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  1. It is finally February Eve and I am thankful that January has it's coat on about to leave.  

    Tonight is a magickal night ~ Brigid's Eve, Imbolc Eve a glorious Celtic fire festival is here, as well as the Chinese Lunar New Year ~ the year of the Water Tiger and the New Moon.  I mean, I think we all get the hint that NOW is the time for New beginnings and get rid of the old and stale! Promise and Positivity is in abundance. Even the cold winds of January seem to be blowing extra hard to get the winds of change to slap our " I've been hibernating through winter skin" 

    February brings in Imbolc ~ Now the fixed date of this is Feb 1st/2nd but some calculate it astronomically to fall at the midway point between the Winter Solstice & the Vernal Equinox which is usually in the first week of February. 

    Imbolc, one of four cross-quarter days and one of the four lunar fire festivals, screams Spring Cleaning, Purification & keeping your eyes peeled for stirrings of Spring at you. 

    I will be honest with you, I do not always participate too much in this festival or Sabbat, it is not one that usually resonates with me ~ although i am very grateful to be able to put on the heating, rather than huddle around the hearth and be relying on my candles only for focus points and ambience, rather than to be lighting my way around my rather dark and gothic abode.  That being said, I cannot wait to get my grabby little hands on February and put the energy of the month to creativity and no planning.  There I said it, I have spoken these words out loud. (my Virgo nature is looking on in absolute horror. haha!)

    My challenge this month for myself is to fly by the seat of my extremely thought out pants and do something i usually wouldn't. Spontaneously.  Do you have any Challenges or goals you are trying to achieve? Did anyone set any New Years resolutions? Anyone else think January has 99 days? 

    However you are spending the next few days I hope they are filled with Magick 

    Blessings from the Covenstead

    Rowan 

    imbolc2

  2. April 30th ~ Walpurgisnacht or Hexennacht ~ Witches Night

    The air is full of the promise of Spring, however, you can feel that Winter wants to hang on just that little bit longer, with its overcast skies and clouds full of ice cold tears. Quite appropriate then really for Walpurgisnacht, or the alternate name, Hexennacht (Witches night). 

    The transition between Winter and Summer, a liminal point, a time between times where veils between worlds thin, and supernatural forces come out to play or cause havoc!  Beltane sits opposite the wheel to Samhain, where the veil between the living and the dead becomes thin. At Beltane, it is between the human world and the faerie and nature spirits that thins. 

    In Celtic traditions, It was believed that witches and evil supernatural forces took to the skies to scare folk, spreading malevolence throughout the land. The evil, cold and shadowy (therefore bad) winter spirits make one last ditch attempt to stop the good summer spirits claiming the land for summer completely.

    So townsfolk rang church bells and made all the noise they could to scare off the dark forces moving through the air.  They lit bonfires and torches, hung rowan, primrose and red thread crosses on the barns to protect their animals. Vigils were kept throughout the night until the rise of the Sun at dawn. When Winter would be defeated and Summer was on the way.

    In Germany on April 30th, people believed that Witches and demons all met up on the highest peak of Harz mountain, where two rock formations known as The Devils Pulpit and The Witches Altar eeriely sit, and at the stroke of midnight, would fly on their broomsticks, pitchforks and goats to prevent the Queen of Spring from entering the country. Thus began a battle of Winter, that was seen as evil, and Spring, which was seen as good.  All the goats and brooms got hidden, and loud noises such as whip cracking and door slamming were said to keep the spirits at bay, and large fires would be lit to scare off the demons. 

    Flight and fires are a common theme throughout Europe on this night. I for one will be out dancing among the flames and probably causing havoc in my household as it is also my husbands birthday, so a few pints of Guiness or mead shall be consumed!

    Blessings 

    Rowan Beltane