Tonight I'll be celebrating the festival of First Light. In this land of Aotearoa, the inanga (whitebait) are wriggling their way up the rivers.
We too will be listening to the new life that is young and wriggling inside after the hibernation of winter.
The yellow flowers will be set in the south, where in Celtic tradition we find the element of earth (reversed for our southern hemisphere). In the west lies water, signified tonight with this blue vessel and white sea shells. To the Celts, First Light, which is half-way between winter solstice and spring equinox, is the festival of the fire goddess Brigid, who is associated with creativity, poetry and healing.
Tonight the candles will be lit in honour of Brigid. And as an extra element, here is the Chinese goddess of compassion, Kuan Yin, for we will be invoking healing and compassion for absent friends, and all those in trouble at this time.
Kuan Yin is said to be 'She Who Sees and Hears the Cries of the World'.
This is a festival of gentleness, welcoming back the light, and letting it support the blossoming of hope.