Imbolc is considered to be the celtic celebration of the end of winter, and the imminent beginning of the light half of the year. It’s coming signified that the hardest, coldest part of the year was almost over. Imbolc is one of my favourite points in the year. In contrast to some of society, who at this point in their year are bogged down complaining of the lack of sun and the delay in the coming of spring; those of us that walk in harmony of nature’s cycle see before us a world of bursting possibilities!
Imbolc marks the end of winter, the returning of fertility to the land. It brings with it fresh beginings, inspiration and the energy to begin new projects as the land awakens and the plants come alive again!
How can you celebrate the celtic festival of Imbolc?
SYMBOLS OF imbolc
Symbolism of Imbolc: New beginnings, inspiration, new projects, creativity, fertility the returning light, weather magic, sacred wells
Date of Imbolc: Imbolc is celebrated on 2nd February
Symbols of Imbolc: Candles, milk, fire, snowdrops, Brigid’s bed and doll, brigid cross, seeds
Colors: white, light green, yellow, gold
Foods: Soups, Breads ,Winter vegetables, Seeds, Milk, Wine
Herbs: Chamomile Tea, Basil
Flowers: Snowdrops, Aconite
Animals: Swan, Ewe or sheep,
Goddesses: Brigid, Brighid, Bridget, Bride, all Virgin/Maiden Goddesses, Blodeuwedd, Cailleach
Gods: Gods of Love and Fertility, Eros, Aengus, and Februus, Pan and Faunus.
- Make Candles
- Go for a walk and look for the first signs of life returning to the land. Buds just beginning to open, shoots coming up through the frosty earth.
- Release your creativity! Imbolc is a time of inspiration so allow your creativity to express itself.
- Visit wells and water and leave an offering to give thanks that fertitlity is returning to the land.
- Weather divination- Imbolc was traditionally a time of weather divination. The Celts believed that the hag goddess, the Cailleach; gathered her firewood at Imbolc for the rest of the winter. This old tale is remembered in an Candlemas weather proverb:
If Candlemas day be sunny and bright, Winter again will show its might.
If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey, Winter soon will pass away.
If Candlemas day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again.
Imbolc is the traditional time of year in many spiritual calendars and folklore that has a connection with candles. Some people believe that Imbolc is the time where people within the western world melt down the old candle ends and make new candles for the new year. Other accounts tell of people putting the candles away as now the light has returned and the candles are no longer need. WIthin Wales candles were blessed at this time and carried throughout the villages in procession. Imbolc became Candlemas in the Christian calendar and was considered a time of purification hence it was also celebrated by the blessing of candles to bring new light into the home.
Making candles to represent the spring energy and inspiration found the retreating frost is a beautiful way to connect with energy of the season. Candles can be made in many different ways, the internet has many options so be as creative as you like. The key to this crafting is immersion. The easiest and most simple candles to make are beeswax rolled candles. Sheets of beeswax and wicks can be easily bought at most hobby suppliers.
Spiral beeswax candles
1) beeswax sheets
2) wick, enough length to make the number of candles the same height as the edge on your wax sheet plus 5 cm.
3) hair dryer if wax is very hard although leaving them at room temperature can help solve this without the hair dryer.
1) Place the sheet on a cutting mat and, using a sharp knife cut two rectangles.
2) Warm the wax gently with a hairdryer to make it soft and pliable if necessary.
3) Lay the wick along the edge of the beeswax sheet and carefully fold the edge over the wick. Leave 5cm uncovered at the lighting end of the candle.
4) Applying even pressure with both hands, begin to roll the candle making sure to keep straight so the bottom of the candle will be even when it is completely rolled.
5) Once the candle has been rolled, gently run your finger along the inside seam of the wax, spirally around the candle, pulling the wax out to create a fluted taper.
I hope you have an inspiring Imbolc! Let me know how you will be celebrating in the comments
Everything you need to know about the Imbolc, this ancient festival celebrates the first signs of life returning to the land. This Celtic fire festival was a time of creativity, fertility and inspiration- In this book you will learn the roots of Imbolc and discover how you can connect with Mother Earth at this magical time of year, through ceremony, activities & celebrations.