It is time to reference my favorite post, and this year it is with a bit of a twist. I will always choose a bit of Celtic folklore over Phil, the groundhog, who seems a bit contrived.
But this year the midpoint between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox falls on a numerically atypical 2 – 2 – 2022. That is the second day of the second month of twenty-second year of the second millennium of the common era. That’s a whole lotta twos. I have always liked fives and sevens myself, with nines bringing up a close third. But the human tendency to attribute meaning to patterns rears its superstitious head when we are confronted with such seemingly magical alignments.
First, please read about Cailleach in the article linked in the following quote. Then let’s move on to magical thinking.
We have transformed a mythic but powerful immortal spirit who leaves her winter shelter half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox to gather wood wood for the rest of the season into a rodent, a marmot. In the old tales, if it is a bright, sunny day, the Cailleach enjoys her gathering time and collects much wood, which will last through the long, extended Winter. If it is a damp, gloomy day, she gathers on a bit of wood if she gathers any at all and Winter will end soon because she has only wood enough in her hut to last but a short time.— Women’s Legacy Project
Celtic Magical Thinking
I can’t believe I just wrote this heading. I do not usually encourage any person to use illogical thought processes. I encourage every person to share experiences, even experiences that cannot be explained, but framing puzzling experiences with explanations that are merely assigned without any inherent merit seems cloyingly restrictive. I like expansive thought. Expansive logical thought. However, we all do it to some degree.
Magical realism, surrealism, and liminality are terms that classify bits of literature, painting, and life. They also deal with transition, the wild, and the in-between. I have always had a semi-secret fascination with the liminal, the states, stages and places. I find the days marking midpoints of seasons intriguing. I suspect cultures endow special days with magical abilities because of the same wonder over “neither this nor that” and “no longer winter, but not quite spring.”
We see this in Groundhog’s Day, or Imbolc, the traditional Celtic recognition of the time of lambing that carried over into St. Brigid’s Day. It is a time to recognize and celebrate promise, potential, and rebirth. These characteristics are attributed to thoughts and beings that reside edges of our worlds with mystery and misunderstanding such as witchy crones, burrowing animals, and the creation of new life. We attribute meaning, the type of control that understanding gives us, to such signs and beings.
Lunar New Year Beliefs
The Celts are not alone in recognition of the specialness of this time. The Lunar New Year, celebrated throughout much of Asia, falls near this same time in the annual cycle as Imbolc on the second new moon after the Winter Solstice.
The lunar new year falls on February 1st this year of 2022 and in much of Asia and the world, it is celebrated until February 15th which marks the first full moon after the second new moon. It is a time to refresh relationships and recognized the recurring cycles in nature through the five elements and our natures through the twelve animal signs of the zodiac. These aspects flow independently through five and twelve year cycles, but also flow in a grand 60 year cycle. Start and end dates show some variance between cultures, Tibetan, Japanese, and Chinese calendars all vary slightly. These differences can be confusing, and when we add in the differences between lunar and solar calendars, the result can boggle the most analytical European-derived mind.
Constructing My Personal Cosmology
This year upcoming year is special. The first full day of this year, will be on 2/2/2002. The year of the Water Tiger actually begins on February 4th. I don’t completely understand why buy it seems to be related to annual versus lunar cycles. There has not been a Water Tiger year since 1962. Yes, the last Black Water Tiger year was 60 years ago. Water Tiger is equal to the Chinese Hexagram of the Water-Thunder.
The tiger represents strength, courage, and confidence. Water tigers are filled with passion and enjoy communication. It is a flowing year.
So, because I am a lumper, not a splitter, I tend to mush things together, including ritual and cultural concepts.
Lumpers and Splitters: “There are people who are contextual and inclusive and those who are detail oriented and exclusive. I try to include as much contextual information as possible in my decision making and I can get bogged down in details, but usually I get wrapped up in threads or linked connections, so I think of myself as a lumper.”An earlier blog post of mine
I have been thinking about all the mystical connotations that are have come together for me. The winter crone, the Cailleach, gathers wood near a stream where the water tiger explores a territory not visited for 60 years, in a month in which European thought has gusted with a wind filled with twos and twenty twos in this second millennia of the Common Era.
Maybe I am not the only one who feels all the myth and mystery swirling about us right now.
I plan on manifesting peaceful cooperative energies this year, aided by two water tigers rearing their heads as the year starts. We can change much of the stress and derision-filled pronouncements that have seemed to govern our behavior the past few years. I know we can. It is time. The signs certainly guide us toward this change.
The Numerological Signs
Angel and Master Numbers
The recognition of numbers that seem to pop out everywhere at you in your environment is essentially becoming aware of an angel number. The two – two – two thing had this effect on me.
Repeating ones, twos, or threes are referred to as master numbers. Two, two or 2 2 is the master number for constructing or building. We know what has to be done, we are putting it together, constructing the world we want. And we are constructing a much more feminine world.
In western numerology number 2 is known as a supremely feminine force, one filled with grace and energy. It is cooperative, always aiming towards peace and toward restoring balance to a relationship or situation.
Peace and Cooperation
The number 2 connotes unity, peacemaking, and cooperation. It promotes working together and diplomacy. It eschews imbalance.
When you add up all the twos in this year, you get the number 6 which is supposed to focus on balance and positive service achieved through discipline and the construction of healthy boundaries.
Putting It All Together
Collective superstition and mysticism are just that, tendencies to attribute meaning to uncertainty. However if enough of us attribute the similar meanings and momentum, and take guidance or inspiration from the same process or pattern, then we create a reality that reflects those attributes.
My guiding image for this coming year is the wise women embodying all of her feminine wiles to build a more balanced a world with courage and strength that flows through our belief and actions.
What is guiding you into the rapidly approaching spring and new year? (And yes, you can create totally new resolutions starting today, tomorrow, or in the coming weeks.)