The sacred time of the sun child is over.
The celebrations are complete.
Time is merely time again.
It feels gray. Liminal. Formless.
Cold, dull, and dark.
Barely capable of eliciting a response.
The next phase is barely perceptible.
Remnant threads still entangle us.
We are in transition.
Driven by hunger, the wolves roam the streets.
They are starving, and nipping at your livestock.
They are snuffling at your window pane.
Romans believed that lemures roamed the landscape during these months. Lemures are formless shadows, malignant dead unclaimed by family, their burials unmarked by inscriptions. They were vagrant, vengeful shades that spread pestilence, drank the blood of the living, and withered the fields. Because the Romans believed that speaking a spirit by name drew them near, the dreadful period that belonged to these entities was literally left off of their calendar. and spent in quiet meditation. When dread dominates the world, they believed the best course of action was to either simply withdraw and endure the time in quiet contemplation or cover themselves in blood and leap through sacred fires.
When King Numa Pompilius (715-673 B. C.) eventually divided the nameless 61 days into time, he named the first period after Janus, and called the second one Februarius - which roughly translates into "cleanse by sacrifice".
In the Belly
On the second of February is an ancient Celtic/Gaelic holiday called Imbolc. It marks the halfway point of winter. Since megalithic times the Irish have connected this time of year to their fertility goddess Brigid.
She represents the light, and her sacred flame was perpetually burned for centuries prior to the Christians adopting and erecting a monastery in her honor at Kildare. She was said to pass by on Imbolc, and bless strips of cloth if you left them out for her. She is said to heal through sacred well water. She leads the way out of the darkness. Cattle and sheep are under her protection, and she blesses the herds that are now producing milk for their ewes. Being sought by the wolves.
It is still stark and cold. It is still time for the retreat. For rest. Time is elapsing, but it's unequal quality reminds us that we while there are signs that it is beginning again, like the tulips breaking up out of the snow covered earth, and the ewes nursing their lambs; it is not yet time to fully wake up. We are still enclosed in soil. Because we are still buried and covered in blood. We are still on the threshold looking backward. Even more layers need to be removed before your transformation.
The wolves remind us to take care for ourselves. To wrap ourselves up and allow ourselves to be buried. to plant ourselves deep in the dark frozen earth to stay safe. Understand that the darkness is actually nurturing and gestating you. Go in. Go deeper. Observe what is there.
What lies buried and to examine what you are nourishing. It is all part of you. You are being gestated and need to grow stronger.
What may be causing immense discomfort is necessary to help you push up through the frozen dirt and snow to blossom. The perpetual fires still burn within you, and the light will call you when you are truly ready to be reborn.