Imbolc (pronounced EE-MOLG) is one of the Celt’s four fire festivals and commemorates the change of seasons from winter to spring. The 2nd of February is also known as Candlemas and Brigid’s Day. This Sabbath celebrates the first signs of spring, and the successful passing of winter. It’s a day when the ancient Celts honoured the rebirth of the Sun, and celebrated the goddess Brigid who overseas poetry, healing, smithcraft and midwifery. It’s a celebration of new beginnings, a rebirth from winter to spring.
In Scotland, this tradition is still celebrated openly, with the Snowdrop Festival and other ways to commemorate the passing of winter, and the first signs of spring. The Scottish Storytelling Centre is even hosting an event in honour of Brigid, retelling ancient tales of the goddess and saint through ceilidh and music. So why am I talking about an ancient pagan festival?
Well, because I think small synchronicities can have a deeper meaning, and this festival and the day on which it falls has special significance for me. It’s the day I land in Scotland to begin a new life. It could just be some coincidence that I land in my new home on the day that has traditionally been about new beginnings, but I have learned that there are no such things as coincidences. It two seemingly unconnected events have some significance for you, then the synchronicity has something to tell you, something to teach you. For me, the fact that I am beginning my new life on the day of the traditional start of spring is a good sign.
Carl Jung first explained the concept of ‘synchronicity‘ as events which seem to have no causal relationship to each other, and yet appear to be meaningfully related. This concept was coined when Jung’s patient spoke of her dream of a Golden Scarab, and the next moment a Golden Scarab (rare for that part of the world) knock into his psychotherapy office window during their session together. We have all experienced such events that brings to question: is the relationship between these two events random, or is there a greater, hidden power at play here. The concept of synchronicity, and the resulting powerful archetypal changes these series of random events could bring, fascinated Carl Jung to the point he even wrote a book on the principle, Synchronicity: An Acasual Connecting Principle.
Jung was convinced synchronistic events could reveal an underlying unity of mind and matter, of subjective and objective realities. It is interesting to note that Jung’s fascination with physics began very early in his career after a series of dinners with Albert Einstein. It was these discussions that influences his own theory on psychic synchronicity. As progress is made in terms of quantum physics and our understanding of how our perception influences and changes our experience of our reality, it becomes more important as enlightened beings in an interconnected Universe to pay attention to synchronicities and coincidences and the meanings these have for ourselves.
So landing in Scotland on Imbolc to me gives me hope that the seeds of dreams I’ve
planted for the future have been taking root, and that the new cycle ahead will be one of prosperity and growth for me. After the winter of the last few years, this new beginning makes me hopeful there is the whisper of spring around the corner.