Milverton, Somerset

Hedgerow Chaplin February update

As we enter into our last winter month, we start to see the real and exciting world of God’s great creation and the next round of seasonal changes.
To start with, we now move into the time of light. The earth is reawakening, there could be snowdrops and crocuses starting to appear to herald the beginning of spring and new life all around. A truly exciting and ‘light’ time after the ‘dark’ of the full winter. It will be very gradual through the month, but at least that awakening is happening!
The first of the month, through to the second is the Celtic time of Imbolc, marking the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It is the time for the Celtic Festival of Fire and Light, involving burning lamps and lighting bonfires. It is Natures call to the farmers of the land, heralding the start of the agricultural year, when the earth warms up and everything begins to grow.
These celebrations are also in honour of St Brigid. The Celtic word ‘Brig’ means Exalted One. She was a triple Goddess with Fire of Inspiration…patroness of poetry. Fire of the Forge…patroness of smith-craft and Fire of the Hearth…patroness of healing and fertility. She is linked to prophecy, divination, agriculture, dairy and livestock, as well as links to Holy Wells which were ‘dressed’ to honour her or to ask for help and assistance. She is known for her ‘St Brigid Cross’ and corn and grain dollies.
Candlemas or Festival day of the Candles on the 2 February, is more a Christian celebration, but with aspects of Imbolc, and is associated with the return of light and where candles were blessed ready for the coming year. The main point of Candlemas is that of Jesus presentation at the temple and also the purification of Mary.
Look skywards within many churches and chapels in the land and you no doubt will see at least one Green Man! He is a symbol of growth after winter, new life after old, renewal and rebirth, with the vines, leaves and flowers springing from his lips. Why they are there is uncertain, no mention in Bibles but probably retained from the earlier Pagan periods?
The Full Moon this month falls on the 16 February at 1656 and is called the Snow, Ice or Storm moon. Names which need no explanation, which also means, it won’t be warm all month!
The New Moon on the 1 February is interesting, as it is in Aquarius. This is a really positive moment making it a good time to focus, make plans, work on those hopes and dreams as the world and season wakes up and with new life.
And finally…….Don’t forget the 14 February, St Valentines Day. Have a lovely day!  xxx
The Pilgrimage Walk for February will be on Tuesday 15 February. We will meet at Fitzhead Church at 10.30am for a walk of around 3 miles.
Please do contact me for any questions or to let me know you are coming.
Steven Wort