Imbolc falls on February 1st and 2nd in the Northern Hemisphere and it marks the center point for the dark half of the year. What I love about Imbolc is that it is a celebration of hope; a reminder that Spring is just around the corner. This is the time of year when the lambs give birth and the earliest of flowers reach upwards towards the sun. As a whole this sabbat represents ideas like growth, renewal, and purity. This is a time to appreciate the budding fertility of the earth and it is also a time to purify both our spaces and our minds. A great activity to do for Imbolc is to go for a simple walk outdoors and try to notice and subtle hints that spring is on it’s way.
Imbolc may also be called St. Brigit’s Day or Candlemas. Brigit is a Celtic fire goddess and is considered a guardian of the home and the hearth. She is also tied to things like healing, midwifery, and smithcraft. When early Christians were unable to stop pagans from worshiping Brigit they decided to make her a Saint and you will often she her referred to as St. Brigit in various sources.
The Christian holiday of Candlemas also comes from the reinterpretation of the older pagan traditions celebrated at this time of year. During Candlemas all the candles in the home are to be lit. This ties into celebrations of Brigit who is seen as a guardian of the eternal flame.
Here in America, we have the unusual holiday of Groundhogs Day which usually falls on the same day of Imbolc. The unusual superstition of a groundhog predicting the remaining weeks of winter is certainly in alignment with Imbolc divination traditions that used this day look for signs that heralded the hope of spring.
You can place items on your altar that you feel relate to this time of year. As Brigit is considered a fire goddess, candles would be an excellent item to place on your altar. You can also use an altar cloth in one of the colors associated with Imboc, which are white, pink, yellow, and green. If you’d like to incorporate stones, the ones connected to Imbolc are amethyst, bloodstone, and garnet. You may also place plant seeds on your altar and ask Brigit to bless them with fertility for the upcoming planting season.
More importantly you should think about what in your local environment makes you feel connected to this time of year. As the seasons and weather differs around the world, what you feel connects to this time of year may be different. Don’t be afraid to find inspiration from your local environment in items to collect for your altar or for activities that will help you connect with this specific time of year.
What are your plans for Imbolc this year? Share in the comments below. You can watch my video below for more ideas on how to celebrate Imbolc.