6 ways to celebrate Imbolc, the Celtic spring festival

In the Wheel of the Year, Imbolc falls on 1st & 2nd February. Now is the time to celebrate the light as we shuffle out of winter's dark hibernation...

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

Imbolc (pronounced IM-bolk) is an ancient Celtic festival of light and fertility. In the Pagan Wheel of the Year, Imbolc falls on the first two days of February, marking the very start of spring. This Sabbat, or festival, honours nature's reawakening after the winter hibernation: Snowdrops and daffodils are starting to peep out; buds are ripening in the trees and lambing season is imminent. It's a wonderful time of year that certainly deserves a joyful welcome! Here's how to celebrate Imbolc in your own way.

1 Do an Imbolc spring clean…

Imbolc is a time for purification and renewal as we emerge from the darkness of winter. To honour and support this purification, it's traditional to spring-clean your home. Whether undertaking a full KonMari purge (ie. if it doesn't spark joy, it goes!), or simply beating out the rugs and giving your house a good dust, now is the time to do a good clear-out. As you clean, consciously ask your guides and guardians to support you in releasing the old, because celebrating Imbolc is all about ushering in the new.

2 …and a spring cleanse

The spring-cleaning philosophy applies to your body as well as your home! If you fastidiously adhered to your healthy eating resolution in January, congratulations! It has served you well in giving your body a healthful deep clean in preparation for spring. If not, a week of clean eating and healthy living at the start of February will help you release toxins and outdated behaviours. Celebrate Imbolc with a clean slate!

3 Light a candle for the Fire Goddess

Our Celtic ancestors celebrated Imbolc with huge bonfires. This is because Imbolc is the birthday of Mother Brede. Brede, or Brigid, which means bright, is the triple Irish Goddess of Fire. She is the fire of inspiration, poetry, healing and divination. In Celtic legend, Brede is the daughter of the important Celtic god and druid, The Dagda. It is said that she was born with a flame reaching out from the top of her head connecting her to the universe. To honour the fire goddess at Imbolc, light a candle. As you light it, say:

"So we light our candle to Mother Brede
As She awakens the seeds in the spring.
To inspire us in all our words and deeds
Lighting Her flame of love within us all."

This candle ignites your flame of creativity and inspiration for the coming year.

Collage of images to celebrate Imbolc: Goddess Brigid, Imbolc crystals, daffodils

4 Place Imbolc flowers on your altar

Each Sabbat in the Pagan Wheel of the Year marks a phase in the relationship between the Goddess and the Horned God. This is a metaphor for the Earth and the Sun. At Imbolc, the Goddess begins to awaken after winter, enticed by the light of the Sun God who is growing stronger. The warmth of the Sun God – now a passionate young man – entices the Earth's seeds from their slumber. We witness the awakening of the Goddess in the first spring flowers, and the God in the growing daylight hours of the sun. What better way to represent this than with sunny daffodils? Place a bright posy on your altar to energise it with spring energy.

5 Do a seed-sowing ritual

Remember that we celebrated Yule, or Winter Solstice, by contemplating the seeds of those hopes and dreams that we wished to bring to life in the year ahead. Well, at Imbolc, those seeds are starting to germinate! Celebrate this process with a seed-sowing ritual. Holding your deepest desire in your heart and mind, plant a few seeds in the greenhouse or an indoor plant pot. Sweet peas and tomatoes are good for this time of year. Work intentionally – this is a magical moment of seeding your goals. Water your newly planted seeds with the intention that as they germinate, so too do your hopes and dreams.

6 Charge your Imbolc crystals

Sunny crystals such as citrine, sunstone and yellow calcite bring in the hope, potential and vivacious energy of spring. Place your Imbolc crystal on the windowsill in the growing sunlight (even if it's a cloudy day!) to charge it on the first two days of February. Then, keep this charged crystal near your newly planted seeds to bring extra life and energy to your manifesting magick.

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