The center point of the dark half of the year is celebrated from sundown on Feb 1st to sundown on Feb 2nd. This turn of the wheel is known as Imbolc. It acknowledges the end of winter and the approach of the light half of the year.
It is a time when the seeds begin stirring within the earth in preparation for their spring birthing. And milk begins flowing to the teets and udders of cattle, so they can provide nourishment for their young. This is a time imbued with the promise of renewal. We can feel the life-force of Mama Earth stirring. Growing stronger and stronger. Pushing forth in its effort to awaken the bounty of earth’s life sustaining gifts once again. The air is fully ripe with hidden potential.
Imbolc was the time when our Ancestors began preparing for the arrival of spring. Seeds were blessed to ensure that they would prosper and provide abundant growth, resulting in a bountiful harvest season. And agricultural tools were consecrated to ready them for the rigorous work of tending crops and cattle.
The maiden too began to prepare for the culmination of growth and renewal she would experience on the arrival of the spring equinox, March 21st.
This is a time for all of creation to let go of the old and usher in the new. Soon we will be walking out of the dark half of the year and into days filled with abundant sunshine. We will be surrounded by new life. Our eyes will soak in the visual delights of the growth process of the plant and animal kingdom unfolding all around us. We will experience the elements in a different way. The cool of a river on our bare toes. The warmth of the sunshine as it rests on our shoulders. The sounds of bird song carried to our ears by a gentle spring breeze. And the feel of fresh green grass on the naked souls of our feet.
As a result of the ‘look to the future’ inclination so resonant in the air in this season, the Ancients found it a desirable time for prophecy. We would be wise to follow suit. The power of the divination crafts are heightened now. And insight is quite readily available to those who seek it.
Imbolc is not really a fire festival. Not in the community gathering together and celebrating around a bonfire kind of way. Yet, fire is an important part of this turn of the wheel, as it symbolizes the return of the Sun. The focus concerning this element is placed more on the home hearth. This is a great time to perform ritual magic designed to bring prosperity, health, and abundance flowing directly to your home, yourself, and your family.
Our Ancestors would light a fire in each room of their home and allow it to burn there throughout the night. Those who did not have the option of doing so would use a candle as a substitute for this practice. A very acceptable substitute at that. So … light the fires and/or break out the candles Witches 🔥 🔥 🔥
Tradition also held that families would engage in a torchlit procession around their crop fields. This was done to both purify them and produce vigorous growth throughout the approaching growing season.
Not surprisingly, wells were an important part of this celebration. Their provision of sustenance for the crops was pertinent. It was customary to circle them in the same direction as the sun, while invoking their blessing of prosperity upon yourself and your family. And then leave an offering behind, as a sign of gratitude for their consistent faithfulness.
In Celtic tradition, this festival was recognized as a tribute to the Celtic Goddess of the hearth, Brigid.
Corn dollies were made from straw in her image. They were then lain in a basket. Often on white flower bedding. Young girls toted the basket from door to door. And at each stop gifts were bestowed upon the straw image of the Goddess as a symbol of the residents reverence for Brigid.
Crosses were also made from straw and exchanged from one to another as a symbol of both protection and prosperity throughout the upcoming year. Traditionally these lovely handmade gifts were hung on the kitchen wall, where they were believed to protect the home from fire and evil.
That’s all I have for you on the pagan holiday of Imbolc right now Witches …
I do hope that your celebrations bring you great pleasure, deep insight, and abundant prosperity …
Let's get together in the comments so you can share what this little post taught you about Imbolc. And also what you have to teach me about this holiday 😉
I do love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
AND I truly feel that when one Ancient Allies Witch shares ALL Ancient Allies Witches benefit ❤️😉❤️
May good fortune chase you throughout ALL of your days, Witches!
And May Bountiful Blessings Be Yours ~ Diane