Imbolc and All That

Imbolc has to be one of those festivals in the wheel of the year that gets pretty well dismissed. Yet within my own life Imbolc always ends up being pretty important and I end up celebrating it in a fairly major way whereas often for things like Litha or maybe even Beltane I just go with the flow. I’m sure that partially this is because I lived in Japan and have incorporated Risshun/Setsubun customs in with my Imbolc ideas but also because of the very nature of Imbolc, it being a festival of beginnings, of new beginning and starting out. I’m pretty good at that, sometimes I even manage sustained effort… sometimes.

Yesterday I cleaned, metaphysical action as well as physical. Cleaning and organising are very grounding actions. I’m still incredibly self-centred (well, it’s a perrenial problem) because after the plunge into the swamp I’m wanting to make sure I’m right. I’d love to be able to say that people can count on me as always but the fact remains that I’ll listen but probably be even more concentrating on my own position than usual. This is a shame, but there you go.

It was cleaning the bathroom ceiling that I became aware of my reassessing my position on mind and body. It was dancing at the darkside with the Non-Poncey Goth waving his arms in the air along with Dr Cybain and DJ Ruthless that I realised I’m really trying to work out my position on souls and their relative physicality.

So, it was a good Imbolc, spring cleaned throughout the day with candles and quarter calling and then when evening came FJ and Mother-In-Law came over and we all made sushi. Thanks to the Sea Otter I’d found soy beans at single step and so we got to throw them to get rid of our demons and welcome in the fuku…insert humourous ways of pronouncing that word here…thankyou Mother-In-Law.

After tea the Jellicle left and Mother-In-Law and I got down to the serious business of turning FJ into the Prince of Persia, some computer game character with orange glowing stripes over his body. This was fun at least partly because we got to strip FJ and frankly I think he’s getting hotter, possibly just more defined I don’t know. Anyway, delicate brush stroking aside I completely covered myself in as much UV reactive make-up as I could find and it was only whilst on the dancefloor that I thought about the fact that I looked like a tacky J-Pop wannabe (not even a J-Pop artist) in the middle of a goth club, maybe I should think about my environment when getting dressed? Maybe not. In anycase I was most amused, as was Wrong Mike by the Dark Side when we finally got there – if you want Goths to wear brighter colours just promise them UV!

Mother-In-Law was suffering, poor lass, from a bruised (hopefully not broken) coccyx but she looked amazing and she managed to dance a lot considering, she also managed a clothes change half way through the evening (and wore subtley defining, almost elegant UV as opposed to yours truly). I had a really good night, I wore a leash out for the first time, um, ever I think and had a lot of fun being passed around people. The Blue Cat was an especially fun mistress to dance with. There were rumours about the Naiad flying around but she wasn’t there which was a shame, I’d have loved to see her approach to UV make-up, and the Nymph’s to be honest.

Period descriptions coming up!

Come the end of the night it was my back that was beginning to ache (around the time Mother-In-Law said hers didn’t feel so bad) and I realised I was starting one of those periods which puts me in a bizarre state of awareness of my own body. It’s weird but sometimes I can feel exactly when my period is starting, like I can feel the womb lining beginning to ooze out of me. Anyway, I knew I was going to start a couple of hours after I got home and I did, and now I’m babbling about mooncups – brilliant devices.

On the whole I think it’s the time of the month that has got me really thinking about my insistence on the physicality of things. I haven’t always been so determinedly materialistic in my interpretation of the the universe and all things in it. I am onn the whole still fairly damn convinced that a lot of thing which people will automatically define as ‘immaterial’, ‘super-natural’ and the like are in fact not. However what then is this ‘soul’ that I’m convinced we’re all about building? It isn’t wholly material is it? How about journeys that I take when visualising, meditating etc. If I’m so hot on physicality then am I actually moving, because I sure as hell don’t look like it, or is this only a concious trip down into my subconcious? If I’m believing in everything on a material level then does that mean I’m descending into the hell of a Vivianne Crowley perspective on Wicca?

The thing is my perspective on the ‘astral’ is that it doesn’t exactly exist, I don’t see things in planes – but is that because some where in my psyche is a little bit of me saying, yes but if you say it’s not material then it doesn’t really exist and isn’t part of you. I’m not exactly sure of my perspective on the subconcious either, I think that it is much more collective than even Jung thinks and I wonder if this is feeding back into another more modern idea from the world of magic that annoys me, that of memes being magical.

I guess I’m questioning exactly where I draw the lines and trying to understand what I mean by real and what I mean by material.

I’ll let you know when I have some answers! Anyway, I have a trip to Edinburgh at the weekend to look forward to!

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