Imbolc or Candlemas is the first festival of the year. Halfway in between the winter solstice (Yule) and Spring Equinox (Ostara).
Imbolc is the celebration of the first markings of Spring and the stirrings of new life.
This is the time where we see the first sprouting leaves and the sprouting of Spring flowers such as Daffodils and Crocus. Now is also the time that we see the beginning of the lambing and calving season. Yay, gotta love baby animals. All animals in fact but, this time of year, I love the little ones 🙂
So beautiful! Don’t you just love this time of the year?! The sun is reborn, the air is filled with wonderful scents and sounds. After hiding away and hibernating over Winter, it is now time to celebrate the passing of Winter, be thankful for what you have achieved over the last year and look forward to the new agricultural year ahead.
As Imbolc is celebrating the rebirth of the sun from the goddess, it is a great time to celebrate yourself also and a great time for initiations whether they be self-initiations or perhaps an initiation into a coven whom you can call your new family.
Now is the time to let go of the past, clear out the old and welcome in the new beginnings.
In past days it was said that the Goddess Brigid would visit people’s homes during Imbolc and to promote her blessings, folk would make little corn dollies, prepare food, drink and a bed for her to stay. Many people would also leave out specific items that they would like Brigid to bless.
Brigid was also often invoked to protect livestock as well as homes.
Brigid was seen as the light bringer and was celebrated to be so. She represents the lighter half of the year and so her presence is very important at this time of year.
The Goddess Brigid is known for many things, as well as helping with the rebirth of the sun (midwife if you like) , she is known for her healing skills and even smith crafts. It is said that Brigid rules anything that you can make with your hands. Bridgid is also the Goddess of the hearth, of fire and of the sun. Brigid is the triple goddess however at Imbolc is fully in her maiden aspect.
Imbolc is celebrated around the world by pagans and hippy’s alike as a festival of love, light and fertility. Often celebrated with friends and loved ones with dancing and nice warm fires.
There are many things that you can do during Imbolc to show your appreciation to the Goddesses and the sun – here are just a few little ideas;
At sunset or if you have a ritual planned, just after that, it is tradition upon Imbolc to light a candle in every room of your house in honour of the sun’s rebirth. They only need to be lit for a small moment just enough for the significance to be known. If you are not able to light a candle in each room, perhaps just switch the lights or lamps on for a moment.
Create a feast for loves ones with foods appropriate for the day. Foods symbolic to the Goddess would be most diary based foods based on the fact that Spring and Imbolc is the celebration of calving.
For the sun, why not prepare some nice fiery dishes full of peppers, chillies and spices. Yummy!
There are many many known names for Imbolc, here are just a few;
Imbolg, Feast of Torches, Brigid’s Day & Feast of the Waxing Light and I am sure many more that are unknown to this little hippy.
Whatever you call Imbolc and however you celebrate – here at Hippy HQ, we wish you a very happy and successful Imbolc filled with Peace, love and Light!