Blessed Imbolc "How to Celebrate"
The wheel of the year has ever so gracefully brought us upon the promising sabbat of Imbolc. Traditionally recognized and celebrated on February first or second, Imbolc is the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. This sabbat is referred to as the Festival of Lights, as we are celebrating the lengthening hours of sunshine. Endless legends and lure surround this sacred time. Origins taking roots in ancient Ireland and Scotland echo to a time when living through and by the cycles of nature was essential to everyday life. The name itself is said to be relative to meaning “in the belly,” referring to the stirring of life within the belly of Mother Earth and her creatures. The first days of February give promise to the coming of Spring. The days are getting noticeably more sunlight, animal young are to be born, and the general abundance of nature is approaching. Though this sacred day embraces the foretelling of Spring, it’s still a winter holiday. Imbolc is governed by the Celtic deity of fire, healing, and fertility, the goddess Brigid. As legend goes, on this day, the goddess Brigid leaves her winter dwelling to collect a final gathering of firewood to last through the final stretches of winter. If the weather is clear and pleasant, she’ll have ample time and energy to collect plenty of wood, being prepared for a lengthy stay of cold; whereas if the weather is bitter, harsh, or significantly snowy, she will be unable to collect a sufficient amount of wood for winter and she will call upon Spring to return early. How serendipitous for those of us graced with a bounty of snow today! On this sacred day, take a moment to relax and honor the passing of time and the cycles of nature that enhance our lives.
This is the Festival of Lights! Light as many candles as your heart desires. White candles are perfect, as they symbolize the purity of this time, but green and purple are great to call upon Spring. If you’d rather invoke the coming light without candles, you may turn on all the lights in every room, even just for a moment. Illuminate the darkness!
•bless your home
As the seasons and energetics shift, it’s always beneficial to bless your home. This can be done in many ways, find what suits you best. You can smudge or burn incense with the windows cracked to allow the old energy to find its way out. If you have a besom (magick broom), you may use it to clear the air and move the energy around the home. Make a cleansing floor wash by adding essential oils or Florida water. Most importantly be sure to to say aloud that your home is safe and filled with love.
This is an ideal time for a purifying bath. Cleanse and uplift your spirits by soaking in steamy water. Add lavender, rosemary, or milk to honor the sabbat. For added magick, add fresh snow to your bath water. This symbolically helps you melt away winter and brings in the blessings of the goddess Brigid.
Baking and feasting are always a must for any holiday. The menu for Imbolc is fresh and satisfying. Think poppyseeds, lemon scones, lavender cake, and buttermilk pancakes. Anything you create and enjoy today can be special.
Get a head start on spring cleaning. It’s time to start lightening up your space. We spend so much time in our cozy homes during the winter that things tend to accumulate. Day by day, start moving things around, deep clean, reorganize, or donate items. You’ll be happy to feel fresh and re-energized when Spring is officially here.
•play in the snow
Catch snowflakes on your tongue! Make snow angels if you’d like to integrate intention in your play that’s even better. Intuitively draw in the snow with your fingers or make patterns with your footprints. Though the patterns and imprints will only last as long as the snow, their energies remain. This can be a good opportunity to meditate on the present moment.
This can be metaphorical, literal, or both! Think of what you’d like to be blossoming in your life over the next six weeks. What would you like to give your energy to and nurture? If you’re up to it, this is a great time to sprout seeds. Even buying a little plant to caretake counts!