Today is Imbolc pronounced ‘im’olk. This is the first of 8 Pagan holidays throughout the year called Sabbats. Imbolc is a time to acknowledge the “First Spark” of embedded energies that have been sleeping over the winter. The seeds that are underground acknowledge the returning energy and will begin to convert it to life deep within the seeds, Underground and unseen by man. Even though it is still the dead of winter and certainly feels like winter in most places, the Sun’s energy has been returning ever since the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year, Yule).
On Imbolc we celebrate the first days of Spring, snowdrops and crocuses begin to appear, things become very spring-like with daffodils and hyacinths coming early. Animals begin to wake from their winter hibernation. Nights get shorter and days will get longer, and it will start to get warmer as winter snow and frost begin to thaw.
We celebrate the rebirth of the Goddess on Imbolc after she sacrificed herself on Yule to give birth to the Sun God. Both the God and Goddess are young, the triple Goddess is in her maiden form and gains strength from the earth, while the Sun God will grow in strength over the coming months.
Imbolc is a Celtic fire festival, where in ancient times most towns and villages would build a ceremonial bonfire. The Goddess Brigid, the Goddess of fire, healing, and fertility was worshiped on this day. The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the Sun. The Goddess Brigid was so much-loved by the Celts that when the Christians were converting Pagans, they could not change the holiday of Imbolc so the holiday was reformed and renamed to ‘Candlemas’ when candles are lit to remember the purification of the Virgin Mary, and they changed the Goddess Brigid into Saint Brigid.
Imbolc is the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. To celebrate Imbolc, light a fire, it may only be a very small one, and make wishes for the coming year into the flames. Burn any leftover evergreens that were decorating your home at Yule. Clean your homes of clutter that was gathered over Yuletide. Get rid of the old and bring in the new. Plant flowers for them to bloom in the Spring. Use a sage smudge stick to cleanse your homes of stale or unwanted negative energies. (If you’d like a recipe for Smudge Spray, please contact me as it is much cleaner and easier to use than smudge sticks.)
Imbolc is a time of contemplation, to think about the year that has passed, and the mistakes or successes we have had and what we have learned from them to help us achieve our goals, dreams, and ambitions for the coming year. As well as planting seeds to grow in the earth, also plant seeds in your mind to grow and blossom over the coming months.
Have a blessed Imbolc. May the God and Goddess watch over you.
Artwork by me-tal Deviant art
Written credit goes to Wicca Teachings, edited by me for cohesiveness.