Montana Wolf

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yesterday morning I walked the beach and came upon a gull, one bloodied wing, dangling at his his side. I was angry at myself for not having the ability to catch him, pick him up and twist his neck. To save him from a long, slow death. Then I realized the poignancy of the moment. It was Candlemas Eve.

February 2nd and the damned groundhog gets all of the attention. For those in the know, however, it's all about Brighid, the triple fire goddess of smithcraft, poetry and healing. It's about a celebration called Imbolc and later referred to as Candlemas; a festival of light to honor longer days and the hope of spring. Traditionally, lanterns were lit in front of houses and rituals used many candles. It is a cross-quarter holiday, mid-way between winter solstice and spring equinox. It beckons one to sense the subtleties; feel the stirring within.

I know in my head that the sun has turned around at winter's solstice but there's no way it feels like it. Cold, harsh January is still to come, despite slightly longer days. Welcome, February! I actually feel the sun's heat upon my flesh. Bird plumage turns bright with the urge to mate. With spring on the horizon and thaw a state of mind, I think about what I want to cut loose. Easier sometimes to take an ice pick to something rather than wait for it to melt and drip all around. More compassionate to wring the neck and give death than opt for slow torture. Especially so this year because it's also New Moon, a time of new beginnings.

So it is I light candles to beckon the sun. I will burn my dried holiday wreath in the firepit (when I have one, I burn my Christmas/Solstice tree). This was traditionally a time when sheep began to lactate in the old country. Thus, milk and cheese were part of the holy-day feast. I have no RV-sheep; but I will continue my tradition and take pesto from the freezer...basil and pinyon nut sauce I made this summer in Kaslo, BC with Carole and Chris.

I will chew slowly; savor sun and earth in every bite of pungent basil. 
I will twist the neck of hopeless dreams.


  1. Cherishing this post! As well as from your book, I have learned so much about our ancient roots in these vestigial traditions we reference and barely hold onto in our "modern" world.

    Looking forward to your future writings.

  2. Thank you. I so appreciate you dropping by and sharing your response.