The Shala will be closed Friday, February 3 for Disting/Imbolc/Vasant Panchami – the first of Spring.
February 3 marks the beginning of Spring. Not actual Spring – which comes with the Spring Equinox in March – but the seasonal shift that marks a turning away from Winter’s cold.
Disting means ‘woman’s assembly’, and is a traditional European tide that celebrates the beauty and strength of female energy. Likewise, this time of year – between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox – was considered a time of Learning, a time for concentration and deliberation, of contemplative thought, and dreams.
Likewise, Vasant Panchami, meaning “Spring Fifth Day”, also falls during this time. This holiday is dedicated to Saraswati, whose feminine energy is that of serene and calm expression.
Both tides are excellent opportunities to fast (meaning ‘refrain’ rather than ‘abstain’). And with such occasions, there is also a central theme on which to focus .. in this case, a simple question:
Know what you are in the hour of sleep ~
a mere body, a subtle soul, or a secret retreat of Light.
A fun family tradition here is the making of Corn Dollies, which can be given as gifts or hung in the home to bring good luck. (*)
I will be marking this tide in nature .. beneath moon and stars, sunshine or shade, at water’s edge and about a fire.
Have a joyous weekend and see you all on Monday (February 6).
Prem and Metta!
~ ~ ~
*Earth Rites: Fertility Practices in Pre-Industrial Britain, by Janet and Colin Bord