|Our Lady of the Antlers Tea With The Squirrels 2013|
Dear viewers, today is Groundhog Day. This day also marks the Christian festival of Candlemas, which the FreeDictionary defines as:
1. A Christian feast commemorating the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.
It is also apparently when the candles used in the church (especially the Catholic church) are blessed for the coming year.
Of course, as many of you know, the festivals of the major religions are often based on festivals with a pagan origin. Candlemas is no different. For example, this date was (is) celebrated in Gaelic tradition as the point midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox---Imbolc. The goddess Brighid is the focus here, with a later Christianization into Saint Brigid. It is often celebrated as a fire festival.
No matter how you slice or dice the religions, mainstream or otherwise, the basic root of all of these traditions lies in the cycle of the seasons. When humans were more directly dependent on the land which produced the harvest, livestock and wild game that kept them alive, festivals like these helped to mark the changing of the seasons and the different things that would have to be done for survival in each period.
I made this Imbolc/Candlemas display out of some shed antlers I found on my forest ramblings, some hand-dipped candles and a fabulous vintage Mary candleholder I found at a Goodwill some years ago.
As you might be able to tell, there is some writing on the candles. I embellished these candles with French script and I will make a little tutorial on how to do that soon.
However you mark this day, as Candlemas, Imbolc, Groundhog Day or as a simple Saturday in February, have a fine day and know that Spring is halfway here :)