February 8-9, 2014. The cold continued and we saw a few flakes,but there were stirrings of new things being born with light and life everywhere, chasing away the dark. In February we few eternally curious souls explored the mythology, tradition, lore, symbols and stories—old and new—that surround the season of Deep Winter.
In the northern half of the continent, and here in the Pacific Northwest where the seasons are very pronounced, the days are growing visibly longer by January’s end. We’re seeing the first thaw, the first flowers through the snow. Moving south, in the temperate regions, the early flowers are blooming and, even farther south, closer to the equator where the length of days and the temperatures don’t vary so dramatically, there’s still a change in the energy we walk through—in the cities and the countryside.
What are the traditions, rituals and celebrations at this time of year? We can feel new beginnings everywhere—the year is just gaining momentum and there’s a freshness to everything. February comes from the Latin Febuare, meaning “to purify”. So this is the month of purification, cleansing, initiation, dedication, beginning—leaving behind the old and embracing newness as it grows.
There are lots of occasions, dates on our calendars, some ever present and some more obscure, and we enjoyed talking about all of them! Of course we see Valentine’s—lots of pink and red—begin to appear even before New Year’s Day. Gold, green and purple draw us into Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday. Chinese New Year is red, red, red. And the groundhog? How does he tie to the ancient festival of Imbolc and Candlemas? We untangled that knot of connections.
We created a ritual, a celebration to connect the past with the present and make the future brighter as we reconnected to the turning of the year. We examined how Deep Winter turns to Early Spring and prepared ourselves recognize and honor that change in ways that are joyful, that look both back and forward and that filled us up with satisfaction. We had fun!
But you don’t have to take our word for it!
Judyth said, “The information was wonderful and I’ve already used some of it. I liked the relationship between the seasons and food. It’s obvious once you say it, but I hadn’t put that together until afterwards. You gave us information that related to other thoughts or projects I was already working on and have notes in that darling booklet that will remind me. Thank you for putting this series together!”
And Sara told us more.