Thursday, February 2, 2012

Imbolc Wistlepig

Tradition calls for a badger (groundhog, whistlepig), snake
or hedgehog to make an appearance on February 2.
It all depends on where you call home.

 Imbolc is here and all we have to show that Spring will arrive soon is mud!  Here in PA, the tradition of the groundhog seeing his shadow is astonishingly central to people's midwinter conversations.  I have plans for a nice celebration with others in my circle on Saturday night... a meal of milk foods and fresh breads, a fire and the making of traditional wheat crosses.  I will put a bowl of holly and ice cubes (for we are without snow) to melt and remind us that the thaw is sure to come now that the days are longer.

In this part of PA, German families have held the fort since the mid 1600's, and with them many traditions found in few other places.  Midwinter celebrations among the old wise ones of Germany included watching a badger's hole. If the day was sunny, 6 more weeks of winter, if clouds rule the day, the badger may emerge as a sign winter is at its end.