Imbolc
Division: Major Sabbat

Other Names: Imbolq, Olmeic, Candlemas, Brigits Day, Bride Day, Disting-tid, Feast of Brigid, Festival of Light, Feast of the Virgin, Festival of Milk, Anagantios, Feast Day of St. Blaize.

Southern Hemisphere Date: July 31/August 1

Northern Hemisphere Date: February 2

Associated Holiday: Candlemass

Associated Deities: Bridgid, The Maiden, The Spring Goddess, The young Lord

Associated Herbs: Angelica, basil, bay leaves, myrrh

Associated stones: Amethyst, Quartz crystals, opal, moonstone, aventurine, sunstone, Onyx and Turquoise.

Symbols of Imbolc: Brideo’gas, Besoms, White Flowers, Candle Wheels, Brighid’s Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), and Ploughs.

Foods of Imbolc: Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, Spiced Wines and Herbal Teas.

Drinks of Imbolc: Milk, Spiced Wines and Herbal Teas.

Incense of Imbolc: Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh.

Ritual Oils: Jasmine, Apricot, Carnation, Sweet Pea, Neroli, Olive

Colors of Imbolc: White, Pink, Red, Yellow, Green, Brown.

Taboos: None

Plants: Willow, Rosemary, Clover, Dill, Evergreen.

Element: Earth

Activities: Candle lighting, Searching for Signs of Spring, Gathering Stones

Animals: Wolf, Snake, Swan, Vulture, Robin, Burrowing Animals, Sheep, Lamb, and Deer

Mythical Creatures: Firebird, Dragon, Berometz

Celebration of: The God is a young child growing in size and strength.

About Imbolc

The Imbolc Sabbat is the time we celebrate the passing of winter and the return of spring. The rebirth of the Sun is honoured on this day and the renewed fertility of the Earth. Imbolc means “in the belly of the Mother”.

Imbolc, also known as Candlemas, is a time for weather magic and divination, this is evident in the tradition of “Groundhog Day”.

It is a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. 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, who is honoured in all her aspects. This is a time for communing with her, and tending the lighting of her sacred flame. At this time of year, Wiccans will light multiple candles, white for Brigid, and yellow for the god, this is to remind us of the passing of winter and the entrance into spring, the time of the Sun. This initiations are carried out during this time, be they in covens or self-initiations.

Imbolc is the time to sort out any pressing matters, such as making peace with those you’re in conflict with, returning borrowed items, and reconnecting with family and friends. Rituals include those for manifesting desires, casting away destructive or old patterns, opening yourself to positive enlightenment, consecrating tools and agricultural tools, and celebrating the strengthening and renewal of self. This is a potent and powerful time.

Imbolc Activities

* Hang a scarf outside on the eve of Imbolg and Brigid will bless it with healing powers.

* It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house – if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honour of the Sun’s rebirth.

* Place a lighted candle in each and every window of the house, beginning at sundown on Candlemas Eve (February 1) , allowing them to continue burning until sunrise.

* Burn the Yule greens to send winter on its way.

* Hold a candle-making party and then bless all the candles you’ll be using for the whole year

* Perform rituals of spiritual cleansing and purification

* Burn the Yule greens to send winter on its way.

* Place three ears of corn on the door as a symbol of the Triple Goddess and leave until Ostara.

* For a simple Imbolg observance, light a white candle and burn sandalwood.

* On Imbolg Eve, it is customary to leave food and drink out for Brigid — buttered bread, milk, grains, or seeds. Also leave buttered bread in a bowl indoors for the fairies who travel with the Lady of the Greenwood. Next day, dispose of it outside as the “essence” has been removed.

* Let this be the traditional time that you make candles for the coming year, infusing them with colour, power, herbs, and scent depending on the magical purpose.

* Imbolg is the traditional time to collect stones for new magic circles and general magical use.

* Weave “Brigit’s crosses” from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection

* Make dream pillows for everyone in the family.

* Clean and re-consecrate your magical cabinet of supplies and craft tools

* Place a candle in each window of your home on Imbolc eve and let it burn until the morning

* place food and saucers of fresh water for the birds.

* Start an herb or seed garden

* Have a walk outdoors and search for signs of spring. Collect natural “treasures” such as stones, sticks, feathers, pine cones for use in the rituals, decorations, and crafts through the year.

* Perform a cleansing ritual of the home, use your broom to sweep out all the negative energies, and de-clutter to release new energy.