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Your Guide to Imbolc

Imbolc is a time of year that is often overlooked, sandwiched as it is between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. However, this sabbat has a lot to offer those who are willing to celebrate it! Imbolc marks the midpoint between these two points in the Wheel of the Year, and is all about new beginnings. It is marked by the first signs of new life - crocuses, daffodils, and other early flowers. As we move closer to spring, many of us focus on what we want to manifest in the coming months.

What is Imbolc and when is it?

Imbolc comes from the gaelic for ‘in the belly’, as it is traditionally seen as a time when lambs are born. It is also known as Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemas, and Brigid’s Day. It falls on February 1-2 in the northern hemisphere (August 1-2 in the southern hemisphere), and is a cross-quarter day. This means that it falls exactly halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

For farmers, it is a time of year when they would start to prepare for the planting season ahead. But for pagans and witches, it is a time of introspection and renewal. It is a time to consider what you want to manifest in the coming months, and take steps towards making your dreams a reality.

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Brigid is associated with the Triple Goddess Moon Symbol featured in our jewelry.

Imbolc is also a time to celebrate the Celtic goddess Brigid, also spelled as Brigit, as well as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Brigid is a goddess of fertility, healing, and poetry, and she is the Patron of Imbolc. Many of the traditions that we associate with Imbolc come from Ireland, where the holiday was known as ‘Feast Day of Saint Brigid’.

Imbolc correspondences

I love Imbolc as it makes me think of warm white candles, snow outside with snowdrops peeping through. It can be a great time to purify your magickal talismans and jewelry for the year ahead too.

- Candles

- Snowdrops

- Crocuses

- Daffodils 

- Cows and calves

- Lambs and sheep

- Flowers

- Seeds 

- Colours of red, white and green 

- Mother archetype imagery 

- Crystals of rose quartz, ruby, garnet, amethyst, and green aventurine 

- Root veggies like carrots, onions, beetroots 

- Milk (and milk alternative) recipes & dishes

How to celebrate Imbolc (10 ways to celebrate this sabbat)

There are many ways to celebrate Imbolc, depending on your spiritual path and what you feel called to do. Here are some ideas:

- Connect with Brigid. Whether you consider her a goddess, saint, or archetype, take some time to meditate on her energy and what she represents.

- Cleanse your space. This is a great time of year to do a deep clean of your home or sacred space. Open the windows, let in some fresh air, and clear out any negative energy.

- Set intentions for what you want to grow between now and the next sabbat Ostara.

- Light candles and spend time in contemplation, journaling, or meditation.

- Get outside and take a nature walk, paying attention to the first signs of spring. 

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- Work with the Mother archetype; whether it is through healing your mother wound, whether you are on a maiden to mother journey, or simply create a gratitude list for all the creative projects you have brought to life over the past year. 

- Rejuvenate your spiritual practise with a mini-retreat, starting afresh with new goals and practices.

- Cook or bake using seasonal ingredients like milk, honey, and root vegetables.

- Spend time with your animals, connecting with their natural cycles and rhythms.

- Decorate your space with symbols of spring like candles, flowers, and greenery.

Candle Cleansing Spell for Imbolc

With the dark being key to this season, lighting candle magick is an accessible method for most. As we cleanse and prepare for the Spring season, this is a perfect opportunity to honour the element of fire.

You will need:

- 1 white candle

- 1 bowl of water

- sage (or rosemary)

- lighter or matches

  1. Start by casting a circle around your work space if you feel called to do so.
  2. Place the white candle in front of you, and light it.
  3. Take a few deep breaths, and focus your intention on what you want to cleanse from your life. It could be a negative emotion, a toxic relationship, or anything else that is no longer serving you.
  4. Hold the burning sage (or rosemary) in your non-dominant hand, and allow the smoke to waft over the candle.
  5. As you do this, say aloud or in your mind:

“I cleanse this space of negativity and all that does not serve me. I open myself up to positivity, love, and light.”

  1. Extinguish the candle in the bowl of water.
  2. Thank the element of fire for helping you to cleanse and release what no longer serves you.
  3. Open your circle, and allow yourself to move on from whatever it is you need to let go of.

Triple Goddess Blessing; The Poet, The Smith and the Healing

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Mythology and history have so many rich tales to share with us. Brigit was the daughter of Dagda, as well as Brigit allegedly had two sisters that were also elements of her. I love that in this story it shows a very literal "We are all multifaceted" theme and that we are not just one type of person. This is also another reason that Brigit is associated with the Triple Moon Goddess symbolism. 

If you'd like to create a small act as an offering to Brigid, I would suggest taking the triple goddess pendant, and laying it around a white candle. Find your favourite poetry, whatever that be, and read it out to the ether - read it as if Brigid is across the room from you, sipping tea and enjoying your company. 

When your poetry is over, and the jewelry has been charged up by the candle, visualise layers of protective metal attaching itself to your jewelry further. Build upon it with layers and folds of  steel, until it's a solid fortress of metal. See it in your minds eye, and say;

"May the strength of Brigid flow through me, that I may always be open to new ideas, yet never forget my convictions."

When you've finished with your jewelry, leave a ribbon by your front door or entrance for Brigit to bless with healing properties for you, for you to use in the months ahead where needed, and store safely with your jewelry for extra protection.

Brigid effigy and Brigid's Cross

Brigit was the saint of fire, healing, inspiration, and smithcraft. She was also the patroness of dairy maids, newborn children, and poets. As a result, many of the symbols associated with Imbolc relate to these themes.

Brigid's Cross

- Brigid’s Cross: These crosses were traditionally made from rushes or straw, and were said to protect the home from fire and disease.

- Brigid’s Bed: A bed of rushes or straw, symbolizing fertility, would be made for Brigid on Imbolc eve. It was said that if you slept on this bed, you would be blessed with good health and a prosperous year ahead.

- Bonfires: These were lit to honor Brigid, and to encourage the return of sunlight and warmth.

- Candles: White candles were used to represent purity and light, and were often placed in windows to guide Brigid to your home.

- Dairy Products: These were given as offerings to Brigid, in thanks for her blessing of the cows and their milk.

- Flowers: Snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils were traditionally associated with Imbolc, as they were some of the first flowers to bloom in early spring.

A Brigid's cross doesn't have to be with four sides, but can be an elaborately weaved or simple triangular "three legged cross"  which is hung in the home for protection.

To create your own Brigid's Cross at home, you will need:

- 16 rushes or straws

- A piece of red string or ribbon

- Scissors

  1. Cut the rushes or straws into 16 equal pieces.
  2. Take four pieces and tie them together in the middle with the string or ribbon, to form a cross.
  3. Weave the remaining rushes or straws around the cross, working from the center out. You can bend the straw into a V shape, and have the point of the V wrap around another straw in the middle, working your way round in 90 degree angles.
  4. When you reach the end, tuck the final straw under one of the other straws to secure it in place.
  5. Hang your Brigid's Cross in a place of honor in your home.

Imbolc is a wonderful time to celebrate the returning light, and to set intentions for what you want to grow in your life over the next few months. By taking some time to connect with Brigid, cleanse your space, and work with seasonal symbols, you can make the most of this special holiday. Until next time xox

1 comment

Beth

Thank you for what you do💜

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