In northern Europe this was an important time as the first signs of spring begin to show and it was at this time of year that sheep began to give birth and lactate. This meant that there was food to survive until other sources became available. It was a time of hope after the long dark days of winter.
Also called Brigid's Day, this is a day when many pagans celebrate the renewal and rebirth of the Goddess from being the crone or lady of death, to the maiden. It is called Brigid's Day, as the Celts celebrated this popular three gold Goddess of healing, the forge, and poetry on this day. It is traditional to make a Brigid's cross (see below) or a doll representing her and place it in a bed symbolizing her rebirth.
Another name for this day is Candlemas. When the medieval church was unable to eliminate many pagan celebrations they adapted them. They changed the day to the celebration of Jesus' dedication in the temple. It is this association plus Brigid's association with the fire and the forge and the returning light of the sun, which all contribute this to being a celebration of light, particularly candles.
The only modern holiday left for this day is Groundhog Day. This is not without significance though, as the day was associated with animal augury. People would look at the movements of animals to try to predict the coming weather and how soon before they could start growing crops again. When the early settlers moved to North America, they took this tradition with them, where it survives as Groundhog Day.
Where I live I have to adapt the holiday as it is still the middle of winter here. I see it as a winter celebration and a reminder that we are halfway through and it will come to an end. I also celebrate it as a time to start some spring cleaning and to dedicate myself for the year to my plans made at New Years.
This February 2 the moon is in the fourth quarter and moves into the sign of Sagittarius. This makes it a great time for protective spells and clearing out clutter. Get rid of that which doesn't bring you joy, wether it's household accumulation, or negative habits or relationships. The sun in Aquarius also makes it a good time to focus on long term goals for learning and for bettering humanity as a whole. This could be a good time to direct some energy to world peace and harmonizing a divisive political environment.
Whatever you decide to do, wether you are celebrating or not, I hope you experience a renewal of hope and a beautiful upcoming Spring!
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