Wednesday 3 February 2016

At Imbolg-In the Belly

A Festival of any sort ? What is it really about?
Apart from the eating and carousing that is....

And Imbolg, the Celtic Fest that says goodbye to winter?
There's lots of info out there about this Cross Quarter Day...
so-called because it refers to the day midway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Astronomically speaking, this year it falls on 4th February

It's good to stop and so I do.

Instead of writing blog for two days I have been busy engaging with Imbolg.
Gathering rushes ( locating them, of course , no mean feat) a lot of walking! and then making Brigit's Crosses. A finicky business if you are like me, all fingers and thumbs and no skill.
But with the help of You-tube- I made a few crosses, some taut, some loose.
And then the poem that has been baking meanwhile: overcooking, undercooking.., dipping in the middle, burning underneath....

So here are two offerings of festival poems...


Brigit’s Cross

Its strength lies in the fold.

You bend the rush firm and hold,
fingers fastening it to the centre.
Turn it clockwise and return, again and again.

It’s the last rush that decides whether your lattice will hold

or fall apart
or hang slack

woven through with chinks of light.

At Imbolg

Stooped to the rhythm of sickle
we gathered rushes from the bog
Or, with our hands, pulled stems
that raised wheals and reddened palms.

We lay them in piles
Then folded and turned and turned and folded
until we made a centre that would hold
against fire.

Not knowing then that she was daughter of Dagda
Celtic Goddess, Crone turned Maiden each Spring
And that we were cutting deeper than bog,
i mbolg, at imbolg.

Copyright  with Cathy Leonard 2016 


  1. Imbolg, Setsubun, Chandeleur,... All around the world, we are banishing winter away!

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  3. It will take all of us to do that!