Friday, February 23, 2018

A Preparator's Guide for Celebrating Imbolc



Winter feels unending sometimes doesn't it? Long nights and short daylight hours can make the season drag out longer than most would appreciate. When Groundhog day comes around, sometimes I sit a little too enthusiastically when that little critter tells us what our forecast for Winter will look like in the weeks to come. Will spring come sooner than anticipated? Will it drag out longer than we want? Imbolc is a promise that Spring is not far away, a promise that the cold of winter will pass and soon.




Brigid's Cross made from
soaked reeds.
Also known as Brigid's day ( Celtic Goddess of Fertility, the Forge, and Arts), Imbolc is a time to begin to rouse from the slumber of Winter and plan again for the new year. While Imbolc is observed generally on the second of February, some records have indicated that the date on which the festival was celebrated was more dependent on the lambing season of that year. So as a result, Imbolc can be celebrated any time between the 31st of January all the way till just after Valentines Day which is great news for all the procrastinators out there!

Imbolc traditionally would be celebrated with the making of little corn husk dolls dressed in white dresses, a little bed for the doll would be made for it to sleep in while giving a place for the inhabitants of the house to provide gifts to this goddess. A more common symbol of this season would be something known as a Brigid's Cross. These are made by soaking reed stalks overnight before shaping them into this festive little wheel that You'd hang over the doorway for good luck in the coming year.

Corn Husk Dolly representing
the Goddess Brigid.
Altars also will incorporate these symbols when planning for the Imbolc celebrations; utilizing flowers that have bloomed as early in February (i.e Snowdrops, Iris's Camellia, etc), Red, White and Green colored decorations that remind us that the snow is melting while spring returns, and finally candles ( Standard white candles are just fine) which represent the sun's return as our predominant solar being.

This is also a great time to break out the broom and perform a little spring cleaning! Both ritualistic and physical cleanings were performed around this time of the year to make way for good luck and good energies. Out with all aspects of the old decaying year and in with the new, fresh season that will be upon us soon.

Imbolc is a time where we are reminded that the cold months are soon behind us and the best parts of the year are only just starting to ramp up. I hope your Imbolc celebration was wonderful! Comment below to tell us what you did for your Imbolc celebration. Bright Blessings!

Don't forget to check my other posts about the different Holidays.