Today is the pagan holiday called Imbolc; the halfway mark between Yule (the winter solstice) and Ostara (the spring equinox).
Fire and purification are an important aspect of this holiday. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months. In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year.
The name Imbolc probably means “in the belly” in Gaelic. This sabbat celebrates the first evidence of the return of life. The Sun is slowly starting to make its return and the very hardiest of plants will begin to grow again from this day forth.
This is traditionally a time of purification — clean your house! If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.
Do some house cleaning and then light some candles with me. Light a fire if you have a fireplace and enjoy the warmth of the fire and how this represents the returning power of the sun.