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Archive for February, 2019

A couple of nights ago, not long after Candlemas, I woke up at 4am with our farm animals on my mind. The fire was out, the wind was howling, and it was freaking cold even under the covers. Outside, the temperature had dropped to -40 degrees Celsius. Factor in the wind chill and it was close to -50. As I tried to get some warmth back into my toes, I began to worry about the animals outside. Our small herd of cattle, horses, and sheep are all well suited to northern climates, but this type of deep cold is hard on them. I said a prayer, and envisioned them blanketed by a protective warm layer of light and love. I added another Spirit-song for the dogs, and all the other wild creatures on and around the farmstead. I’m glad they are resilient, but I can’t help but feel concerned for all the wights abroad on a night such as that.

In his recent “Tea with a Druid” blogpost, OBOD Chief Philip Carr-Gomm reminded us that Goddess / Saint Brigid is patroness, among other things, of farm work and cattle. I take great solace in this old teaching, especially in the depth of winter that is Imbolc on the Canadian prairies. Not for us the happy bloom of fragile snowdrops. Not for us the warming breezes of spring’s first gleam. Instead, a bone-chilling, spirit-crushing, unrelenting polar vortex of winter. So in the midst of this brutal weather, what can Imbolc mean?

For me, for now, I find hope in the changing light. Dawn comes sooner, and with it a hint of warmth for the animals, and for us. Spring, real spring, is still months away. But it will come. The Wheel will turn, and the ever-enduring animals will be enjoying green pasture and blessed warmth once again.

In the meantime, I continue to sing Brigid’s blessing on our herd, each time I go out to do the milking. May you and your herd be blessed as well, as we walk through the northern winter.

Mother Mary, bless my cow.
Holy Brigid, bless my cow.
Saints and angels, bless my cow,
O bless my cow.
God our Mother, bless my cow.
Good Lord Jesus, bless my cow.
Lady Wisdom, bless my cow,
O bless my cow.
Amen.

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