The Opportunity to Burn: St. Brigit and Imbolc

What is your word of the year? One of mine is #BURN.  @Over #madewithOver xoS


One of my words of the year is Burn.

It feels active and engaged and a little wild.
It feels warm towards hot.
It feels orange towards red.
A person who burns is passionate.
A person who burns sheds light.
A person who burns is combusting internally and shining externally.
A person who burns is involved in change.

How about you?
Do you have a word of the year?

This, the last day of January, the first New Moon of the Year and St. Brigit’s Day, Imbolc, is a perfect day to choose one. My friend Nancy Moon wrote about her word today here.

Sit quietly and ask yourself

  • “What word could guide me this year?”
  • “What word could move me off ordinary towards extraordinary, me-style?”
  • “What surprises might I invite by keeping a word like “burn” throughout my days?”

Here is what We’Moon has to say about Imbolc and St. Brigit.

Lunar Imbolc and New Moon in Aquarius — Thursday
Imbolc— Sunday
Brigit, Great Goddess of Earth, Triple Goddess of Fire—of healing, of smithcraft, of poetry. I see her wild, red-haired, stepping across the skies in brightness. She is Fiery Arrow, the leather-skirted smith striking sparks from the iron anvil of earth, healing the hurt of all winters, lighting the green fuse. Whatever is frozen will warm; whatever is grieved will know joy; whatever bliss is unmade will come into being.
— Rose Flint © Mother Tongue Ink 2013, excerpted from We’Moon 2014 p. 53

I’d say St. Brigit is one of my patron saints for this year. She, the fiery arrow, sings through the cold winter air warning us of spring’s approach, but not before we burn.

In honor of my burning and St. Brigit here is a poem from Patricia Fargnoli. I first read it on Gwarlingo.  Patricia’s website holds more wonders like this.  I offer it to you here, in honor of the blessings of winter and what it holds. Send some warming light to the people of Atlanta today. And take some of that warmth for yourself.

Winter Grace

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed-down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.

©Patricia Fargnoli
Winter Hobblebush Granite State Poetry



St. Brigit was known to whistle. She call her women together by whistling.

When I stepped out under the stars this morning at 6 a.m., I looked up at the Big Dipper and whistled.
A cardinal whistled back.
Spring is surely on the way.


PS Whistle up your friends today by sharing this post with them. As always, you can get news of Laundry Line Divine by subscribing to this site in the box in the sidebar up on the right of your screen. Thank you for reading me here. Leave me a comment with one of your words. I would love to hear!

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Showing 4 comments
  • Lorrin Krouss

    My word would be “patience”. It is what I know I lack as I am often too quick to comment and to judge. It will be the word that I will now carry next to my heart as I am about to assist in the final planning stages of the 2014 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. While I agree that this is the “slow down season”, I am racing through it to the finish line.

  • Nancy M.

    Suzi, what a beautiful blog! Burn is such a powerful word, and it’s nice to read the Winter Grace poem — just perfect! I hope you are enjoying the cold. Thank you for adding my word to your blog, it made me smile.

  • Coleen Davidson

    Dear S, Oh! how I wish Spring was near – not here in Nova Scotia – still in the frigid depths of winter. The days are getting longer and I have been “burning” up my new natural gas fireplace and oven – keeping warm and waiting for spring. xo C

  • Elisa

    I am excited that–in my head, I will be able to celebrate Imbolc twice, due the new moon mercury retrograde status that doesn’t go direct again until the next new moon..I still think that I might have the dates mucked up 😀

    I like that flame thing. I was too, thinking about burning self up(not in a good way) or the burning of others when one does not tend one’s inner flame things can combust. I think that I might be forgetting that and singeing, however I am also doing the guilt thing lol. I think I might just give up and pay attention to recalling how to dance.