The Dark Moon in Aquarius connects us to the unseen helpers who guide us on our path. This is a time to explore that which is normally hidden from our consciousness, whether intentionally or not. When delving into Shadow, it helps to have someone by our side, and our guides are here, waiting for us to call on them.
At this time of year, life is burgeoning, unseen, beneath a blanket of snow. We trust that growth is occurring, even though it remains hidden from view. So too is growth happening within each of us, and we can know and trust that emergence is immanent.
As this trust grows, we also become aware of the unseen forces, the guides, Goddesses, or spirits whose sole purpose is to assist us on our journey. Their presence may be subtle, initially, but as connection grows and strengthens, so too does their commitment to us.
The Dark Moon is a time for inner reflections, personal journeys and shadow work. What better time to take stock, to face our deepest fears, to meet and embrace our Shadow side. Communing with our dark self may lead to valuable personal insights. As we shine light on our darkness, we come to a place of healing. The Shadow self is the part of us that reacts from a place of unconscious fear. Once those fears are brought into the light, we can begin the process of healing.
Meeting the Hidden Helpers
Cast your Circle.
Take several deep, slow breaths and let go of the events of the day.
When you feel grounded and centered, close your eyes.
Visualize yourself walking through a field covered with snow. As you walk, you hear a faint gurgling sound.
Your follow the sound until you come across a small brook, the ice melt feeding the trickling flow of water.
As you bend down, you notice sprigs of green emerging from the soil. Despite the cold bleak landscape around you, in this tiny oasis, life is once again teeming.
You cup your hands and take a drink of the cold, refreshing water. Looking up, you see that someone has arrived, your guide on this journey into Shadow.
You feel warmth and love emanating from this person. They smile and you feel completely safe and reassured.
As you walk, side by side, your guide shares her wisdom with you. You can ask any questions that come to mind, for she is here to assist you on your journey.
As you continue walking together, you notice that the brook is growing wider, the flow stronger. The ice and snow is melting, clearing from your path. You see more and more plant life growing from the rich dark earth, and, eventually, you can see colourful spring flowers emerging.
Soon you are walking through a field of wildflowers. It is time to say goodbye to your guide, at least for a short while. She will always be here, awaiting you in this field of blossoms, whenever you are in need of guidance.
You ask her for some parting words or a symbol, and offer her a gift in return.
Ahead, you see a gate and walk toward it. Once through the gate, you come back into your body.
Dark Moon Blessings,
Early on Bride’s morn
The serpent shall come from the hole,
I will not molest the serpent,
Nor will the serpent molest me.
~ Celtic Hymn sacred-texts.com
Imbolc, celebrated on February 2nd, marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Imbolc is the harbinger of Spring, a return of the Sun, and a reminder that better times are coming. We begin to see buds on the branches and the sprouting of the first flowers of Spring. Although the ground may still be covered in snow, there is hope for renewal. We all seem to be in need of hope at this time. After a long hibernation through the cold winter months, we anticipate the warmer weather to come. We may feel a quickening within, the urge to purify, to cleanse our home, or to plan our gardens. There is a sense of excitement in the air as we move out of the stagnancy of Winter into the hopeful promise of Spring. Like the animals emerging from their burrows, or the buds appearing on trees, so too is our own winter retreat nearly at an end.
February 2nd also celebrates the Goddess Brigid, the patroness of the forge, healing and birth. Her Sacred Flame re‐ignites our passion for life and stokes the fires of our inspiration. On the eve of Imbolc, also known as Brigid’s Night, we honour the Goddess with sacred bonfires or lighting candles. This is an ideal time to re‐dedicate ourselves to our spiritual path, consecrate our magickal tools in Her name, or practice divination.
So where does the Groundhog fit into all this? North Americans have grown up with tales of Groundhogs predicting the weather on this day. But is there any truth to this peculiar divinatory practice? The Groundhog tradition is simply the latest incarnation of an ancient ritual commemorating the Sun Goddess emerging from Her cave at Winter’s end. Snakes, a symbol of the Divine Mother, may have been the first to be associated with this emergence. Other animals include Bears, Badgers, and, of course, Groundhogs. Our ancestors were much more in tune with the cycles of nature, paying close attention to animal behaviour, in order to determine the best times for planting, harvesting and herding. Hibernation, migration and breeding occur in sync with the climate, making animals ideal predictors of the changing cycles in nature. There is much debate as to the origins of using animals as prognosticators of weather in North America, but it does seem to trace back to Europeans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 18th century. The earliest written records of Groundhog divination are dated to 1841.
“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day; The day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as weather is to be moderate.”
‐excerpt from the diary of James Morris of Morgantown, PA
We can view our famous furry forecasters as a modern take on an ancient custom. Amidst the pageantry, cameras and sound bites, there is something intriguing about the Groundhog, and our behaviour changes based on its predictions. Better still, we can avoid the fuss, and go out into nature ourselves, paying close attention to the animals, birds and trees around us. And know that, all too soon, we will be saying farewell to the bitter cold of Winter and welcoming in the warmth of Spring.
Imbolc Eve Tarot Spread
The First Card: Planting the seed. What is it that you would like to grow in the coming months?
The Second Card: Now that you have planted the seed, what do you need to do to nourish and sustain it?
The Third Card: What do you need to let go of in order to create space for the seedlings to grow?
The Fourth Card: Unexpected obstacles. What might get in the way of growth and what can you do to avoid or minimize damage?