In Ireland, the first day of February marks the start of Spring, as an old poem we learnt in school states: Anois teacht an Earraigh beidh an lá dul chun síneadh, – “Now Spring is coming and the days will start getting longer“. It is the Celtic feast of Imbolc, one of their four great seasonal fire festivals, this one halfway between solstices, with themes of light and fertility, hidden seeds and new life.
In the Irish Christian calendar this became St Brigid’s Day, (Lá Fhéile Bríde), which this year is marked for the first time by a Bank Holiday and has given rise to a lot of interest in Brigid, especially here in County Kildare.. This interest in the feminine principle in nature and spirituality reflects a desire to move away the predominant patriarchal and power-based paradigm found in Western society – and in most religious traditions – and to find new ways of thinking and relating and being.
From a spiritual vantage point our major life task is much larger than making money, finding a mate, having a career, raising children, looking beautiful, achieving psychological health, or defying aging, illness, and death. It is a recognition of the sacred in daily life — a deep gratitude for the wonders of the world and the delicate web of inter-connectedness between people, nature and things — a recognition that true intimacy based on respect and love is the measure of a life well lived. This innate female spirituality underlies an often unspoken commitment to protect our world from the ravages of greed and violence
Joan Borysenko, A Woman’s Book of Life: The Biology, Psychology, and Spirituality of the Feminine Life Cycle