The Magic of Imbolc

A Time of Purity, Growth and Renewal

Imbolc (Imbolg) the festival marking the beginning of Spring has been celebrated since ancient times. It is a Cross Quarter Day, the midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox Celebrated between the 1st Up to the 7th February.

Historically, Imbolc was widely observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Imbolc was defined as “in the belly” and refers to pregnant ewes, symbolising the magical creation of life.

In the festival celebrations, pagans worshiped Brighid and asked for her blessing to show them a path of purity, strength and courage. During the celebration, people would light a candle in every corner of their houses, the light symbolising the positive energy that would befriend the changing season. Cakes would be made, and a meal would be prepared to celebrate.

The food included anything prepared with seeds, raisins, pork, poultry, or lamb, with sides of potatoes, cabbage, onions, and garlic. Seeds represented growth and raisins symbolise a precious fruit of the sun god.

Believers would make Brighid’s crosses, and a even a doll called Brídeóg depicting the goddess. The doll would be carried from one house to another to send out the goddess' blessings. To seek the blessings, people would make a bed for Brighid, offer her food and drink and leave their clothes outside.

The great wheel turning was, and still is, a powerful time for divination and for setting intentions for the next season.

Part of the celebrations included removing the greens from Yuletide and setting them alight to officially mark the end of the winter. The green was a symbol of hope that life existed beyond the harshness of the dark winter. Its beautiful colour kept people motivated and feeling positive on those dark nights. It helped them to remember that the greenery and the light would return to the land soon.

Symbolism of Imbolc:

Purity, Growth and Re-Newal, The Re-Union of the Goddess and the God, Fertility, and dispensing of the old and making way for the new.

Herbs of Imbolc:

Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Tansy, Violets, and all white or yellow flowers.

Foods of Imbolc:

Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, Spiced Wines and Herbal Teas.

Incense of Imbolc:

Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh.

Colors of Imbolc:

White, Pink, Red, Yellow, lt. Green, Brown.

Crystals of Imbolc:

Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise.

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