Imbolc, pronounced IM-bolhk, is the Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring, during which great feasts were held. Imbolc is usually held on February 1st, or halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. The day was believed to begin and end at the sunset, so the celebrations would start on the night before. Imbolc is the celebration of the heart and home, and a ceremony of the elongating days the early signs of spring. Celebrations often involved hearthfires, special foods, divination or watching for omens, candles or a bonfire if the weather permitted. Fire and purification were an important part of the festival.
Other names: Candlemas, Oimealg, Imbolg, Brigantia, Lupercus, Disting, Lupercalia
Date: February 2, or when the sun is at 15 degrees Aquarius
Meaning of the word: Imbolc means “in milk”
Primary Focus: New growth, end of winter, rituals of purification, offerings to deity, candle rituals
Age of holiday: Unknown
Astrological Sign: 15 degrees Aquarius
Planetary ruler: Saturn, Uranus
Color Associations: Brown, Lavender, Light green, Orange, Pale yellow, Pink, Red, Silver, White
Herbs: Angelica, Basil, Bay, Benzoin, Blackberry, Celandine, Chamomile, Clover, Coltsfoot, Dill, Heather, Myrrh, Rosemary, Rowan, Yellow Flowers, Willow
Stones: Amethysts, Bloodstone, Garnet, Onyx, Ruby, Turquoise
Incense: Apricot, Basil, Bay, Benzoin, Carnation, Cinnamon, Daffodils, Evergreen, Frankincense, Heather, Iris, Jasmine, Musk, Myrrh, Neroli, Olive, Primrose, Rosemary, Snowdrop, Sweet Pea, Tansy Trees, Vanilla, Violet Willow, Wisteria
Animals and Beasts: Bears, Burrowing Animals, Deer, Dragon, Eagles, Ewes, Firebird, Groundhog, Lamb, Owl, Phoenix, Raven, Robin, Sheep, Snakes, Stags, Other creatures waking from hibernation
Symbols: Acorns, Besom, Birchwood, Brigid’s Cross, Brigid’s Wheel, Burrowing Animals, Candles, Corn Doll, Daffodils, Evergreens, Ewes, Fire, Grain/Seeds, Lanterns, Marigolds, Milk, Plum Blossoms, Snowflakes, Sun Symbols, White Flowers
Food: Blackberry Tea, Bread, Cakes, Cheese, Curries, Dairy, Fish, Herbal Tea, Honey cake, Muffins,Pancakes, Poppyseed Bread/Cake, Poultry, Pumpkin, Raisins, Rice Pudding, Scones, Sesame Seeds, Spiced Wine, Spicy Foods, Sunflower Seeds, Waffles, White Meat, Yogurt, Dishes containing Onions, Peppers, and/or Garlic
Magickal Ideas for Your Ritual:
-Add a circle of white candles to the altar setup, each one representing a goal you would like to achieve in the coming year. Empower, then light during ritual.
-Banish winter by burning paper snowflakes.
-Empower ice to banish negativity. As the ice melts, so the negativity will drain away. Pour water off your property.
-Plant seeds to be cared for indoors, or buy an indoor plant and make friends.
-Bless your pet and give him/her a sage amulet for his or her collar, or place in a protected area on the cage (for smaller animals).
-Purify the house with a house blessing ritual incorporate into the sabbat, or do one separately.
-In ritual, offer milk to the gods, then pour on the ground, or leave in a bowl for the animals.
-Do a vision/meditation on the wolf totem.
-Imbolc is a fire festival falling the the fixed astrological air sign of Aquarius. The magick that you do during this time period will have long-lasting consequences. Uranus and Saturn bring the ability to make sudden changes, research for rewards, and learn how to interact with authority figures.
-Imbolc is a good time to do any magickal workings that include: cleansing, purification, renewal, initiation, candle work, house/temple blessings, storytelling, stone collecting, awakening rituals, bonfires, fertility magick, consecration (especially of agricultural tools), healing magick, home and hearth blessings, new beginnings, spells for good luck, and weather divination
Coronet of candles, each flame a golden jewel
Saturn Lord withdraws his cloak
yet retains his rule.
Lambs bleat seasons greetings
spring’s essence on their breath
the sun pays homage to sky in Aquarius.
The Lord and Lady dance the waltz
within the magick round
to banish all that isn’t pure
and prime the sacred ground.
The Cailleach swirls her tempest skirts
to raise the season’s storms
that which lies within her wake
will surely be reborn.
The time has come for tilling
to arrange for harvest’s gain
the right amount of seed and skill
of wind and sacred rain
are needed to perform the task
of planning for my future
I conjure such by Breid’s bright word
and nothing will refute her.
The cat that leaps is not
the can that lands upon the star
I conjure things that others think
appear from thinnest air
yet superimposition reigns
my choice a pattern set.
(Insert what you wish for here)
My power grows, the light ignites
Time: Best mixed the week prior to February 2.
½ cup acacia gum
½ cup hyssop
¼ cup lavender
7 drops apple blossom oil
5 drops bergamot oil
New Beginnings. New Goals. New life.
Keep in mind, all of my posts are based on my opinions that I have gathered from my research. You may disagree or have something to add. Please do so kindly in the comments.
Blessed be, brothers and sisters.
*Credited to “Solitary Witch” by Silver RavenWolf