What is Imbolc?
A pre-Christian Celtic holiday celebrated February first through the second. Imbolc means “in the belly.” Representing the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (Yule and Ostara), Imbolc brings in the start of longer days. This is the time of year that herd animals are pregnant or having their babies. A time for fertility and growth. Many who celebrate dedicate this day to the Goddess Brigid. Other names for Imbolc:
- Oimelc (oy-melk)
- Saint Brigid’s Day
- Feast of Torches
Who is Brigid?
Also known as Saint Brigid, this Celtic goddess is full of contradictions. Daughter of Dagda, the ‘father-god’ of Ireland Brigid is the goddess of fertility and life but she was also the patroness of healers, poetry, fire and smithing. She was also considered the goddess of water. Many wells and waterways in Ireland were dedicated to her. If you would like to learn more about Brigid and her backstory, click here.
We know now that Imbolc is a celebration of fertility and the coming of Spring. Now how do we celebrate it? There are so many things we can do to embrace this holiday. Whether you are a pagan, wiccan, witch, Christian beliefs or any other beliefs, you too can celebrate this amazing holiday. Let’s start with something that everyone loves, the decorations! If you have an altar, these items listed below can also be incorporated into your altar.
- White Flowers
- Potted Bulbs
- Brigid’s Cross
- Poems/Poetry Book
- Candles/ Candle Wheel*
What symbolizes this celebration?
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Now onto the traditions and ways you too can celebrate this magical holiday. Some of these listed below are things you have probably already been doing without realizing it. Let’s get into it!
- Cleaning and Cleansing- This can be cleansing your magical tools or space or cleaning your house. Or as we know it as Spring Cleaning.
- Have a Bonfire- This would be the time to burn your evergreen decor from the Yule season. Let go of the past year/ season.
- Besom- Place your besom (broom) by the front door which symbolizes sweeping out old stale energy of winter and letting in the fresh new energy into your home.
- Take ritual baths for physical and energetic purification.
- Create a Candle Wheel
- Take a walk/hike
- Banish winter by burning paper snowflakes
- Candle Magic
- Make an offering to the Gods by leaving milk outside for the animals
What do you do to celebrate Imbolc? Leave it in the comments below!