Imbolc is one of the four main festivals in the Celtic calendar, also known as the Fire Festivals and one of the 8 sabbats, celebrated by Wiccans and other pagans who honor the Wheel of the Year.
I’ve prepared a video with Imbolc Ritual Ideas to celebrate this sabbat! When is Imbolc? Traditionally, February 1st (northern hemisphere) and August 1st (southern hemisphere).
Among agrarian peoples, the festival was traditionally associated with the onset of lactation of ewes soon to give birth to the spring lambs. This could vary by as much as two weeks before or after the start of February. In Irish, Imbolc means “in the belly” (i mbolg), referring to the pregnancy of ewes, and is also a Celtic term for spring. Another name is Oimelc, meaning “ewe’s milk”.
Imbolc is conventionally celebrated on February 1st. It is traditionally a time of weather prognostication and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to Groundhog Day.
Some Celts and Neopagans shorten the name to Brigid, referring to the Celtic goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft, to whom the day is sacred.
A special kind of offering for Imbolc can be an artistic offering. Imbolc is a good time to do crafts that involve a connection with divinity. Setting up an altar for your deities is a type of devotion on itself.
(Printable sticker) Click here to download.
I print it on Printable vinyl sticker paper that works with any regular printer. Then I paste it on a tall glass candle.
Brigid (also known as Brighid, Bríde, Brigit, Brìd) is the Goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. As both goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames, and healing.
Written by Megan Black. Download a printable version of the prayer here.
Brigid’s Cross is a symbol of protection that is traditionally prepared just before Imbolc. These crosses are left outside the front door in hopes that Brig will bless them. The blessed crosses are then hung to protect the home.
How to make a Brigid’s Cross from rushes (Youtube).
There is an Imbolc tradition of opening all the doors and windows in the home and standing at the doorway to receive Brigid’s blessings.
February was also a time when the Romans would start cleaning up the fields for the planting season, and the word February comes from februare meaning “to purify”.
A solitary celebration of the Wiccan sabbat. This holiday marks the beginning of spring, a time for self-renewal and the hope of growth: The darkness is retreating and the promise of spring is here.
On Imbolg, you may bless your candles with a prayer, or do a candle reading. Divinations are typically enhanced during the sabbats, as these are days of transition between the seasons of the year.
Read the post: 🕯️ Flickering Magic: How to Read Candle Flames, Meanings and Interpretations and download a printable page with meanings and interpretations:
In some parts of Ireland, women would place a piece of cloth outside on a bush on Saint Brigit’s Eve. They believed that during the night the saint would pass by and touch the cloth, imbuing it with healing properties.
Symbols and ornaments: White flowers, marigolds, plum blossoms, daffodils, Brigid wheel, Brigid’s cross, Bride’s Bed, candles, seeds for blessing, red candle in a cauldron full of earth, doll, the Bride, broom, milk, birchwood,
snowflakes, evergreens, besom, Sun Wheel, shepherd’s crook, plough.
Colors: Blue, green, lavender, pink, red, orange, white, pale yellow, silver.
Plants: Acorns, angelica, basil, bay, benzoin, celandine, clover, dandelion, heather, myrrh, primrose, roses, verbena, violet, snowdrops, yellow flowers, willow.
Gods & Goddesses: Eros, Frey, Lupercas, Pan, Faunus, Venus, Diana, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Vesta, Gaia, Brigid, Selene, Branwen, Artemis, Freyr, Vara, Venus, Selene, Persephone, Hestia.
Butter, cream, milk, yogurt, spicy foods, raisins, pumpkin, sesame & sunflower
seeds, poppyseed bread/cake, honey cake, pancakes, waffles, herbal tea, garlic, lamb, leeks, onions, shallots.
What else to do on Imbolc? Go out in Nature, find a quiet spot to meditate! Or stay indoors and do a candle meditation.
If you can, make a bonfire and burn some juniper or dandelion, the sacred plants of the winter season. Cleanse and purify yourself with the smoke.
Have a Blessed Return of the Light!