In early February my group, KOTH, celebrated the sabbat of Imbolc. In a lot of areas, this time of year is celebrated as the Return of Spring (and the decline of winter- at least in the Southern US).
This past winter has been very active, not only up North, but here in the South as well. I can't remember the last time we had a "real" winter.Normally here in Louisiana, we have a couple of weeks at most of temps 32 degrees or lower. The temps usually range from 40-60 degrees. So imagine our surprise when we have had "wintry" conditions here for a few weeks now. We even got snow, sleet and lots of ice on the roads. We Southerners are not used to these conditions to say the least. So of course if the temp goes below 32 degrees, the state pretty much shuts down.
On February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and "predicted" 6 more weeks of winter (at least for that part of the country). In Louisiana we have our own version of Phil, called Pierre Shadeaux, pronounced "Shadow".
(taken from: http://weirdsouth.blogspot.com/2014/01/will-pierre-see-his-shadeaux.html)
Pierre is not a groundhog, but actually a nutria rat, which are plentiful in this area. The weather here on February 2nd was cloudy and downcast with rain for most of the day. So Pierre did not see his shadow. I guess only time will tell which rodent is correct :) The past couple of weeks (late February) have been warmer temps in my local area, with temps reaching highs of 70 (nighttime lows in 40;s). So maybe Pierre is on to something. I am normally a winter person, but this year I am ready for spring.
At this time of year we celebrate Imbolc, a time of regeneration, purification and dedication. KOTH celebrated with a ritual and feasting afterwards. This year we honored Brigid in her many aspects as a triple goddess and asked for her blessings of healing, knowledge, transformation and creativity just to name a few. We also rededicated ourselves to our gods and to following the ways of the ancient ones. Seeds were blessed and consecrated for future magical workings. And of course we ending with feasting. I don't ever remember having a celebration with out good food as a major part of the event. We Cajuns believe that we must live life to fullest, Laissez les bon temps roulet. (Let the good times roll).
I hope this season of Imbolc brings you health, prosperity and happiness. Be happy and make magic :)
May Brigid bless you always.