February 2 is a turning point. The new moon falls halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. In Celtic history this festival was known as Imbolc; the Christians changed it to Candlemas, and the Irish celebrate it as St. Brigid’s Day. Imbolc signifies pregnancy and spring, and is honored with fire, foretelling, and remembering through storytelling. The day is also used to assess what the weather is going to be like in the coming weeks till spring.
This year, the new moon is also the first day of the 4708th Chinese New Year. This is going to be the Year of the Golden Rabbit. Why golden? It’s not actually golden, but metal. There are twelve Chinese year animal signs, but there are also five elements that each of these animals circle through (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). Each animal goes through an annual cycle of these five elements, in two forms – one yin and one yang. This means that a complete cycle is sixty years – and the last one we encountered was in 1951.
Metal relates to gold, money, the west, to autumn, and to wonderful Venus – the planet of beauty, luxury, and love. The Rabbit is associated with good luck, longevity, and the accumulation of wealth. It’s a fortunate year indeed!
To honor tonight’s new moon, light a candle, pause, and acknowledge the fact that we are now closer to spring than we were yesterday.
Fun Writing Practice – What Would You Like to Manifest This Year?
Write a list is of the things you’d like to see manifested this year. The list can be as specific or as general as you wish: It could include wealth, a partner, a new house, travel, wisdom, a necklace … anything you’ve been half-thinking about or longing for.
As beautifully as you can, write down each item from your second list on smallish, colored squares of paper. Then glue them to piece of string.
When you’re done, hang your prayer flag outside so the breezes can blow your wishes to heaven. It doesn’t need to stay outside for a long time but enjoy it while you can. If you’re in a part of the world where it won’t work to hang it outside in the branches of a tree, drape it inside, near your hearth, for as long as you like.
- rubbing your feet with coconut butter
- the smell of the sea
- flying in a dream
- sledding down the hill on your way home
- a red scarf
- mastering the violin
- a grove of chestnut trees