Happy Dog Year and Imbolc

MM,

It’s been a busy few days. The sabbat Imbolc is upon us and I attended two Imbolc rituals last week (Thursday and Friday). Saturday I had the last little bit of my Reiki course and then had to rush off to my mother’s for Chinese New Year celebration. (For those who don’t know, Chinese New Year’s is the the second new moon after winter solstice.) Since I only had four hours of sleep on Friday night, I was quite exhausted by the time I got home Saturday night (midnight). Because of all the craziness the past weekend, I had Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to work on my Reiki manuals. Yes, I will be teaching Reiki, but I have to get things organized first.

Imbolc (which is traditionally on February 2) falls around the same time as the beginning of spring as marked in the Chinese calendar. This year it is quite close. The beginning of spring in the Chinese calendar occurs when the sun is 315 degrees longitude (or 15 degrees in Aquarius for the astrologers out there). This year the sun reaches this point on February 3. This is also known as “Imbolc crossquarter” (according to Llewellyn’s Witches Datebook) and is thought by some to be the proper timing for Imbolc. This idea does have its merits.

If you study the Chinese lunisolar calendar and then correlate the sabbats with the seasonal markers on that calendar, you can see how evenly the sabbats are placed throughout the year. The Essence of the Chinese Calendar shows these seasonal markers. Looking at the table provided on the web page, we see “Start of Spring” at 315 degrees sun longitude. This would be the sabbat Imbolc. Move down to the vernal equinox at 0 degrees sun longitude and we have the sabbat Ostara. Keep moving down the table, looking for the “start of (season)” and the solstices and equinoxes until you reach the end of the year. Correlating the sabbats with the seasonal markers on the Chinese calendar, we have the following:

Imbolc – start of spring – 315 degrees (15 degrees Aquarius)
Ostara – vernal equinox – 0 degrees (sun enters Aries)
Beltane – start of summer – 45 degrees (15 degrees Taurus)
Midsummer – summer solstice – 90 degrees (sun enters Cancer)
Lughnasadh – start of autumn – 135 degrees (15 degrees Leo)
Harvestide – autumnal equinox – 180 degrees (sun enters Libra)
Samhain – start of winter – 225 degrees (15 degrees Scorpio)
Yule – winter solstice – 270 degrees (sun enters Capricorn)

You will notice that the sabbats are celebrated every 3 solar segments according to this calendar. This I find has a nice balance and makes it easier to understand the sabbats as seasonal events. The other great thing about correlating the sabbats to the Chinese calendar is that the calendar is still in use!

This year, the dates of the sabbats based on the above will be as follows:

Imbolc – February 3
Ostara – March 20
Beltane – May 5
Midsummer – June 21
Lughnasadh – August 7
Harvestide – September 23
Samhain – November 7
Yule – December 21

Well, there you have it – Imbolc really is the start of spring (at least in climates similar to China’s – and the climate there varies depending on your latitude) and it is celebrated when the sun reaches 15 degrees Aquarius.

Bright Imbolc Blessings,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

3 Responses to “Happy Dog Year and Imbolc”

  1. Ecstatic Spirituality » Blog Archive » Last Few Rituals for January Says:

    […] Public ritual this Sunday will be celebrating Imbolc. (It is also the first day of spring according to the Chinese calendar, as on that day, the sun will be at 15 degrees Aquarius. See my previous blog entry.). It will be Celtic-focused and is dedicated to the three faces of Brighid, the patron of my website. I’m looking forward to the ritual. In fact, Imbolc was the first ritual I attended at WCC. […]

  2. Pneumatised! » Winter Solstice, Calendars, Upcoming Important Dates Says:

    […] time. You will note that I list Imbolc here as well. This was explained in my previous blog, “Happy Dog Year and Imbolc”. When I have the chance, I will check the dates and times for the major sabbats, Imbolc, Beltane, […]

  3. Joseph Says:

    Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment it was extremely

    [Reply]

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