The ice is melting and the ground turns muddy and soft. The water cleanses and prepares the Earth womb to become fertile once again. In the hidden depth of the earth hitherto dormant seeds are beginning to germinate and life is stirring. The Sun Child is gathering strength, the days age getting longer and light and warmth are beginning to return. Almost imperceptibly the Earth is quickening and the buds are beginning to swell. Imbolc is a time of fasting and cleansing. The larder is getting sparser. It is time to clean out, and get rid of old stuff in preparation of next season's growth.