The Eagles of Candlemas
Paganism is not the religion of the polis, but the polis (loosely defined) can support your Paganism.
For the last two days, my Facebook feed has been filling up with people posting electronic clip art to the theme of “Happy Bridget / Imbolc / Candlemas.”
Me, I spent three hours today enjoying quality time with my snowblower, clearing out a foot of Happy Candlemas that fell in the past two days. (That’s my long wooded driveway, plus the one up to the guest cabin, plus an elderly neighbor’s driveway, in time for him to drive off to lunch at the senior center — he does have a 4WD pickup.)
I normally think of Candlemas as an “inner” holiday, compared to Yule. It marks what is usually my most productive writing time of the year. But I also like the idea of tying the quarter and cross-quarter days to events that somehow connect to the natural world, like the Chile & Frijoles Festival at the autumn equinox or the Yule log hunt.
Yet it was looking me in the face — and I had attended before: Eagle Days, this coming weekend! Except that bird plays havoc with the traditional esoteric astrological arrangement: Beltane, 15° Taurus (St. Luke-bull); Lammas, 15° Leo (St. Mark-lion); Samhain, 15° Scorpio (St. John-eagle); Candlemas, 15° Aquarius (St. Matthew-man).
Well, you can’t have everything. I have a blog post planned about the silliness of trying to jam Paganish stuff into neat categorial schemes.
Here on the Eastern Slope of the Rocky Mountains, we say a verse that contains ancient wisdom:
Winter in the spring,
Summer in the fall,
Fall in the winter,
And no spring at all.
So by that bit of local knowledge, this is the beginning of snow season. I don’t know how you work a fire festival into that, except that it is nice to have the increasing sunshine to melt April blizzards. Maybe the fire is in the head.
Have the wintering bald eagles arrived at Pueblo Reservoir? I really should pack up the spotting scope and go see. Happy Candlemas, eagles.