Greetings, Karen.   Thank you for joining my email list.

So it’s Imbolc. For some, spring starts here. Even if you can’t feel it yet, you know it in the growing light. Increase is a thing.

News:  I’m editing a new novel that I plan to release this year. It’s called The Maenad’s God. It’s not an Enemy Glory novel; it’s magical realism rather than straight fantasy. But if you enjoy the trilogy and complicated narrators like Llewelyn, as well as magic and intrigue with a generous helping of social satire, you might like this. More details as the release gets closer.

Creative life: Bundle up, go forth in the cold predawn, find three stars, and name them. Then, for as long as you can tolerate the Imbolc cold, just be present. Think of the distance their light has traveled through space, how old that light must be, and how many worlds that light has crossed to reach you. Then return to home and warmth. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, say their names to yourself and remember that you stood alone with the stars and their ancient light before the dawn even showed its head. There’s a quiet strength in this that I don’t pretend to understand and can’t explain.

Of interest: Venus now shows herself predawn, but will fade through February and March as the equinox approaches. If you miss her, wait until May, when she slowly returns to evening visibility. Also, it’s intriguing to imagine the goddess of love shrinking away from Valentine’s Day and cautiously emerging after Beltane.

Imbolc Feast:  A leek, potato, and red pepper casserole, from the pages of Claire Hopley’s New England Cooking. And a pear cobbler. We New Englanders love cobblers for tradition and taste, and pear is a winter fruit, so why not? Winter ale, optional.

Merry Imbolc.

Karen Michalson