For many years on the cross quarter day of Imbolc, I have had dreams about different aspects of this seasonal pivot. Usually, the dream shows me how this special time of year is a gateway to other seasonal markers. The first recorded dream I have of this nature occurred on Febraury 2, 2006. It clued me in to track this calendrical trend.
"A black dragon chases me through the water in a cathedral. It is simultaneously Easter and Christmas. A man is using a shell as a pendulum; it is important that I get it back from him, and I do. I am at a Christmas revival, but it is also Easter. I go into a trance and am sweating and nearly hyperventilating. When I open my eyes, I am standing against the wall crucifying myself in the light. There is an Easter egg with money in it."
The dream had an urgent power to it that caused me to research "Easter and Christmas," which landed me on an article about Candlemas, a Christian holiday that commemorates the presentation of Jesus, 40 days after his birth. The celebration takes place on February 2, the same day I had the dream. The article states, "Traditionally, Candlemas had been the last feast day in the Christian year that was dated by reference to Christmas. Subsequent moveable feasts are calculated with reference to Easter."
Six years later, on January 31, 2012, I dreamed:
"A woman has two sons, one born on 'the Christmas Equinox,' and one born on 'the Easter Equinox.' The boys have another brother, too, who was born somewhere between these two special dates. A Celtic cross, they called it, to have two sons, one born on the first Equinox, the other on the second."
Both dreams involve the image of a cross, in the form of a crucifix and a Celtic cross. (I am thinking of the quadrant of the year, among other meanings.) Both use a blend of Christian and pre-Christian symbolism and language to illustrate this time of year. Both suggest the simultaneity, or at least the conjoined nature, of these significant cyclical nodes: Christmas/Winter Soltice, Candlemas/Imbolc, Easter/Vernal Equinox.
|image from http://www.drireneblinston.com|
Unfortunately, my data contains several gaps. For some reason, I simply haven't transcribed the dreams from my handwritten dream journal into my electronic one for many years during the early part of February. (This discrepancy can be meaningful in and of itself.)
But this year, on February 2, I recorded another dream that merges seasonal markers. This time, the dream connects Imbolc (February 1-ish) and Samhain (October 31-ish):
"It is Halloween! I am getting ready, setting out decorations so people know to trick-or-treat at my house. I am buying candy."
Looking back over the years, I notice that I have many visitation dreams around the time of Imbolc. I often see my grandmother. Encounters with the deceased are usually thought to be hallmarks of Samhain, when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. In my experience, a similar window exists around Imbolc. Or perhaps more precisely, a portal exists between Imbolc and Samhain. I am thinking now of how the Mound of Hostages at the Hill of Tara is aligned to receive the sunrise on both Imbolc and Samhain. The rising Sun's identical position in the sky naturally links these two days.
|image from MauiCeltic.com|
Imbolc is the goddess Brigid's time of year (or St. Brigid's time of year, depending on where you stand). She is the goddess/saint of poetry, smithing, medicine, arts and crafts, cattle, and Spring. I love her. She holds the balance of fire and water with her hearth fires and holy wells. On February 5, 2013 (that's today), I had a very clear and simple dream of how many women of Celtic descent are simply expressions or emanations of the goddess Brigid herself. She knows herself through their actions, and vice versa.
A few days "early," on January 25, 2013, I had a very special dream that spoke of how megalithic monument Newgrange, in my ancestral homeland of Ireland, may be used on Imbolc. I have been taught by my elders to keep such dreams private, to be shared only with discretion, if at all. It is my great desire to piece these ancient traditions together into a beautiful mosaic that only a tribally-rooted circle of dreamers and historians can create.
Lastly, at the request of my beloved teacher Apela Colorado, here is some (unsynthesized) music for the season of Imbolc. This beautiful song is called Gabhaim molta Bride, or Brigid's Song: