Around the end of January you may see lots of posts of woven crosses, or that the wheel is turning. The festival of Imbolc is on its way…
But what actually is Imbolc, and how can you celebrate?
Falling on 1st-2nd February, Imbolc (also sometimes referred to as Imbolg) marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
The word Imbolc translates as in the belly of the Mother, because the festival is symbolic of the new life of spring starting to stir in the belly of Mother Earth, not yet ready to be birthed. The symbolism of pregnant Ewes is often used around the time of Imbolc because of this.
Imbolc is one of the four major Celtic Fire Festivals, and honours the Goddess Brigid. Once again tying in with the theme of preparing for new birth, Brigid is the Goddess connected with fertility and prophecy, as well as crafts, home healing, and poetry.
Brigid was so loved that her celebrations became woven into the Christian Celebration of St Brigit of Kildare, which they mark on the same date. As one of the three patron saints of Ireland, excitingly Ireland has just announced this new date as a Bank Holiday in Ireland for future years.
How To Celebrate Imbolc
There are many ways you can celebrate Imbolc, both on your own and as part of a group – here’s some of my favourites…
As one of the major Fire Festivals, one of the best ways to celebrate Imbolc is with Fire.
Of course, if you are qualified to work with large fires you may find yourself leading a Ceremonial Fire for others, but there is nothing to say it has to be a fire like this! Burning candles around your home is also great.
The colour of candles associated with Brigid are usually white or green, though sometimes also red – think of what colours and fragrances make you think of the coming of spring for some inspiration if you’re not sure.
Make a Brigid’s Cross
There are lots of videos on Youtube etc on how to make a Cross Of Brigid from straw, reeds, and other natural materials.
The crosses are one of the simplest and most traditional ways of celebrating the day if you can source the materials to make your cross from.
Imbolc is all about preparing for the return of the light with the Spring on its way.
Plant some seeds, or spend time in your garden or allotment getting ready for the new life that will be with us soon.
This is also a great way of getting any family you may have involved in your Imbolc celebrations.
Water Your Intentions
Did you set some affirmations, goals, or intentions for the year? Now is the time to bring your mind back to them and think of how they might need a little nurturing ready for them to grow.
You might want to create a vision board, use tools like drums and rattles, or just meditate on the ideas you want to birth as the year moves on.
With a focus on home and hearth, Imbolc is a great time to start your Spring-Cleaning.
If you’re not a domestic goddess we have something in common! But how about choosing one room or corner that you could prepare for your other celebrations, or decluttering a wardrobe or cupboard?
Even just clearing a space to burn your Imbolc candles is a great place to start.
With the preparation for new light and life to come, Imbolc is an exciting time
Whether you’ve celebrated Celtic festivals before, or this is your first time dipping your toe into re-membering the ways of our ancestors, I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration.
If you’re going to be celebrating Imbolc this year do please leave me a comment to let me know what you’ll be up to below.
Oh, and by the way…
I host a juicy, free, Facebook group, for folk like you – want to be a part of the Wild Soul Tribe and find your magik?
Click through now…