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Wheel of the Year ~ Imbolc

December 30, 2022

Imbolc (Candlemas, Brigid’s Day) is traditionally celebrated Jan 31-Feb 2, the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

Imbolc is a festival that honors Brigid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit), a beloved pagan Goddess who was woven into the Christian church as St Bridget. In Kildare, Ireland, a women's only shrine was kept to her where nineteen nuns tended her continually burning sacred flame. She is a Goddess of healing (healers, medicine, spiritual healing) and inspiration (poets, poetry, creativity, prophecy, arts). She brings fertility to the land and its people.

Colors of the Season

White for purity and the color of milk.

Green for spring and healing.

Red for fire and creativity.

Gold for warmth of the sun and the color of grain.

Plants of the Season

Blackberry is Sacred to Brigid; the leaves and berries are used to attract prosperity and healing. Dandelion “the little notched of Bride”, snowdrop, crocus, acorns, oak tree, oat, chamomile, broom, shamrock, rushes, straw.

Imbolc Symbols

Fire - flames, candles, hearth, Brigid’s cross.

Water - cauldron, springs, wells, snow.

Grains- corn & oat sheaves for making Brigid wheels, Bridie dollies, Brigid's bed.

Animals- white cow with red ears, wolf, snake, swan, lamb.

Suggestions for celebration

Bless candles for use in future rituals and workings during the upcoming year.

Make Brigid wheels, placing the wheel above or on the door to bless the home & burning last year’s wheel. Also known as a Brigid's Cross it is traditional fire wheel symbol of protection.

Make a Brigid Doll is an old tradition which can be included in a ceremony and or placed in 'Bride's Bed' to bring fertility and good fortune to the home.

Put out food and drink for Brigid on Her eve (buttered bread, milk, grains, seeds).

Remove Yuletide greens from your home & burn. 

Imbolc Ritual

Decorate your altar with the colors and plants associated with the festival. Include a symbol of the season, such as a representation of a snowflake, a white flower, a Brigid’s wheel, or dollies. If you live in a region with snow, put some in a container and place on the altar. The melted snow can used for the water during the circle casting

Anoint candles with the Brigid Oil.

Light the candles and incense and cast the Circle.

"This is the time of the feast of torches,

when every lamp blazes and shines

to welcome the rebirth of the God.

I celebrate the Goddess,

I celebrate the God.

All the Earth celebrates

Beneath its mantle of sleep."

Take one of the lighted candles and slowly walk around the circle clockwise. You may want to read or recite a favorite poem.

Stop before the altar, holding up the candle. Gaze at its flame.

Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength.

Celebrate with a simple feast of bread, butter, honey, and tea.

The circle is released.

Blessed Imbolc 

 

References

Farrar, Janet & Stewart (1987). The Witches Goddess.

Green, Miranda (1995). Celtic Goddesses.

Weber, Courtney (2015). Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess

Cunningham, Scott (1988). Wicca A Guide for The Solitary Practitioner (pages 130 - 131).

 





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