Tomorrow, a sideways sickle will hang in the winter sky like a smile, like a chalice.
It’s the first sliver of moonlight after the dark moon. It’s the The Priestess Moon, the Imbolc of the month.
Under this moon, I will creep through the winter leaves, wet with rain, and climb to a favorite mossy rock shrouded in dripping rhododendrons, twisted and curved into a bower.
The underground spring set loose by the recent rains will gurgle near by, harmonizing with the rush of the big creek below.
I will set a small tea light on the rock, and wait to light it. I want to be only with the light, that fresh light, of the moon for awhile.
Then I will strike the wooden match, hold it to the wick, and wonder how long it will last in the rain.
Imbolc is a gamble, after all. Survival, even of a candle flame, is not guaranteed in a world comprised ultimately of weather and elements.
That’s why I’ll be out in the rain, though my hearth is much nicer.
And why I’ll be up in the woods though staying too wet for too long out in these temperatures will have consequences.
Because I want to feel Imbolc. I want to remember that I am wild, elemental. Partly, at least.
I’m also part regular-old-person watching Netflix and trying not to eat too many carbs while my broken heart heals; tracking Amazon orders and wondering what I should post on Instagram.
Letting myself be both is important to me, and to my magic.
Too long with Netflix, I lose the ability to listen to the more subtle whisperings of Nature and the deep hum of the magical human.
Too long in the woods and I forget how to work a computer or pay bills, and lose my cherished life on this property.
So under the Priestess moon, I will leave my warm hearth scented with spruce and clove, leave whatever show I’m binging or book I’m wolfing down, and go get a little uncomfortable for the sake of balance.
I’ll leave my cozy couch to watch a vulnerable little candle flame flicker and fight in the rain, as my own circulation flickers and fights to keep me warm.
But not before I set soup and tea on the stove to warm, greeting me upon my return.
Not before I stoke the fire and set the air just right so it’s a golden mass of heat instead of a burned up waste.
After being out under that moon, after feeling the importance of my Imbolc vows deepen as I comprehend the similarity of their tenderness and the flickering candle, I will walk back to my hearth with pink cheeks and roaring chi.
That’s when my lifeforce is strong, when I realize that it’s not promised, not guaranteed.
When my chi roars, my channel flows, my “temple” is sturdy and stable, and I can do the work of Priestess archetype.
But when I take my comforts for granted, when I think I’m entitled to some experience or another, when I think my future is promised, my chi is bullshitty. Too bullshitty for Priestess medicine, for sure.
This is a discipline and a devotion for me, to wonder about, then notice, then replicate what enlivens my lifeforce.
At Imbolc, and under the Priestess moon, my lifeforce stirs and wants enlivening.
And so enlivening it shall have.
love & chi
PS: this is me after carrying in a ton of firewood, chi roaring.