Merry Imbolc my Witchy Readers
Celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, the pagan holy day of Imbolc may seem to the common person to have very little to do with the modern day celebration of Groundhog Day in which a groundhog is watched as it comes out of its winter home, tests the air and returns and those watching debate on the earliness or lateness of spring depending on whether the creature saw its own shadow or not. However, the student of history and of witchcraft can easily see the connection.
Imbolc, also called Oimelc or Candlemas, is a Greater Sabbat that celebrates the fading of winter and the first glimpses of spring. Imbol or Oimelc is a term meaning the “Lactation of the Ewes.” This is in reference to the herd animals kept in the barn or closed in during the winter being pregnant and lactating at this time.
The term Candlemas is in reference to the man candles and fires lit on this holiday to encourage and aid the Sun in its bringing of warmth and spring to the world. These candles are also burned in celebration of the Maiden goddess, Brighid who is the goddess of sacred fire. For Her, this holy day is also called La Fheile Bride or “Feast of the Bride.”
Other activities of celebration, other than the lighting of candles and fires, included consecration of agricultural tools as farmers and gardeners prepare for spring planting. The fashioning corn or straw dollies as well as clothes, beds and wands for them is done now in honor of the Maiden.
Correspondences for Imbolc
Deities: The Maiden goddess known as Brighid, Eos, Aradia, and Vesta. The Young God known as Eros and Aengus Og.
Herbs: Angelica, Basil, Bay, Benzoin, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Tansy, Violets
Stones: Amethyst, Citrine, Garnet, Green Tourmaline, Ruby, Turquoise
Foods: Those that honor the hearth and the fire within including most breads, preserved foods, and dairy products.
Libation: Fresh milk, Dandelion wine, mead and ale.
**From my Wheel of the Year essay**
It's not too late to join myself and my friend Priestess Maighread Birdsong for our online Imbolc ritual. Maighread is also offering Brighid Flame attunments to attendees.
Learn more and sign up HERE
Ritual is at 8am PST (or 7 am Alaskan time)
Love and Light,