Groundhog’s Day confounds many people.
It’s on the surface a quaint little holiday that elevates the lowly rodent. But it’s not about the rodent. It’s really not.
Imagine that you’re an ancient person in the belly of winter, wondering when spring might emerge. In your pondering you’re looking at your stockpile of hay for your livestock and salted meats and preserved veggies for your families. You’re wondering how much you should expend, and how much you should reserve in these uncertain days.
The groundhog, or any little animal, looking at their shadow may be an indicator for how you can survive and how much you can expend. Indeed, to take it a step deeper, your shadow, Beloved, that side of yourself that Jung encouraged us all to explore, lets you know how you can take the next steps in this world.
The ancient Celts named these days as Imbolc, “in the belly,” not only because they knew that winter was coming to an end but also because they knew that a time of introspection between the Yule days of celebration and these days of decision/indecision are necessary for living a full life.
It’s funny, almost ironic, that the day on which the groundhog emerges is so indicative on how the future is predictive in our mind’s eye. If it’s sunny and they see their shadow, winter continues. If it’s overcast and cloudy, winter will cease soon.
Think now of yourself: when things are “bright and sunny,” do you not wonder when the next shoe will drop and things will be bad again? And when you’re in trying times, do you not tell yourself “these days can’t last!”? It’s so…human. All of it.
These days are not just about a groundhog. They are about you, Beloved.
Deep down we all know these next few weeks aren’t decided by a rodent. But I wonder: how will you decide what to do next? How will you know what these days will bring?
How about this: no matter the weather, no matter the outward signs, our inward being can be geared toward love, acceptance, and a resilience that says, whatever may come, we’ve embraced our shadow and have decided to live.