"Welcome Imbolc: Embracing the New Season of Change, Growth and Renewal"Jan 31, 2023
Imbolc is a Gaelic festival that marks the beginning of early spring in the northern hemisphere and is celebrated on the 1st or 2nd of February every year. It is traditionally one of the four major Gaelic festivals, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain. Imbolc celebrates the gradual lengthening of days, and the coming of new life as winter gives way to spring.
Imbolc is sometimes known as Brigid's Day, in honor of the Celtic Goddess Brigid, who was associated with healing, fire, fertility, and warfare. She was also believed to be a patroness of poets, smiths, and other craftsmen. The holiday has a strong spiritual element to it, with many people engaging in rituals such as candle lighting to honor Brigid and her gifts and other deities associated with this time of year.
One popular activity for Imbolc is creating an “Imbolc Bride” – a straw figure dressed in white or green clothing with a veil over its head that is placed on an altar or near a fireplace. This symbolically represents Brigid stepping into her new season and bringing renewed strength to those around her. Many people will also light candles in honor of Brigid during this time as well. Other activities include decorating homes with evergreen branches, divinatory activities such as tarot readings or scrying, bonfires for purification purposes, baking or drinking special Imbolc beverages like spiced cider or mead, and gathering together for feasts or ritual events with friends and family members.
Though these customs vary from region to region, many pagans celebrate this festival in various forms worldwide, regardless of their personal faith traditions. For some, it may simply take some time each year to pause and reflect on what they hope for in the coming season, while others may embrace more elaborate rituals such as those described above. Whatever form it takes, however, Imbolc remains an important part of many pagan belief systems, a time when we can come together in celebration of renewal and hope that lies ahead through the ever-changing cycles of nature!
Imbolc Candle Ritual
Supplies: One red and one white candle, matches or a lighter, sage for smudging yourself and the area, Imbolc incense of your choice, and any other decorations for creating a sacred atmosphere (optional).
Process: Begin by finding a quiet space where you can be undisturbed for the duration of the ritual. Take some time to ground and center yourself. Light the sage and use it to smudge your body from head to toe. Do the same with your candle ritual space. Once you are centered, light your red candle first while saying out loud, “I call upon the energy of Brigid, goddess of protection and creativity, to be here with me today.” Then light the white candle, saying, “I call upon Imbolc energy to come forward and guide me in connecting with my inner fire.”
Once both candles are lit, take some time to meditate on what Imbolc means to you and how its energy resonates within you. Set an intention for this ritual – this could be a personal goal or an aspiration that will help you manifest something meaningful in your life.
When ready, take three deep breaths in and out before repeating three times:
I am full of fire and passion!
I am creative and powerful!
May my flame burn bright within me!
Close your eyes, envisioning that all these words are true for you and enlivening every cell in your body with Imbolc's fiery essence as if it is flooding through your veins like liquid gold. Feel free to add more affirmations if desired – what speaks most deeply to you? Finally, open your eyes slowly as you let out a deep sigh of relaxation. Allow yourself now to linger in the sacred space created during this ritual as long as needed - be sure not to take too much time away from reality, though, so that when done, you can fully transition back into regular life with ease.
You can choose whether or not to keep the candles burning or blow them out after spending enough time in meditation/contemplation - whatever feels right for you at that moment is what matters most! Before ending the ritual, thank Brigid and Imbolc's energy for being present throughout this experience before going about your day feeling empowered by its healing effects.
Here is an intuitive activity to ignite one's creativity:
Take a few moments to sit quietly and reflect on your creative pursuits.
Gently bring awareness to the area of your heart and allow yourself to connect with any underlying feelings or insights.
Once you feel that strong connection, take out a piece of paper and a pen. With your intuition as your guide, begin drawing or writing without overthinking it—let the ideas just flow naturally. Allow yourself the freedom to let go and embrace whatever comes out of the exercise without judgment or expectations.
When you're done, pause for a moment and notice how you feel—energized? Refreshed? Inspired? Celebrate those feelings and carry them with you!