Imbolc marks the return of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the halfway point between the Winter Solstice (or Yule) and the Spring Equinox (or Ostara).
Typically, the most difficult part of the Winter is now over and we start to feel
the stirrings of hope again that the warmth of Spring will soon return. Early Spring bulbs or flowers may now begin to pop up and the days are becoming longer.
Imbolc means “in the belly” as life is deep in the belly of the earth,
waiting to be born again in the Spring.
The Celtic goddess, Brigid, is highly associated with Imbolc. She is the goddess
of the sacred flame and governs creativity, healing, poetry, and smithcraft.
She guards our homes and hearth. A fun ritual to do for Imbolc is to craft a Brigid's Cross (as seen above).
Imbolc is in the season of Winter, so it’s still a time of rest and dreaming,
but we’re beginning to look ahead and imagine how things will grow and the steps
we’ll need to take to support our dreams. We are starting to move beyond the intangible of our hopes and dreams, and the air becomes charged with a feeling
of ‘yes! I can do this!’ as things unfold.
Colors: White, red, pink, light green
Gemstonse: Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, citrine, ruby, tiger's eye
Symbols: Candles, cauldron, chalice, Brigid's cross, fire, seeds
Rituals for Imbolc
My favorite way to stop and recognize this seasonal festival is to plant seeds. Since Imbolc means "in the belly" planting seeds is a wonderful way to symbolize this, as the seeds are planted in the belly of the earth, so to speak. If you're like me and the ground is still too cold to plant seeds outdoors, you can easily start them indoors. I grow mine in my garage with just a heat mat and a grow light. Slow growing seeds, like bush beans, are some of the easiest to start this way.
For a free workbook for Imbolc that includes correspondences, a ritual idea, journal prompts, and a card spread (for tarot or oracle cards), click here.