A minor Pagan holiday, Imbolc falls halfway between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox (Ostara).
After months of turning inward, of hibernation & of rest, life is beginning to stir again. Imbolc marks that moment we say goodbye to the harshest days of winter and welcome the light and warmth to come. Daylight is increasing and spring is in the air. While too early for planting gardens, Imbolc was a time to start thinking about what you wanted to plant and harvest in the coming year. Traditionally, Imbolc begins at sundown on February 1st & continues through February 2nd.
In modern-day living, Imbolc is a great time to reflect and think about where you want to go in the coming months.
Imbolc History and Meaning
Imbolc means “in the belly” and celebrates the pagan Celtic goddess Brigid, who is the goddess of inspiration and creativity, healing, smithcraft, and poetry.
In ancient times, it was celebrated as a time to reaffirm life and start thinking about the coming season.
As Christianity spread from Rome to Northern Europe and the British Isles, Imbolc was adopted as Candlemass and is still celebrated on February 2.
Deities: Brigid, Aphrodite, Eros, and Hestia
Symbols: candles, cauldron, chalice, cow, sheep, and swan
Colors: White, Red, Pink, and Black
Stones: Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, onyx, ruby, and turquoise
Foods: Baked goods, winter vegetables, seeds, dried fruit, butter, milk, cheese, lamb, and mutton
Flowers & Plants: Snowdrops, angelica, basil, bay laurel, and celandine
Ways to Celebrate
If you’re waiting patiently for winter to be over so you can get out into nature again and feel the warm sun on your face, Imbolc marks that moment we say goodbye to the harshest days of winter and welcome the light and warmth to come. Since Imbolc occurs during the post-holiday season, it is a great time to embrace simple celebrations.
- Host a candlelight dinner for a few of your favorite people
- Decorate your favorite room with candles in the evening
- Meditate and journal about the things you want to accomplish in the coming year
- Invoke Brigid for creative inspiration
- Craft a Brigid’s Cross
- Burn some red candles
- Start planting seedlings indoors for your garden
- Take some time to go outside and enjoy the lengthening days and increased sunlight
Brightest Imbolc blessings to you!
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