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the impetus to action danielle van de velde

The Impetus to Action

How to embody the seasonal energies for growth


If you’re only just feeling a draw into action for 2024, you’re not alone. The mad new year flurry of emails and socials spruiking offerings, finding ‘your word’, and grabbing for attention can be exhausting, and most likely, incongruent with how you have been feeling since the start of the year until the end of January. 

What I know many of you may be feeling is something more akin to:

  • A desire to create structure and routine
  • New ideas, not fully formed but full of life, bubbling into mind
  • A desire to clean out homes, wardrobes and offices and to create space
  • A desire to lighten your system through movement and diet
  • Increased dream activity
  • A desire to connect for business and friendships
  • A desire to upskill or acquire new knowledge

And the magically-minded will be seeing an increase in patterned number and symbol sequences around you. 

If you, like me, have arched at the new year horse bolt out of the gate and it’s only now that you’re feeling some direction and impetus to action to step into the year, then you are more connected with the Earth energy that you might appreciate. And while the narrative this year has been very much geared to the heavens as Pluto moves in Aquarius (phew!), these heavenly influences amount to nothing unless we ground them through congruence with the Earth. It’s the Earth’s energy that supports our manifesting. 

As February arrives, we enter the first turn of the Wheel of the Year, a cross-quarter point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere).

The sunlight changes in the sky to a brighter and perceivably longer day. Water currents in the oceans and river systems shift, and deep beneath our busy cities and busy lives, the Earth is stirring into spring.

Early spring is subtle, under the surface. For most northern countries, the land is still veiled in ice and snow, but the signs of the shift become evident at this time. Snow drifts start to shrink and the slight increase in the light stirs seeds into germination and animals from hibernation. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are also affected by these shifts, because we come from, and dwell in, the same wild-field which enters into a wholesale ‘gear up for growth’.

For many of us, we experience the same impulse to ‘gear up for growth’, to get our heads, hearts and homes in order and to connect with the energies and vibe that we want for the year to come. 

The ancient Celtic festival that honours this shift into action, is known as Imbolc (pronounced EE-molc) which means, ‘in the belly’. Perhaps, this is in reference to pregnant or milking sheep, and maybe also to the spring stirring but still remaining within the belly of the Earth. In pagan Europe, this time was closely associated with the pre-Christian goddess Brigid and the three-fold Goddess transforming from the Crone (winter) into the Maiden (spring). Festivals to mark this juncture were known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light and, no doubt, many others that are now lost in time. Later, Imbolc was celebrated by Christians as St Brigid’s Feast Day (the pagan goddess and Christian saint sharing many attributes and features). The vibration of this time also refracts through the festivals of Candlemass and Groundhog Day.

So how can we align with this shift underfoot and get into gear for the year? Here are five ritualistic ways that I am welcoming the energies of Imbolc into my home and business this year:

  1. Time in nature 

Perhaps the most direct way to connect with the current energies of growth and expansion is to spend time in the wilderness. When we are exposed to nature’s stirring into action, our systems integrate them and this energy translates into our lives.

Creating a window to connect with the rising sun and the promise of the dawning day is simple and very centering. There is a beautiful energy at this time, before the day fully stirs into operation; a pause point that allows us to gather ourselves into stillness and lean into the highest possibility of the day and the season. Face the rising sun directly, breathe in the dawn and notice how it is moving across the markers on your horizon each day.

time of nature danielle van de velde

Meditative walking in nature with the intent of noticing the first signs of spring around you, combines movement with intent for connection which is very powerful. It exposes the whole system to the stirring in light, new growth, creatures and changes in colour and the pheromones released by the plants for growth. 

Eating the first foods of spring brings these powerful generative energies directly into our bodies. Head to the local farmer’s markets to source them straight from the Earth so the spring energy within them is higher. Early spring produce is bountiful, colourful and yummy. Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes and Turnips are the main characters. And for fruits, it’s the citrus family that bursts onto the scene at this time with Clementine, Grapefruit, Kumquats, Lemons, Limes, Mandarins, Oranges, Strawberries, Tangelos, and Tangerines. Yum!

  1. The element of fire

Imbolc is one of the four Celtic fire festivals. It acknowledges the return of the sun (consciousness). Fire also corresponds with the third Chakra, Manipura, which is our centre for personal power, self-esteem, volition and putting choices into action. Fire and Light are associated in nearly all spiritual traditions with inspiration, illumination, transmutation, expansion and purification (release of low-vibration energy and blocks). Some simple ways to connect consciously with the Fire aspect of the season are:

solar plexus chakra danielle van de velde

Change and charge up the candles in your home, sacred space and meditation kit. The traditional colours used for this are white, orange and red candles. The beautiful tradition of Candle Anointing (rubbing oils into your candles before use), is a simple ritual for dedicating the candles to the season and bringing beautiful high-resonance scents into the home space. The typical Imbolc scents to use are cinnamon, rosemary, myrrh and frankincense. 

burning bay leaves imbued with intent danielle van de velde

Burning bay leaves imbued with intent is a powerful little ritual that helps clarify in mind and heart the aspects you wish to nurture and grow in the coming season. Bay leaves have long been recognised for their medicinal properties. They contain powerful compounds such as pinene, cineol, elemicin and linalool that, when burned, are released into the air and are known to soothe feelings of anxiety and frazzled nerves as well as alleviate feelings of fatigue, and respiratory tightness. Burning bay leaves as an Imbolc ritual probably started when households were looking to purify the air in their homes after the long winter months of being snowed-in and usually sharing the space with livestock. Write on the bay leaves the aspects you wish to nurture with the spring energies for growth in your spiritual soil bed. 

  1. Generate connections

Whilst the natural growth triggered at this time remains hidden from the surface of the Earth, the botanical realm is busy germinating and creating networks of roots to tap water and nourishment to fuel growth. The energy supports us to do the same. Follow up on new contacts, join networking forums, research information pertinent to your 2024 business projects, register for courses and join new social groups that appeal to you. 

  1. Make space

Now is the time to clear out and reorder home, body and workspaces. Activate that gym membership. Rejoin your yoga sanghas and walking groups and keep your body light by eliminating heavy foods and stimulants. This avails more life force in your system for creativity. I’m guessing for many of us, like me, now you feel like it, whereas through January these actions felt onerous.  

The energy also supports donating unused items in your home and office and setting up your systems for information and workload management, communications and collaboration. I like to give all my physical spaces a good smudge too. I burn white sage in my home and work spaces, removing remnant energetic imprints and dedicating them energetically for the year. 

  1. Dream weave

The Pagan symbol for Imbolc is the magical Brigid’s Knot – a patterned interlocking woven talisman. It’s also time to weave dreams and ideas into form. I like to do this through more creative processes like idea mapping, journaling and creative conversations. Imbolc is all about possibilities and potentialities. The best journaling prompt to get this going currently is 

‘If all things are possible, (for self or projects) the dreams that I desire the most to experience in 2024 are…” 

the impetus to action image 2 danielle van de velde

Making time to honour the coming season as it emerges through the wilderness, helps us sense its vibration and power and put it to use through action.  

Happy Imbolc, everyone!

Love,
Dani
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If you’re interested in working with the Wheel of the Year, join our Dawn Dreaming Meditations as we follow these shifts in nature through the year. And, join Spirited Living, an active community exploring how to work with consciousness and energy. Our Grounding Booster drops for members this month. 

If you have any questions or thoughts on how to align with the seasonal energies for growth, do get in touch

Please visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. You could also explore more about a spirited life in my book, ‘Spirited – A guide to your innate spiritual design to transform your life’, which is now available. See stockists here

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