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Not having a pretty new image to show for this Imbolc hop, I wasn’t going to take part. However, what Aisling wrote to inspire us did just that. She spoke of Imbolc as being dedicated to Brighid, and representing the Hag of Winter giving way to the Maiden of Spring. And that’s exactly the inspiration behind the card I chose to represent Imbolc in the Celtic Lenormand deck.
I mentioned before that there are cards to represent each of the eight Pagan sabbats on the Wheel of the Year. For this time, the card is the Songbirds, which I’ve posted here before. It is also one of three "Goddess cards", representing the maiden aspect.
What you can’t really tell from this black-and-white sketch is that the ground is frosty, as the birds sit on a branch above a cold field in the early morning of an early February day - today! They are the companions of a Goddess called Cliodna, a fair-haired maiden Goddess in Celtic lore. What you also can't see here is that the birds are colourful: 1 blue with a crimson head, 1 crimson with a green head, and 1 speckled with a gold head. The birds eat magical golden apples from a silver blossomed tree, and heal with their song.
One way in which these cards can also be used, as well as for traditional Lenormand readings, is for meditation. Sinking into this card, I felt the cold of the frosty morning on my feathers, and my companions beside me. My journey to this cold field from warmer climes echoed in my memory, but also my hopes for the coming season in this more temperate location. I opened my beak, and began to trill. The other two birds joined in my song, their notes weaving in and around mine. I felt my individuality, but also my belonging.
That is something I believe we all need - to feel valued for ourselves, and still to be accepted by others, part of something greater than ourselves. This is also why I see talk as healing: talking with others is one way in which we can express ourselves, and also be heard. And likewise, we experience and validate others when they share with us.
While one bird does not make a Spring, and one idea does not mean we will succeed in a new project, now is the time to at least make a start on gestating hopes and dreams for the year to come. We can nourish them with water and warmth, and get support from those around us, whether just to clarify our thoughts, or in more practical ways.
Now, I hope you'll hop on over to Alison at This Game of Thrones, always plenty of inspiring material there!