St Brigid's Day/ The Feast of Brigid / Candlemas / Groundhog Day
Colours: white, red, yellow, green, pink
Spells: beginnings, renewal, rebirth, reawakening, cleansing, purification, fertility, growth, transformation, motivation
Animals: sheep, lambs, swans, robins, deer, groundhogs, snakes
Rituals/activities: cleansing, blessing, lighting candles, have a fire, making a Brigid's cross
Foods: bread, bannock, seeds, dairy (or vegan alternatives), root vegetables
All About Imbolc
Imbolc is an ancient Irish pagan festival that marks the very beginning of spring and winter drawing to an end.
It is the halfway point between Yule the Winter Solstice, and Ostara the Spring Equinox.
The term Imbolc originates from the old Irish word "Imbolg" meaning “in the belly” referring to the beginning of the lambing season, and also "Oimelc" meaning "ewe's milk". Ewe's milk was used during this time, often poured onto the ground as a libation to the Earth Mother.
This Sabbat is connected to the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid is associated with healing, smithcraft, agriculture, fertility, poetry, and the hearth. She represents the light half of the year. After the spread of Christianity, Goddess Brigid became Saint Brigid.
Brigid is said to visit one's home on Imbolc eve. Invite Brigid into your home by opening your front door and greeting Brigid. Be sure to leave milk and bread and butter out as an offering to Brigid. Leave a strip of white fabric outside for her to bless with healing and protection properties.
Craft a Brigid's Cross from reeds or straw for protection and prosperity and hang this above your front door. Burn the previous year's Brigid's Cross.
Craft a Brigid dolly (also called a Brideog) and a bed to place it in on the eve of Imbolc. A woven basket would make a perfect bed. Place a priapic wand next to the Brideog (a wand with either an acorn or a pinecone at the tip). Place the bed on the hearth of your home and light a candle next to it at sunset.
Have a feast in Brigid's honour with breads, cakes, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, and ale. And herbs such as rosemary, lavender, bay, chamomile and heather.
Imbolc is one of the four fire festivals on the Celtic calendar. Light a fire in your fireplace or have a bonfire to welcome the return of the Sun.
It's traditional to light candles on this day in honour of the returning Sun. Light a red candle on the hearth of your home to celebrate the return of the Sun. Light a white candle that has been cleansed and consecrated in each room of your house. Light any candles you have that are nearly burned down.
Visit a healing well or natural source of water on this day. Leave offerings and ask for blessings. Walk clockwise around a healing well and dip strips of fabric in the water to tie around the branch of a nearby tree. These strips of fabric are called “clooties” and were used for healing and blessings. (Be sure to use a fabric that is biodegradable such as cotton or wool)
Imbolc is a time for new beginnings. Start to sow seeds, literal and figurative. Plan for the year ahead. Start your spring cleaning and bless your home. Use your besom to ritually sweep away the old and stagnant energy, “out with the old, in with the new”.
Look for signs of Spring on its way. Buds on trees, snowdrops and crocuses in bloom. Collect a few flowers or greenery that may be in bloom and bring this into your home.
Burn any leftover greenery from Yule, such as holly or the Yule tree.
Craft your own candles on this day. Add herbs and crystals and bless the candles.
Bless candles, seeds to plant, gardening tools, your garden, and your home.
Imbolc is a wonderful time to read or write poetry.
Try soaking in a milk bath, or a coconut milk bath using coconut milk powder for a vegan alternative.
Imbolc incense blend:
Imbolc tea blend:
Imbolc milk tea:
Imbolc anointing oil (perfect for anointing candles with):