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First off, Happy Candlemas!

…or Imbolc, if you prefer.

According to the news, Mr. Phil saw his shadow while his NY counterpart Chuck did not–precisely what that portends for the weather, I’m not sure.  To be quite honest, I’m not sure the weather knows as of yet either.  This has effectively been the strangest “winter” of my memory.

We sort of skipped some of our usual Imbolc observances–like making snow candles (or ice candles if the weather isn’t co-operating) and our “Goodbye Winter” Ritual (a bit like this one), since we aren’t at home, and winter has been just as unlikely and unusual in Illinois as it has been in Virginia (apparently thanks to the Artic Oscillation and an more northerly jet stream that normal).  We’ve decided instead to have a “Birthday Party” to celebrate the Baby Sun King’s transition to the Sun Prince (off to the grocery store, and I think I have the perfect cake recipe to try out!)…the weather is expected to hit the 60’s again, and it seem like the perfect day to celebrate the transition of winter into spring with an outdoor picnic.

We’ve been studying the solar system lately (eventually I’ll have a homeschool info/project post up), and I think this is the perfect opportunity to start the discussion about the Earth’s orbit and how the sun affects our seasons, as well as how people around the world have studied the skies and celebrated the days that marked the changes of the seasons (and why we choose to honor that idea and make our own seasonal traditions as a family).    I think a trip to Cahokia may be in order, while we are in town visiting Grandma…