Groundhogs and tater tots and candles - it's time to celebrate February 2nd!

You may have heard that I’m Pagan. I mention this because most of what I do is practiced through that lens, including magical or spiritual days. In my tradition, they’re called Sabbats, and they take place on the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarters - the days approximately halfway in between the others. The great thing about the Sabbats is that they fall on or near days that are either celebrated by other religions or are celebrated secularly (at least in the US). Why should you care? Because you don’t have to be Pagan to have a seriously good time on these days.


And guess what? One of those days is coming up next week! Fuck yeah! In my world, February 2 is Imbolc (technically it starts in the evening of the 1st). It is the cross-quarter, or midpoint, between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere). It’s also Groundhog Day, St. Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, and according to some random website I found, [http://www.holidayscalendar.com/categories/weird/] National Tater Tot Day.


I’m not going to go into too much depth about what this all means because quite frankly, your religious and spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, should dictate how you celebrate. According to my beliefs, Imbolc is an ancient Celtic celebration of the first day of spring and the Goddess Brigid, and it is a day of cleansing. Obviously there are a lot of places in the world where it’s really the heart of winter, so it can be difficult to get into the spring mindset when you’re buried in 3 feet of snow and freezing your ass off. I’ve always appreciated the Christian tradition of lighting candles, and I view it as a way to stave off the cold and darkness of the year.


In my part of the Pacific Northwest, there are usually buds on trees and crocuses beginning to sprout, so I like to celebrate the early return of spring by going on a nature walk. If you’re in one of the aforementioned cold-as-fuck places, maybe you could build a snowman or get cozy with a blanket and a hot cup of tea. Regardless of where you live, you can get a head start on your spring cleaning, and light a bunch of candles to help banish the cold and dark of the winter. And maybe eat tater tots. Because tater tots.


Whatever your beliefs, do something on Imbolc that makes you feel good because it is a slog to get through winter - this one especially. Bring a little spring into your world by planting some seeds indoors, take a candlelit bath, watch live footage of Punxsutawney Phil, or watch the comedic classic Groundhog Day. And if you want to bring some woo in, do a divination (all Sabbats are great times for that), some candle magic, or a full-blown ritual where you call on the Celtic Goddess Brigid and ask for Her blessings and protection. Just be aware that she is a fertility goddess, so be really specific if you don’t want to end up giving birth to a Scorpio.


Happy Imbolc!


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