Celebrating the Seasons
by Selena Fox
Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and Groundhog’s Day, occurs at the beginning of February. It marks the middle of Winter and holds the promise of Spring. The Goddess manifests as the Maiden and Brigid. The Groundhog is a manifestation of the God. Colors are White, and sometimes Red. It is a festival of spiritual purification and dedication.
Thoroughly clean your altar and/or temple room. Do a self purification rite with Elemental tools — cleanse your body with salt (Earth), your thoughts with incense (Air), your will with a candle flame (Fire), your emotions with water (Water), and your spiritual body with a healing crystal (Spirit). Bless candles that you will be using for rituals throughout the year. Invoke Brigid for creative inspiration. Take a Nature walk and look for the first signs of …
As the great wheel turns, we find ourselves slowly re-emerging from the deep dreamtime of winter into the portal of Imbolc.
Celebrate this festival by draping the altar in white and silver. Kepp the entire altar white — white candlesticks, white incense bowls, etc. Represent the Goddess with a figure of a horned cow. If you wear robes in ritual, honor Brigid in her guise as the goddess of the dairy by wearing white. With Neptune lending the glamour to your robes to the Sun this time, as glitter to your robes with sliver and “diamonds.” Let your imagination run wild.
Save snow from the last storm, or use crushed ice, and put it out in bowls on the altar. Scrub clean an old milke bottle or cream jar and fill it with fresh milk; freshly made mozzarella cheese will round out your cakes and ale. Nestle all bowls in the snow.
The planetary energies are particularly favorable this sabbat for working magic for world peace. Place all the candles you’ll be using this year on the altar and start this ritual in the dark — this is, without lights. Add your magic to the returning Sun. Dedicate and consecrate all your candles during this festival of lights, and consecrate your agricultural tools for use in the coming cycle of growth. This is the festival of new beginnings.
Copyright By K. D. Spitzer in Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2004 Page 39
Daylight hours are gradually lengthening, and the Earth is beginning to stir. Although she is still in the middle of her winter’s rest, our planet subtly begins to plan. It’s appropriate that this period is represented by Aquarius, an air sign, since all change begins first in the mind. Every new thought or idea is full of raw potential as the Earth is now,nailing for the touch of fire to ignite her new growth period. Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius, and the planet best known for its jurisdiction over the future. This electric energy only looks forward, never back. It is during Imbolc, in fact, as the Sun is passing through Aquarius, that many ideas are born. As we prepare for the upcoming Equinox, then, it’s important to be sure that we’re looking ahead, as Uranus does, with all the electric enthusiasm and genius of Aquarius. Honor the potential of the coming spring by uncovering your gift of prophecy. Whether you use a crystal ball, a dream journal, or another type of predictive tool, prepare for the Equinox in your heart, by understanding how much is possible now.
©️ By Kim Rogers-Gallagher Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2000 Page 95
Imbolc is an important day of purification and initiation; on the Sun’s day, February 2, the energies are very airy. This Sabbat is a good day for coven work, with an emotionally detached masculine Moon and Sun on the Sun’s day.
Dress yourself and your altar in white, while serving white beverages or any dairy food to honor the calving season. Spread the top of a one-pound round Camembert or Bire cheese with raspberry preserves. Cut a circle of puff pastry large enough to cover the cheese, wrap it, tucking the ends of the pastry under. Use scraps to decorate the top with goddess symbols. Brush with beaten egg yolk. Bake at 425 degrees until golden, and serve hot and melting on crackers. During this ritual, bless and dedicate all candles you will need for other ritual work throughout the year. A good way to start the ceremony is to light candles in the darkened room with chanting to encourage the lengthening days.
©️ By K. D. Spitzer Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2002 Page 41
IMPORTANT NOTE for the Southern Hemisphere Imbolc falls on August 1st.
Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles. Sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year, and consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins. The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location. I created a complete guide to each season, including history, traditions, symbols, correspondences, ritual ideas, and how you can celebrate.
Imbolc is a fire festival that celebrates the home and the halfway point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It is quite literally Midwinter and while the days continue to grow lighter it is still dark and cold outside. Cabin fever has set in and we are all yearning to unburden ourselves from the long dark days. This can be an especially difficult time for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is a BIG reason why a celebration is so lovely right now!
After months of self-reflection, planning, and goal setting, aspiration and ambition are beginning to stir. The tiniest bits of enthusiasm is starting to awaken beneath the surface. Goals and dreams that you’ve created over the long cold nights are now being lit from the flames of Midwinter. Let your creativity and imagination help manifest these dreams!
Table of Contents
- How do you pronounce Imbolc?
- When is Imbolc?
- Imbolc History and Traditions
- Imbolc Correspondences
- Simple Solo Imbolc Rituals
- How to Celebrate Imbolc and Activities
May what you sow on this Imbolc bring you a bountiful blessings on Lammas.
This is a day to make your candles in what ever variety of colors you think you will use for the next year.
Blessed be dear ones