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What is Imbolic?
Imbolic (Imbolg)The name Imbolc comes from the Old Irish Imbolg, 'in the belly', 'the time the sheep's milk comes'. This day is also called Candlemas, St Bride's Day, or Brigid's (pronounced BREED) Day. At this stage, the Goddess is changing from Crone to Maiden. It is the Feast of Bride and the celebration of the first signs of Spring. We are successfully passing through winter and into the beginning of the agricultural year.
The Celtic Goddess Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. She is a triple Goddess, so we honor her in all her aspects. This is a time for communing with her and tending the lighting of her sacred flame.
This is a time to start planning for the year ahead. What is it that you wish to accomplish by year's end? Bride's Fire represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth. Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, Brighid's Day, and probably by many other names. Some female Witches follow the old Scandinavian custom of wearing crowns of lit candles, but many more carry tapers during their invocations.
Symbolism of Imbolic:
Awaking from slumber, the rebirth of self, brighter warmer days ahead.
Symbols and Decor of Imbolic:
White flowers, marigolds, plum blossoms, daffodils, Brigid wheel, Brigid’s cross, candles, grain/seed for blessing, red candle in a cauldron full of earth, doll, Bride’s Bed; the Bride, broom, milk, birchwood, evergreens, homemade besom of dried broom, orange candle anointed in oil can be used to symbolize the renewing energy of the Sun’s rebirth.
Animals of Imbolic:
Firebird, dragon, groundhog, deer, burrowing animals, ewes, robin, sheep, lamb, other creatures waking from hibernation
Herbs and Flowers of Imbolic:
Angelica, basil, bay, benzoin, celandine, clover, heather,
myrrh, all yellow flowers, willow
Foods of Imbolic:
Dairy, spicy foods, raisins, pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seeds, poppyseed bread/cake, honey cake, pancakes,
waffles, herbal tea.
Incenses and oils of Imbolic:
Jasmine, rosemary, frankincense, cinnamon, neroli, musk,
olive, sweet pea, basil, myrrh, wisteria, apricot, carnation.
Colors of Imbolic:
Brown, pink, red, orange, white, lavender, pale yellow,
silver, green, blue.
Stones of Imbolic:
Amethyst, garnet, onyx, turquoise.
Activities of Imbolic:
Lighting candles, seeking omens of Spring, storytelling, cleaning the house, bonfires, indoor planting, stone collecting, candle kept burning dusk till dawn; hearth re-lighting.
Spellworkings of Imbolic:
Cleansing; purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid, feast of milk & bread.
Deities of Imbolic:
Goddesses- Aradia, Athena, Bast, Blaize, Brigid/Brighid, Ceres, Cerridwen, Demeter, Gaia, Hestia, Venus, Vesta.
Gods-Cernunnos, Eros, Herne, Osiris, Pan.