Imbolc meaning ‘in the belly’ is celebrated from the evening of February 1st to the evening of February 2nd in the Northern Hemisphere and the evening of August 1st to the evening August 2nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a festival of new beginnings, the stirrings of spring and of hope and light. It is also devoted to the Goddess Brigid, who is a maiden returning with the light. Although we are very much still in winter, this is known as the stirrings of spring, where you will see buds start to grow on trees and some flowers such as snowdrops emerging. The Maiden has arrived, new, young and playful, giving you the spark of inspiration to create new things and give hope that warmer and brighter days are to come. The Crone is starting to withdraw at this point, still there but slowly making herself hidden to make way for the new.
Goddesses of Imbolc
Brigid – A Celtic Goddess of healing, poetry and the hearth of the home. Bringer of light and fire.
Bast – An Egyptian Goddess of the home and childbirth. Guardian and a protector of Mothers and children.
Cailleach – A Celtic Goddess of winter and death. She is an ancient Earth Mother and the Bone Mother, collecting the bones of the dead animals that died over winter, singing, praying or sleeping over them all winter long so they may cross over peacefully and return as new life in spring.
Gods of Imbolc
Aenghus Og – A Celtic God of love, youth, and poetry inspiration.
Eros – A Greek God of fertility and love. He shot arrows into peoples hearts to make them fall in love.
Februus – A Roman God of purification and whose name was used to name the month of February. He helps you to let go and clear the things that still need to be cleared to get ready for new beginnings.
Symbols of Imbolc
Lambs, Milk, Snowdrops, Green Shoots, Buds, Fire, Brigid’s Cross/Doll, Seeds, Serpents, Doves
Colors & Flowers
White, Blue, Green, Gold, Yellow, Snowdrops, Heather, Chamomile, Lavender
Meditation to clear what no longer serves you with Brigid
Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
Imagine you are in a forest, and there is a path in front of you.
You start to walk the path through the trees. Notice what is around you. Is there any animals? Signs of new life emerging anywhere?
As you walk further along the path you come to a circle of stones with a fire in the middle. You stop at the edge and watch the flames.
You then notice a figure on the other side of the fire. The figure sees you and starts to walk towards you. You can see that it is a beautiful cloaked woman.
She smiles at you and says ‘Welcome. I am Brigid.’ and takes down her hood.
You say hello and smile.
The Goddess says ‘I have been expecting you, come.’ She beckons you over to the fire.
You go with her and feel how warm the fire is and it comforts you.
The Goddess then asks ‘Are you ready to let go of what no longer serves you, so you can move on to what is ready to come into your life?’
You answer her. If your answer is no, then just ask her for a message. If you answered yes, the Goddess then says to you ‘ Step into the fire.’
You step into the fire and feel its warmth surrounding you. The Goddess then says, ‘This sacred fire will cleanse and clear you of all that no longer serve you. Feel the flames as they rise around you burning away all that you wish gone.’
You feel the flames rising around you, feel their energy clearing and cleansing you. Through you and around you. You can feel something happening and its a wonderful feeling.
Stay with this for a while.
When you feel ready, the Goddess says ‘Step out of the flames.’
You step out and Brigid is smiling. You can feel something has changed and you feel lighter. The Goddess now takes your hand and leads you to a small spring of water by one of the stones. She takes some water from it and sprinkles it on your head saying ‘May you be inspired and create beautiful things in your life. Blessed be.’
She then hugs you and you feel her love radiate from her into you filling you with love and peace.
You can now ask her any questions you would like.
When you have finished, thank Goddess Brigid. The Goddess says ‘I am here for you always, all you need to do is call. Farewell for now.’
You say goodbye and take the path back the way you came.
When you are ready take three deep breaths and come back to the room.
Write down your experience.
Ritual for Imbolc
Set up a small altar with candles, something to represent the triple goddess, flowers and incense and anything else you feel drawn to that honors Imbolc.
Light the candles and ask the four directions to be present to protect you in a circle.
Start by thanking the Crone of winter and the wisdom she has brought throughout the past months to you. Think of the things that she has shown you or helped you gain clarity with.
Then think of some of the things you wish to let go of. Write these on a piece of paper feeling yourself letting go of them and burn them (safely). As you burn the paper say ‘As the Crone starts to withdraw and lets go, I let go of….. (state what you wish to let go of).
Watch the paper burn and feel yourself lighter as you let go of these things.
Once this is finished, do the meditation above.
After the meditation, you may want to light a candle in honor of the Goddess Brigid and the light that she brings, thanking her for her powerful cleansing.
You can then add anything here you wish in honor of this day and turn of the wheel. Some suggestions are, chanting, drumming and crafting.
When you are ready, close the circle by thanking the Goddess and the directions.
Go out and place an offering to the Earth. Food, a piece of your hair, some herbs or salt. Whatever you feel drawn to and give thanks.
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