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Imbolc "Candlemas" - Feb 1 - 2
Imbolc also called Imbolg, Candlemas and Brigid’s Day is a traditional Gaelic festival. Traditionally held February 1st or 2nd. Some practitioners wait to celebrate the Sabbat until the sun reaches 15 degrees in Aquarius (around February 5th).
The Imbolc festival marks the beginning of the lambing season and signals the beginning of Spring and stirrings of new life after winter. The word ‘Imbolc’ means ‘in the belly’. Originating from ancient Pagan traditions honoring the goddess Brigid (goddess of fertility), it was later adopted by Christian converts as the festival/feast of Saint Brigid.
The Imbolc Sabbat is a great time to let go of the past. Clearing out the old and making both outer and inner spaces ready for new beginnings. This can be done in many ways, from Spring cleaning to making personal resolutions, and opening the mind and body to allow for new experiences.
The goddess Brigid is a beloved Pagan Goddess. Her correspondences include healing, poetry, smithcraft, and fertility. She is a Goddess of Fire, the Sun, and the Hearth. Because of her relation to fertility, she is closely connected to midwives and newborns. As a triple Goddess, she takes on the Maiden aspect at Imbolc.
Brigid is often depicted as stirring a large cauldron, which symbolizes the womb and the receptive, fertile nature of the Divine Feminine. Though she represents the Divine Feminine power, she also represents the polarity of mind and body, which is essential for all creation.
-Fire – flames, candle crowns, hearth, the sun
-Water – cauldron, springs, wells
-Grains – corn, wheat
-Creatures – white crow, wolf, snake, swan
-Talismans and symbols – Mirrors, Spinning Wheels, Brigid's Cross, Celtic knots, Celtic cross, faeries, dragons (element of Fire), cauldrons, bowls, chalices
-Herbs and Berries – Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Ginger, Blackberry
-Flowers – all white flowers, jasmine, chamomile, calendula
-Trees – Rowan and Willow
-Foods – Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, bread, dairy products, peppers, Raisins, spiced wines, and herbal teas
-Scents – Basil, bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla and Myrrh
-Colors – White, Pink, Red, Yellow, Brown and light green
-Stones and Gemstones – Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise, Green Jade, Green Calcite, Green Chalcedony, Brown Calcite, Red Jasper, Carnelian, Rose Quartz, and other pink/red coloured gems.
Decorating your Imbolc Altar and other ideas to Celebrate:
Red and White are colors associated with Brigid. White symbolizing the snow and red symbolizing the rising sun or coming of life. Decorating your altar with a white tablecloth and a red runner is a great way to incorporate Brigid’s colors.
-Potted bulbs (don’t worry if they’re not blooming yet) and spring flowers such as forsythia, crocus, daffodils, and snowdrops are great greenery to embellish your altar.
-A Brigid’s crown, made of candles and flowers is another fantastic tradition and the perfect way to decorate your altar this Imbolc.
-Brigid is a Celtic Goddess, incorporate Celtic designs such as Brigid crosses, knots, etc.
-Images of sacred animals such as cows, sheep or swans. Images or even a small anvil or hammer. A book 0f poetry or a poem you have written.
-In some traditions, Faeries are also associated with Brigid.
-A water-filled cauldron or chalice due to Brigid’s connection with sacred wells, springs, and healing waters.