Aquarius, beginning January 19, is the second sign of the winter season and usually marks the coldest, most dreary time of the year, when we move into midwinter. This mid-point is called Imbolc, which translates to "in the belly," quite appropriate for the time of year when we can literally feel like being in the belly of darkness.
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Another occurrence besides Imbolc at this time of year is Candlemass, and both have their roots in ancient time. Imbolc is a Celtic or Pagan day of rituals, of honoring the Goddess as the Bride awaiting the return of God, the Bridegroom, from the dark underworld on the Spring Equinox. Candlemass is the Catholic ritual celebrated the same day as Imbolc, quite possibly because of the deep popularity of Imbolc. Candlemass is celebrated 40 days after the birth of Jesus, which corresponds to the Jewish tradition of a woman returning to sanctuary for purification in the Mikvah after giving birth. The Catholic Church translated the Mikvah into the ritual of baptism. This could be seen as a representation of the waters borne by the Water-bearer.
A third tradition happens on the same day, Groundhog's Day, the day the world awaits its fate -- is spring right around the corner, or will we be cloaked in six more weeks of bitter cold? If the groundhog comes out of his burrow and it is dreary, the remaining six weeks of winter will be mild. But if it is sunny when the groundhog emerges, he will see his shadow and run back in for six more weeks of blustery weather. Another way that Imbolc and Candlemass were celebrated was by the blessing of and lighting of candles which were paraded through the streets in the representation of the bright sunny days to come. It may be that on the first Groundhog's Day, it was the light from all the candles that caused the groundhog to see his shadow!
We may be moving into the belly of darkness, but winter is also a time when we crave comfort foods to warm our bellies. Read on to find out which foods bring out the Aquarian in all of us, and get healthy, hearty recipes to celebrate the season!
Cayenne: This pepper is a wonderful spice for the Aquarius native and the circulatory system. It is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet and some consider it to be magical. Cayenne has properties that can help return elasticity to veins, arteries and capillaries, including the tiniest in extremities which will keep blood pumping to the tips of the fingers and toes throughout the later years of life. Aquarians should keep a stash of this potent spice close by in the kitchen for daily use!
Garlic: Not everyone has an affinity for garlic, but everyone should develop one, especially Aquarians. These smelly cloves can work wonders for the circulatory system. Often called the "stinking rose," garlic can rid arteries of clogs when small amounts are finely chopped and added raw to salads or veggies every day. Garlic was first cultivated in Ancient Egypt, where it was thought to have sacred properties, and who knows, it just may be a gift from the Gods for Aquarius and all other signs.
Oranges: Oranges are extremely high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin A, all great for the circulatory system, and with compounds in the peels that can help reduce cholesterol levels possibly as efficiently as statins. These properties also build up the arteries and clear out plaque. Aquarians need to keep oranges on hand for a grab-and-go snack to give their circulation a big boost.
Salmon: The omega-3 fatty acids in this delicious fish will keep the blood circulation up to par for all signs, especially Aquarius. Salmon is also loaded with B vitamins, vitamin D, protein, selenium, and protein. While it is especially beneficial for the circulatory system, it is a food that supports several bodily systems, which compounds its value for Aquarius and most other signs!