It is no coincidence that Valentine’s Day falls around this cycle of the wheel. Imagery of bunnies and eggs are traditionally intended to represent the fertility of the coming spring season. Mother Earth is getting ready to awaken from her winter slumber and so, we celebrate Imbolc! Planting the ‘seeds’ we plan to bring to fruition, Imbolc is a festival celebrating the transition of winter to spring. Let’s explore ways to honor this sabbat and connect with ancient traditions associated with Imbolc!
As with many traditional celebrations, a feast with seasonal ingredients is always fun and meaningful. Oatcakes with blackberry jam are a fun choice to sample traditional Imbolc fare. Bread, cakes and milk are common recipes for Imbolc feasts. Don’t forget to incorporate blackberries for the Goddess, Bridgid!
Spring cleaning goes back to ancient times too! Grab your charged water, essentials oils, room spray and other cleansing tools to purify your home or ritual space! The intention of cleansing the stagnancy of winter and darkness will help awaken the energy in your home, inviting new growth and prosperity. A besom is a great tool to cleanse your altar of stale winter energy and awaken the nurturing power of spring.
Not feeling up to high energy activities? Let’s do a ritual bath (or shower) instead! Since the idea is renewal and awakening things like sugar or salt scrubs (for removing dry winter skin) are a great element to include! Herbs like lavender and chamomile are synonymous with relaxation. Milk is used symbolically within these rituals as well and provides an amazing quality to your bath ritual. A milk soap is another invigorating option. Regardless of what makes your ritual special, focusing or visualizing ‘planting seeds’ to later harvest the ‘fruits’ of your intentions can help usher a successful year ahead.
Setting up a sacred space is a common tradition among those who use this method to connect with deities or participate in other energy practices. The goddess Brigid is often revered during this celebration as she brings healing and fertility. Crafting effigies from corn husks represent the goddess Brigid, and it was believed having this doll brought her and her blessings into your home. Another activity is crafting a Brigid’s cross for protection. These are often made of corn husks or similar materials.
Lastly, consider using basic association for your rituals and décor. Colors like pinks, yellows and greens are associated with this season work great for things like candles. Herbs that are relatively easy to acquire for meals or offerings are blackberries, basil, lavender, rosemary and chamomile. Crystals provide an amazing energy boost to your intentions for this sabbat. Amethyst, carnelian, sunstone, rose quartz are relatively easy to acquire, just to name a few.
No matter your intention, these simple activities should be enough to get you started in your journey or help you connect with your higher self and the magick that surrounds you! I wish you all a blessed Imbolc!