Imbolc also known as Candlamas Day; Groundhog Day; or St. Brigids Day arrives in the Northern Hemisphere February 1st or 2nd . This day is considered a cross-quarter day because it comes after Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) and before Spring Equinox (March 20/21). This is the time that Earth begins to “awaken” again and a time for the “growing seasons” to begin. This is the time to initiate our inner intuition, creativity that we had gained during the winter months bringing it into fertility and fruitation.
History and Origin
Imbolc is an ancient festival, Celtic in origin, and considered one of the greater Wiccan sabbats. It is celebrated on the night of February 1st in the northern hemisphere.
The primary purpose of Imbolc is to celebrate Spring’s impending replacement of Winter. In this sense, Imbolc may be seen as a spiritual alternative to the secular celebration of New Year’s Eve.
At New Year’s Eve, we often see the image of old, bearded Father Time replaced with a young baby. Father Time represents the old, outgoing year, and the baby celebrates the year just born. At Imbolc, we have similar imagery; an old crone represents the outgoing year, and turns things over to a young maiden.
Fertility, of course, plays a part here. The frozen earth is incapable of growing things, just as the old crone has grown incapable of producing offspring. This barrenness is replaced by the warm return of Spring, making the earth once again fertile, symbolized by the fertile young maiden.
How to Celebrate Imbolc
An evening feast is in order, since Imbolc represents a return to liveliness and all the bounties of Nature. Americans might best grasp the concept of Imbolc by thinking of it as a Thanksgiving celebration for what is about to happen. Celebrants can be happy feasting, knowing that winter is passing and that food will once again be growing and plentiful. The feast begins with a short prayer, or toast:
Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.
We give thanks for the season now departing from us,
For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,
And upon those with whom we share this world.
Blessed be the new season.
We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,
With abundance, with prosperity,
Blessed be all who share this feast.
Let us now prepare for the time ahead
By opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.
Planting The Seeds on Imbolc:
· This is the time to start to plant the seed(s) you were thinking about in Winter Solstice
· Use this time to align your creative flow
· Trust your intuition
· Initiate your hopes and desires
· Fertilize your seeds
· This is the time to “heal” and “release”
· Create your vision for the year
· Tend to the seeds with love and nurturing
· Start to lay down the foundational seeds you were thinking about in Winter Solstice
· Design a Mission Statement (Immediate vision of what you are doing at the moment)
· Design a Vision Statement (Long Term)
· Go out into your community
· Design and plan your year of what you would like to do with your business
Preparation for Imbolc:
· Since Imbolc represents “light”; buy special candles and light them in honor of the season.
· Plant spring bulbs
· Clear and Clean your space – Clear out the old to bring in the new (this can be physically and emotionally)
· Make time for meditation
· Create a garden
· Arts and crafts (this is always a great way to interact with other woman)
· Honor the “Five Elements”, Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Spirit
If you found this interesting you might want to signup for my complimentary Imbolc E-News