Hi, and Happy February!
This month is when I really feel inspired to put things into action. January is still dark and slumber-y and a continuation of the winter rest period.
This year I’ve decided to do a bullet journal, which is basically just a planner that you make for yourself in a blank notebook, customized with your own drawings and designs, and whatever other pages you want to use, such as monthly goals, reflections and habit tracking. And of course calendars and weekly planners.
I chose this blank notebook from Rifle Paper Co, because I LOVE the design and colours.
I did do a cover for January, but I was too shy to post it because I was not happy at all with how my evergreen drawings turned. I used coloured pencils, which I’m not used to. But, I’ll show it here anyway. I’ve added the Norse runes associated with the season in the design.
I should mention if its not obvious, that I do the cover drawings separately
and then glue them in my notebook.
For February I decided to do a water-color design. I did some roses, even though we don’t have them naturally at this time of the year, but it is something we are looking forward to and they are a classical symbol of life and femininity, which has to do with Imbolc, explained below. I wanted to do drawings of foliage that are actually around at this time, so that’s why I still am sticking with some evergreen for February, as there is no new green sprouting yet. The leaves are a reddish brown because that’s the colour the wild rose leaves look during the winter. I’ve added some Norse runes again associated with Imbolc, which I’ll explain the meaning of below.
If you like this design and the meaning of the rune symbols, there will be a link at the bottom of this blog post to download a free printable version. You can print it out and add it to your own journal if you like. If you share it on Instagram, be sure to tag me @imbrittanyleah 🙂
Since I’ve decided to learn about wild plants and follow along with nature’s seasonal changes, getting to know the old earth-based traditions has been a natural offshoot of that, especially since I’ve always had a keen interest in ancient history.
I find that keeping in mind all of the old festivals throughout the year (there are 8), helps to be more grounded, intentional, connected to the environment and helps with planning ahead. It also just makes life more fun.
I find it necessary to mention that I am NOT a wiccan. I think that the gods and goddesses are archetypes of human consciousness and maybe represent aspects of nature and humanity.
Anyways, on with Imbolc …
The first and second of February are traditionally marked as the festival of Imbolc, in ancient Europe. It marks the divide between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and from now on, we will be noticeably getting more sunlight. It is a celebration preparing for Spring.
This time is represented by the goddess Brigit, who I think is an aspect of the mother Goddess in general. She is known to be a triple goddess, and during this time she is coming out of her crone phase of Winter and into the maiden phase of Spring.
She is a fire goddess, associated with light and sun. As such, this time of the year is when life is starting to stir again after a winter hibernation.
The symbolism of fire and light and return of the sun can mean for us new creative energy, sparks of inspiration and birthing new ideas.
Purification is also a theme of this time and I think this has to do with the purity of re-birth and new beginnings. Fire is associated with purification since it is a destructive force, and from destruction comes creation.
The name Imbolc means “in the belly” and so symbolically, life is not yet manifested, but is stirring. There is also an aspect of probability and chance involved with this time as it is unknown how the future will play out.
This brings me to the explanation of the Nordic runes representing this time. They are in order of how I wrote them on my calendar cover.
Pertho – This symbolizes mysterious, hidden potential. It is associated with fate and the role of chance with the evolution of things. It reminds me of a womb actually, which is probably why it is related to life that is not yet manifested.
Algiz – This is the symbol associated with Valkyries, female warrior divinities. It represents protection, and strengthening personal luck.
Sowili – This symbol is literally a sun wheel. It has to do with vitality, energy, action, success and goals.
Nowadays, we still have remnants of Imbolc in our yearly ritual of “Groundhog Day” which I think satisfies our need for omens in nature.
In the old days, Imbolc is when you would start preparing and planning for growing life and food for the year.
Most of us are not connected to the earth in that way anymore, however now might be a good time to think about what kind of metaphorical seeds you want to sow to be able harvest at the end of the year.
Basically, what kind of things do you want to have accomplished by the end of the summer?
Personally, I’m really excited for my second round of container gardening and I’m already thinking about what herbs I’m going to try to grow.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found some seasonal inspiration. 🙂