In celebration of our new community we offer this poem as a gift to you. The poet offers a powerful image in celebration of Imbolc, the Old Irish name for the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, usually celebrated around February 2. In some Christian cultures, this day is celebrated as Candlemas, and in America it is known as Groundhog Day. This year Imbolc falls shortly after Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish festival of the trees. On Tu B’Shevat, mystics meditate on the image of God as a tree with its roots in heaven, its divine radiance flowing downward.
Imbolc is an ideal time to look within or use divination tools to see direction for the coming year: what seeds shall we plant for the growing light to bring to flower and fruit in spring and summer? This Imbolc, our first since the Winter Solstice Great Turning, is uniquely potent as we seek guidance not only for a new year but a new era. Let the words of Jill Hammer’s poem inspire as you meditate on what seeds you will choose to plant.
Thank you for helping us build a nurturing, successful community!
Carla Gomez, Communications
Melody Lee, Karen Edwards, and Dorothy Emerson, co-creators
Festival of Trees
When we went to the clearing
to visit the trees,
the great trees of the clearing,
mother, grandmother, and daughter,
sister, and faithful gatekeeper,
we blessed them to grow upward,
to spread the wealth of earth into the air
as a fan scatters a breeze across the face.
But when we came to the wise crone,
the old dead tree wrapped in vines,
escorted by milkweed and tall grass,
her we blessed to grow downward
to pour her radiance back into the soil
so that all would grow from
That day in the snow
she had the face of an owl,
beak and hooded eyes.
Her call could not be heard.
It was beneath us,
under the ground.
By Jill Hammer,
Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion