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The Forge and the Well

There are many hidden wonders below the ground's surface which we, as humans, tend to forget.

In the Northern hemisphere we find ourselves deep into winter. The cumulative effect of darkness begins to take its toll and we find ourselves longing for warmer, brighter days. Although the winter can feel long, it affords us a moment of pause if we allow. When we turn to the trees and notice their stillness we may feel the crispness of the air in a new way or sense a magic of possibility buried deep beneath the frozen ground.


There are many hidden wonders below the ground's surface which we, as humans, tend to forget. There is an extensive network of interconnected roots, fungi, bacteria and microorganisms that keep the world we see functioning and flourishing. The stillness of Winter asks us to slow down to remember what is happening beneath our feet on a deeper level within the Earth but also within our own growth.


In the traditions of the “Wheel of the Year” we are blessed with celebrations to help us remain connected to Nature. This connection allows us to remember what gifts the Earth bestows upon us and also how we can find peace, harmony and joy within our own lives by aligning ourselves with Nature’s Rhythms. Samhain (pronounced Sow-Win) marks the start of the calendar for the Wheel of the Year. It also coincides with Halloween (see previous article: Rooted in Rhythm). All things must die to be reborn. We pull all of the fruits of our labour in for the final harvest and sink into the darkest time of the year. As the days turn on and the weather gets crisp, we arrive at Winter Solstice or Yule. Yule reminds us that the darkness is not forever and the light is slowly returning with a promise of warmth and abundance with all the rebirthing Spring affords. This takes us to Imbolc meaning Ewe’s milk, also called Brigid’s Day. Imbolc is to fuel our hope that Spring will come but also a time of mystery, initiation and above all, commitment.


Brigid was known as a Goddess throughout the Celtic lands. She was made a Saint so the people could freely continue to celebrate her. Brigid represents the teacher, midwife, and foster mother making her highly respected as a triple Goddess. She is associated with life and all things that nurture life. It is this association that has her representing both the Well and the Fire. Wells act as the lifeblood of the Earth as the water provides cleansing and nourishment. Fire offers us the necessary warmth to take that nourishment and grow. With her protection of Fire, Brigid is also the guardian of the Forge/Hearth. The Forge represents our creativity, inspiration and the courage to soften under the heat in order to be shaped and moulded by our wisdom into something stronger.


As a fun way to observe the growth within us we can also look at Nature’s seasons through the lens of the Wheel of the Year and notice where the Chakras that could use our attention for deep growth and healing intersect.


Chakras are energy centers located within the body that can act as a compass in endless re-alignment of the mind, body and soul. Each Chakra symbolically connects to physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our always shifting and growing being. The word Chakra is Sanskrit and means “spinning disk or wheel”.


During Samhain and Yule, we really need to revisit our Root Chakra (associated with the colour red) and check in with our fears, our inner safety and our sense of belonging. Releasing what no longer serves can help us feel rooted in the Earth for stability.


The second Chakra, known as Svadhisthana in Sanskrit, is depicted by the colour Orange and associated with the water element. This Chakra is our creative power center and where we strive to bring the masculine and feminine energies of our own selves into harmony for true co-creative action. Our learning in this Chakra is to generate and protect life as well as to feel our body’s instinctual wisdom. Notice I said feel, not know!


The third Chakra known as Manipura in Sanskrit means the “city of shining jewel” and is represented by yellow and Fire. Our main learning and growth in this area is to affirm or heal our self-esteem, self-respect and integrity. When we step into the fire of the third Chakra with discipline, meaning we truly commit to our growth, then we are met with endurance and personal power that can lift us higher and take us further than we ever thought possible.


Looking to Brigid’s Day or Imbolc we see both the Well and the Forge surface for reflection. We must tend the water and clean away any mud or debris blocking the spring’s ability to flow. In pausing to honour our relationship with clean drinking water and clean waters to swim in, we can also visit our own inner creative center and look to where we require cleansing and nourishment. Brigid helps us to explore our relationship to water, purity, self respect, self-esteem and commitment to integrity.


As the sun returns, so do the waters thaw.


The masculine energy of the sun warms the mountain snows filling our rivers and underground wells for the feminine to flow and nourish and rebirth. It is a dance of strength and desire both inviting you to look closely at how you want to feel with the seeds you are soon to plant. As the sun begins to provide you with more hours to see, I invite you to explore what you are going to water and grow this Spring? What will you bring to the sacred forge to mould anew and then water and nourish the whole season through?


Tawny Stowe

tawnystowe.com

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