Welcome to Imbolc!
February 1st is a power day in the Celtic Calendar, one for the four Cross Quarter Fire Festivals, which sits right between Yule (Winter Solstice) on Dec 21st, and Ostara (Spring Equinox) on March 21st.
Spring is Coming!
Its origins run deep into the lands of our ancestors, marking the very beginning of the lambing season for our farming families, and the first fresh milk of the season. It is hard to imagine how long and hard winters must have felt for them, before electricity, fuel-driven transport and the internet!
January was a long, hard month and Imbolc marked the first signs of hope that light and warmth were returning, and it offered a chance to celebrate surviving one of the toughest patches of the year.
January is still a dreary month. Even with all of our modern tools to ease the way, it rarely brings an easy ride so connecting back to our roots and celebrating Imbolc on February 1st is a powerful way to lift the Spirits and inject some welcome warmth and enthusiasm back into life!
The Goddess Brigit: Finding Re-Birth & Fresh Beginnings
Imbolc also holds the important, celebratory significance of being the feast day of the Goddess Brigit. This Deity remains such a potent force that she was even canonized by the Christian Church, being adopted as Saint Brigit and honored with Candle mass.
As a triple Goddess, she embodies all phases of the feminine and Imbolc celebrates her re-birth from Crone into Maiden form, as the through the darkness and decay of winter, the first fresh shoots of Spring are appearing.
Her Mother aspect is also honoured as the bringer of new life, as the ancients believed that over this festival time, the Goddess was literally giving birth to the new Sun (son). Because of this, she is a Fire Goddess, and connected with all of the other associations tied to this element, such as creativity, passion and play, but also with the more destructive side of fire too.
She is often called on to purify, release and burn away what is no longer needed.
Because of this, Imbolc is an ideal time to clear the decks, spring clean the house (and mind) and begin again. Honouring Brigit at this time means that her divine energy will support you in your efforts, and her special blend of fiery magic will move through your life for month to come. Read on for 4 simple but effective ways to invite this Deity into your world …
1. Honor the Coming Light
Turn down the electric lights in your home, and light candles instead. Experience the warm glow of this gentle, elemental fire around you and feel this as the pure, feminine presence of Brigit herself.
2. Bake Fresh Bread or Cakes
By consciously creating on a micro level: mixing ingredients and stirring or kneading the dough, you are catalysing this creative force on a larger, macro level too, and inviting positive change into your life.
Using the heat of your oven as the alchemising force, eat your creations fresh and warm, knowing that you are re-fuelling and nourishing yourself on all levels, as the seasons change.
3. Spring Clean your Home
Brigit rules the hearth and home, and all of the daily tasks and chores it takes to keep a house running. Honour her (and yourself!) by making this work easy and pleasurable. Clear out what you no longer need and put away things which have stopped being useful. This is a good time to begin making the transition from the depths of winter to the start of spring, so make more space in your rooms, open the windows and allow the air to circulate and freshen up your inside spaces.
4. Write a Poem
Brigit is the patroness of poets. She is often called on for inspiration so try writing down some words about her, or for her, today. Surrender to creativity and see what moves through you! You never know, what is revealed under her gaze may be exactly what you most need to hear!
5. Do a Self Purification Rite
Working with fire, Brigit has the immense power to help you cleanse and purify, in preparation for new life. This makes her feast day ideal for a self-purification rite, using each of the elements. Here’s how:
- First create sacred space, and then invite the Goddess to enter in with you, offering you her power and protection.
- Take some salt to represent the Earth, and sprinkle it onto your skin, asking Brigit to cleanse your body.
- Light some incense to represent Air, and ask Brigit to cleanse your mind.
- Light a candle to represent fire, and ask Brigit to purify the will of your life force.
- And finally, take a small dish of water, sprinkle drops of this around your body and ask Brigit to cleanse and purify your emotions.
- If you’ve been inspired to create, cleanse, purify or honour this festival in any other way then let us know!
We’d love to hear what you’re getting up to over Imbolc, so please do share below …
Imbolc blessings to you!