It is still winter. The skies are grey and the weather is cold and stormy. Many parts of the world are still covered with snow and ice. But winter is nearing its end, and though for the most part it still lies dormant, new life is beginning to quicken beneath the soil, just like the first small stirrings of an unborn baby inside its mother’s womb.
February 1 is Imbolc, also known as Candlemas. Imbolc is a cross-quarter day, midway between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox (Ostara). At Yule, the days slowly started getting longer, and at Imbolc the lengthening days are finally noticible. Although in many places this is the coldest time of the year, we are moving toward spring.