First Cross-Quarter Festival

Calan Gwanwyn (Welsh), Imbolc (Gaelic, neo-Pagan), Usmolgos/Ambivolcos (Gaulish), Charming of the Plough (Norse), Valamurja (Vedic).

Cold winter still holds tight on the land, but the sun begins to show her face – bringing with her the blushing promise of spring.  The first shoots of green are working their way through the heavy blanket of snow, bringing with it hope for the new season and relieving the depressions of the winter.

On this Fire Festival, as with most of the Fire Festivals, seers would look ahead to see how long winter’s hold on the land would last.  That custom is reflected in the current celebration of Ground Hog Day, where a ‘creature of the wild’ foretells when the end of winter will come.

Neo-Pagan myth celebrates this festival as the recovery of the Goddess as she rests after the birth the Sun God.  The young Sun God begins to grow in strength, his light shines upon and his warmth fertilizes the earth, causing the seeds to germinate and sprout.  Still young, his power is felt in the lengthening of the days.

Heathens may celebrate Charming of the Plow/Disting ‘Meeting of the Idises’ by recalling the wooing of the Etin Gerd by Freyr as told in the poem Skirnismal.