Imbolc marks the first stirrings of new life as the wheel turns. It’s the time between Yule (winter solstice) and Ostara (spring equinox) and heralds the light staying longer and the water starting to flow.
Although the festival of lights began on February’s eve (January 31st) it comes to close on this evening.
In Gaelic mythology, the goddess of winter, the hag Callieach, tries to find kindling that is dry so that her fires may burn longer and winter will stay. This is where we get ground hog’s day in modern times.
It’s the time that the seeds start stirring and most say that spring is here, although here in the Midwest, we know that until Ostara arrives, winter may hold a firm grip and even in some years, longer. This holiday really doesn’t mark the beginning of spring but rather the preparation for it’s arrival.
Honoring the goddess Brigit, the fire festival is a holiday tradition honoring the awakening of the maiden, and Candlemas is what it is known as in the Christian religion.
Imbolc breaks up the long winter and gets us ready for spring as we are halfway between Samhain and Beltane on the wheel now.
It’s the time that our fertile seeds start to sprout and the celebration for the life of our intentions for the year and so I have put together some simple things to do in celebration.
Honor the longer days and the returning sun will help us acknowledge that winter is fading. It’s a celebration of renewal and rebirth and a perfect time to let go and clean out your space.
There are a number of ways you can honor this special day, so I’ve got just a few ideas for you to celebrate simply.
First, you can put a tea light into a glass filled with water and add bay leaves, rosemary and lavender. Think of this as a mini altar if you wish, as I’ve seen this term all over Instagram.
What exactly does this signify: pointing the bay leaves up in the salt is representative of new growth from the winter or snow. You can use salt or sugar.
Second, you can light white candles in every room of your house, welcoming the returning light. You’ll see rituals with 7 candles or 13 candles but honestly, I just like to light up my entire house and let white tea lights burn in every room all day.
Let us honor the returning light…
Amethyst (my choice today because I love the white and purple)
Citrine (bring on good business)
Rosemary (purification and you know I put that shit on everything)
Lavender (serenity anyone?)
Rituals and activities – click below to go to Pinterest:
This simple candle ritual is something that I do every year. It isn’t fancy but when I change my altar up to welcome spring and clean out my sacred space and house, I really feel like I’ve gotten my witchy-self together.
You can change this in any way you see fit. I get up on February 2nd, reset my altar, burn some palo santo and refresh my whole sacred space then sit in quiet contemplation and begin meditation.
I like to light a white tea light (as you can see in the pics, for this I use a big giant one in my bowl of salt and bay leaves) and I just relax and meditate on all of the good things coming to me this year (taking care to say thanks because I KNOW it’s a done deal) and welcome the new light and fresh air that’s on it’s way. For some reason, I always think about rain in this meditation and at times I will play some falling rain gently. No idea why.
Milk and honey start to flow,
Water melt and take the snow
Longer days are welcomed here,
Turn the wheel throughout the year
I visualize the cone of white light surrounding me and think of the trees and flower buds bursting through bark and ground.
Light awaken and return,
Bring your heat as this burns
Light awaken and give birth,
Dark subsides and seedlings burst
So mote it be.
Get ready witches, spring is coming.
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