This Gaelic tradition falls halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, during the lambing season. Imbolc can be translated to mean “in the belly” of the mother. It is the quickening season. A beginning of spring and new things you want to grow in your life. It honors Brighid, Goddess of the hearth and home. Rituals will be centered around cleaning away what you don’t want in your life and sacred space, preparing to grow what you want in your life, and honoring the hearth (center of your home).
This fire festival can be honored in altars, baking, gardening, meditation, and ritual.
Altar Ideas: Brigid’s cross, white candles, and seeds.
* Some people recommend snowdrops, which have been highly associated with this time of year, but superstition holds that bringing these lovely, white flowers indoors may bring bad luck to the home and, at worst, death to your door within a year. Snowdrop themed items are preferable.
Baking Ideas: bread, muffins, poppy seed cakes, and scones.
Cooking Ingredients: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peppers, onions, garlic, raisins, blackberries, and ginger.
Drink Ideas: spiced wine and herbal teas.
Journal Prompts: What would I like to leave behind in the old year? What would I like to grow in my life this year?
Plant Associations: angelica, basil, bay laurel, celandine, heather, iris, myrrh, and violets.
Tree Associations: rowan and willow.
Rituals: make a Brigid’s cross, place candles in the windows to call back the light, pot daffodils and crocuses in the garden, engage in spring cleaning, do a seed blessing, and bake seasonal foods.
Stones: amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, onyx, and turquoise.
Symbolizes: purification, cleansing, reunification of goddess and god.
However you choose to spend your Imbolc, may you find a sense of renewal and hope for the seeds you will grow in your life.