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More importantly, it means that the promise of light from Winter Solstice is being fulfilled.
On December 22, sunrise (near where I live) was 7:15am and sunset was 4:22pm.
Today, February 2nd, sunrise was 7:03am and sunset will be at 5:05pm: a gain of 12 minutes in the morning and 43 minutes at night ... a total of 55 minutes. Over the next two days, we add another 5 minutes making it a full hour of additional sunlight since Solstice.
Twice a year, on the solstice holidays, Basement Cat and Ceiling Cat are locked in mortal combat over the Light. At summer solstice, Basement Cat prevails and the light starts receding ... gradually at first and then more quickly until the light and dark are equal.
Then finally, on Winter Solstice, ceiling cat prevails!!
As the midpoint between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox arrives, the memory of basement cat begins to fade ...
... as light is peeking in from every corner
... from around every doorway
... from above and below us
... popping up where you least expect it
Until finally, on March 20th UTC 5:14, we will have just as much light as dark. I promise. :)
And another promise fulfilled, this one to HylasBrook:
"I love the wheel of the year - I love how it marks not only the different seasons, but on the 'cross quarter days' one begins to see signs of the season to come."
Imbolc is defined as a cross-quarter day on the wheel of the year, midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara). The precise astrological midpoint in the Northern hemisphere is when the sun reaches fifteen degrees of Aquarius. Among Dianic Wiccans, Imbolc (also referred to as "Candlemas") is the traditional time for initiations. In Wicca, Imbolc is commonly associated with the goddess Brigid, and hence the Wiccan Goddess, and as such it is sometimes viewed as a "women’s festival".