A Festival Of Hope

January 31, 2023

by Hagar Harpak

sprouting in Winter

The season is transitioning. Winter is reaching its peak. The peak is a pivot point. Spring is being announced. Light is growing. The earth begins to move beneath the surface, like a baby in mama’s womb. Nature’s expressive soul is about to let loose. A poet’s heart is beating for inspiration. 

This is when we might not see the growth because it all happens under the surface.

This is when we do the work even though we don’t yet know if it’s gonna work.

This is when we call it in.

This is when we cultivate it.

This is when we sing to it.

This is when we whisper to it tenderly in the dark.

This is when we sit in the unknown.

This is when we learn to be with uncertainty.

This is when we have to have a pep-talk every now and then.

This is when we stay with it. 

This is when we keep going.

This is when intention setting is potent and profound.

This is when we feel the possibility, even while we can’t yet see it.

This time of year represents hope. 

So how do you get to hope from a place of hopelessness?

Like many things in life, hope moves in waves, it travels in cycles, it spirals itself into and out of dark holes.

Nothing in this vast universe promises that everything is gonna be ok. In fact, we know we’re all gonna die one day! One day, our sun will join a graveyard of dead stars. And at some point, our galaxy will be swallowed by a black hole too. Nothing to be too pessimistic about, darling one, just the basic facts. 

But the beauty of this grand gift of life is that we get to choose what we do with the brief moment we have here, we get to do the best we can with what we have, we get to grieve and lament and we get to love. And when a storm sweeps through our lives, and everything feels like it’s crushing down, and nothing seems to be going the way we wanted, we can still create something of meaning with the moment. 

Sometimes when I feel really hopeless, I have to give in, and I let myself feel it. I cry the way my system needs to cry. When it’s a heavy wave, my body starts shaking too. That’s when I know my system is clearing it out. Well, sometimes in the moment I don’t know it, but later on I remember that this is my animal body shaking it out.

Usually, when I let hopelessness do its thing, hope can reemerge. And she’s more raw, more real, more ready for what’s coming next, more responsive, and more willing to change course.

I don’t like blind hope. I am not into putting my hopes in something unlikely. But the unknown can be an ocean of hope, because if we don’t know, a lot is still possible. 

We’ve all been through a lot in recent years. And many of us experience a shakier ground beneath our feet. A lot of us are walking around with a sense of confidence that needs to be rebuilt. It’s not easy to live in a world that’s on the verge of catastrophe on so many levels. But this is why a little ray of hope is important. 

Some feel hope as a vision of the future.

Some see hope as an extension of trust.

Some let past experiences become the ground of hope.

For some, hope is an anticipation.

For others, hope is a conviction.

Some think of hope as an aspiration.

Others embody hope as tenaciousness. 

What is hope for you, dear one? I’d love to know. Share in the comments – what is hope for you?

In Celtic/Druid traditions, this time of year was a celebration of hope. Tonight is the eve of this powerful, empowering festival of hope, of the sun’s strengthening, of life returning, of the promise of rebirth. Imbolc, which is Irish for “In the belly,” officially begins tonight.

Check out Imbolc Somatic Ceremony if you want to breathe in and embody hope! There’s a beautiful process waiting for you to unfold there!


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