☽ What is Imbolc? ☾
Imbolc is the second of the Greater Sabbats in the Witches' Wheel of the Year. Celebrated on Feb 1st & 2nd and marks the beginning of the lambing season and the beginning of spring. It is a time to let go of the old and welcome the new, a time for new beginnings and rebirth. It is a fire festival that represents fertility and giving birth to new life. It is the perfect time to clear and declutter our lives, as well as our minds, allowing our outer and inner space to welcome new beginnings.
Imbolc pronounced “im’-molk” is an Irish Gaelic word which means “in milk” - a nourishing element to this season with the birth of animals and the beginning of lambing season. Imbolc is the celebration of consuming nourishment from the Goddess’ body.
We watch how nature starts to bloom, our animals give birth to their offspring and we see that life force stirring all around us.
The original word Imbolg means 'in the belly'. It symbolises fertility, growth and abundance, and during this time all is pregnant and expectant. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential and the awakening of our earths next rhythm and cycle. We watch how nature starts to bloom, our animals give birth to their offspring and we see that life force stirring all around us. Imbolc is a time to welcome new growth and the return of the light.
Imbolc is traditionally the great festival and honouring of Celtic Goddess Brighid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit), a fire Deity so loved as a pagan Goddess that her worship was woven into the Christian church as St Bridget. She is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft. She is a Goddess of Fire, of the Sun and of the Hearth. She is also known as the kitchen witch who brings fertility to the land and its people and is closely connected to midwives and new-born babies. She is the Triple Goddess, but at Imbolc she is in her Maiden aspect.
How to bring the magic of Imbolc into your life…
Some of the pagan traditions you can do to celebrate Imbolc are:
☽ Making a Brighid cross or a Bridey Doll to place on your alter or by the fire. Her home is wherever the heart/hearth of your home is.
Brighid Crosses are traditionally made from reeds but can be made from several alternatives so long as they are pliable.
A Bridey Doll or a small corn husk doll can be made to honour the Goddess Brighit, to welcome light and abundance into your home. Traditionally they were placed into little beds made from soft cushions in boxes and placed by the fireplace, in hope that Brighit would awaken and bless your home.
These are both something you can do with your children and is a very powerful and traditional way of honouring Goddess Brighit.
☽ Writing & reading poetry is a really beautiful way of honouring The Goddess Brighit as she is the Goddess of poetry. Spending time with your family and loved ones and reciting poems is a really magical way of bringing in the energy of Imbolc.
☽ Going for walks in nature and noticing and appreciating the subtle changes. Feel the energy of spring.
☽ Sabbat Divination - Fire / candle scrying / water scrying in your cauldron is a really magical way of gaining insight into what is to come, what to expect from the coming months, and what is going to be born, along with the spring into your life.
☽ Working with fire - Candle Magick, creating Sigils, Bay Leaf Wishing, Anointing oils are all powerful ways of bringing new wishes and abundance into your life.
☽ Spell potency for fertility, love, romance, abundance and prosperity is heightened around Imbolc... so what are you waiting for?!
☽ Planting seeds both metaphorically and physically - getting in tune with natures cycles by planting herbs ready to be bloom in spring is a really wonderful and rewarding feeling!
☽ Imbolc Meditation - Meditating on things that you want to release is a powerful ritual to undertake during Imbolc - release everything to allow growth in your mind and in your life.
☽ Making a flower crown out of fresh flowers is a creative and beautiful way to honour Brighit.
☽ Spring Cleaning - 'Spring cleaning was originally a nature ritual" Imbolc is where the term spring cleaning came from - a tidy space means tidy mind! Dusting your whole house or even just your bedroom can make all the difference energetically. Often stagnant energy can build up when we live messy lives, live amongst mess, or just hoard clutter for the sake of it. Let it go! Out with the old, in with the new.
☽ Making an Imbolc feast "The Feast of Light" - Foods such as eggs, milk, bread & cheese ( a lot of dairy) simple foods that are wholesome, things that to our ancestors were easily accessible.
Decorating your Alter for Imbolc
Decorate your altar with snowdrops, swan feathers, flowers, a Brigid Cross, a Bridey Doll, white and green candles, and a chalice of water. Traditionally, the colours of red and white are associated with Brighid. The white is the colour of the blanket of snow, and the red symbolises the rising sun.
Crystals to use during Imbolc - Amethyst, Citrine, Sunstone, Orange Calcite, Bloodstone, Onyx, Ruby & Turquoise. Anything that resonates with the Solar Plexus, the birth of all our creations and our fire power.
Garnet – In the spirit of the regeneration and purifying nature of Imbolc, Garnet is a stone that cleanses and energises the chakras. Connecting to fire energy, it resonates with the returning sun. Garnet removes old or obsolete ideas, behaviour patterns that are no longer serving you, and other modalities that are holding you back.
Moonstone – Known as “the stone of new beginnings”, it encourages the start of things. A mystic stone, it opens our intuition, making it beneficial for meditation and reflection. Moonstone connects to female energy and can strengthen the bond with the triple goddesses. Brighid, a Celtic goddess honoured during Imbolc, is believed to be a triple goddess.
Moss Agate – Having a strong tie to nature, Moss Agate refreshes the soul and stimulates growth. Since it connects with nature and growth, Moss Agate is also a stone of abundance, bringing fertility and plentitude into one’s life.
Clear Quartz, Blue Lace Agate, Turquoise, Onyx, Bloodstone.
Trees, colours and herbs associated with Imbolc
☽ Tree's for Imbolc: Yew, Willow, Rowan, Birch
☽ Herbs for Imbolc: Blackberry for prosperity and healing
Coltsfoot- Brigid's associated with moving emotional and physical stagnation.
Ginger for igniting the fire and the passion within and to raise energy.
Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Celandine, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Tansy, Violets, and all white or yellow flowers.
☽ Incense of Imbolc: Frankincense, Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh.
☽ Colours for Imbolc: Pale pinks, greens, white, yellow, orange, reds are all colours to represent the approachig spring and our beloved Goddess Brighid.
Blessed Imbolc everyone!