Imbolc (pronounced “IM-bulk”, “IM mol’g” or “EM-bowl/k”) is one of the Greater Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on February 2nd. In the Celtic tradition, it is celebrated on February 1st or the first Full Moon in Aquarius. Other names Imbolc are known by include Imbolg, Imbolic (Celtic), Imbolgc Brigantia (Caledonii Tradition, or the Druids), Candlelaria (Mexican Craft), Disting (Teutonic Tradition – celebrated on February 14th) Candlemas (some Pagan Traditions and/or individuals prefer this name), the Feast of Candlemas and St. Bridget’s Day (Christian), Oimelc, Brigid’s Day, Lupercus (Strega), the Feast of Lights, the Feast of the Virgin, the Snowdrop Festival, or the Festival of Lights. The name “Imbolc” or “Oimelc”, which is derived from Gaelic, means “ewe’s milk” after the lactating sheep that are feeding their firstborn lambs of the new season at this time of year.
Prayer for Imbolc
On this Imbolc day, as I kindle the flame upon my hearth, I pray that the flame of Brigid may burn in my soul, and the souls of all I meet today. I pray that no envy and malice, no hatred or fear may smother the flame. I pray that indifference and apathy, contempt and pride, may not pour like cold water on the flame.
Instead, may the spark of Brigid light the love in my soul, that it may burn brightly through this season. And may I warm those that are lonely,
whose hearts are cold and lifeless, so that all may know the comfort of Brigid’s love.
The Magick of Imbolc
In many Wiccan traditions, Imbolc is celebrated as the point in the year when the Goddess recovers from giving birth to the Sun. The young God grows from an infant to a child. It is a time when the growing light promises the return of springtime. Many Wiccans tend to focus their rituals on the Maiden aspect of the Goddess at this time as well.In Celtic lore, the Goddess Brighid is primarily worshiped because of her triple aspect as the patroness of smith-craft(fire), healing and inspiration.
The Witches Correspondences for Imbolc
Tools, Symbols & Decorations
White flowers, marigolds, plum blossoms, daffodils, Brigid wheel, Brigid’s cross, candles, grain/seed for blessing, red candle in a cauldron full of earth, doll, Bride’s Bed; the Bride, broom, milk, birchwood, snowflakes, snow in a crystal container,evergreens, homemade besom of dried broom, orange candle anointed in oil can be used to symbolize the renewing energy of the Sun’s rebirth.
Brown, pink, red, orange, white, lavender, pale yellow, silver, green, blue
Lighting candles, seeking omens of Spring, storytelling, cleaning house, bonfires, indoor planting, stone collecting, candle kept burning dusk till dawn; hearth re-lighting
Firebird, dragon, groundhog, deer, burrowing animals, ewes, robins, sheep, lamb, other creatures waking from hibernation
Amethyst, garnet, onyx, turquoise
Angelica, basil, bay, benzoin, celandine, clover, heather, myrrh, all yellow flowers, willow
Jasmine, rosemary, frankincense, cinnamon, neroli, musk, olive, sweet pea, basil, myrrh, wisteria, apricot, carnation
Cleansing; purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid, feast of milk & bread
Dairy, spicy foods, raisins, pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seeds, poppyseed bread/cake, honey cake, pancakes, waffles, herbal tea
For early Pagans, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. A time in the spring equinox where days were as long as nights, thus a time of balance, symbolized as the egg. It’s the pagan version of Easter.