The Festival of Imbolc

When is Imbolc?

As with all of the sabbats, solstices and equinoxes the dates vary as they’re dependant on astrological timings. Imbolc can fall on 1st or 2nd of February and for 2020 it is being celebrated on both 1st and 2nd of the month.

Imbolc starts at sunset and traditionally this is the point when every lamp in the house would be lit, even if just for a few minutes. The day that follows Imbolc is widely known as Candlemas.

Candlemas is a traditional Christian festival of light that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary, forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. In pre-Christian times this day was known as the ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the longer daylight hours just as is the case with Imbolc.

What is Imbolc?

Imbolc (pronounced Ee-Molc) started its life as a Gaelic tradition originating in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man and it’s very much about preparing for spring. It’s also known as Brigid’s day (pronounced Breed) who is the ancient Goddess of fertility.

At this time of the year, we start to see some of the first signs of spring as leaves begin to show on the trees and shoots sprout from the ground.

Imbolc is when the Earth is getting ready for spring in the Northern Hemisphere and it signifies that change is on its way. There are signs of new growth beginning to show in nature and this is to be mirrored in our lives too. This is why Imbolc is the perfect time to clear away any blockages that can and will inhibit growth.

How to celebrate Imbolc

Here are some suggestions for things you can do to celebrate Imbolc.

1. Decorate your altar

Use potted spring bulb plants such as forsythia, crocus, daffodils, and snowdrops. You can make a Brigid Cross or Bridey Doll. Also, add white and green candles.

2. Spring clean your home

This is the perfect time to get rid of any clutter or mess as well as cleaning and cleansing away stagnant energies. Opening the windows and letting fresh air in through your home is worth doing too.

3. Let there be light

Imbolc is a celebration of light so use this theme to make your home bright, warm and welcoming. Turn on every light in the house after sunset even if it’s just for a few moments and also light candles where you can. You are welcoming the longer lighter days and the warmth of the season of spring.

4. Burn paper snowflakes

Make a paper snowflake and burn it where it is safe to do so to say goodbye to winter, and it’s cold weather and frozen ground.

5. Make a Brigid’s cross

This is a small cross usually woven from rushes. Typically it has four arms tied at the ends and a woven square in the middle.

Do you have any other Imbolc rituals you like to practice?

Let me know in the comments below this blog.

Imbolc Blessings

Sarah x

Would you love to know more about working with the festivals on the Wheel of the Year?

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To find out more and to join the waiting list, check out the link below.

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Hi, I’m Sarah Cornforth and I'm a Creatrix of Magick.  I have never really considered myself creative or artistic as I'm too much of a perfectionist for that and I still find it hard to accept the word ‘artist’ as a title for myself. Initially creating art was a way of coping with the curveballs of life. When I draw, or paint or craft I feel calmer, my mind slows down to a pace I can cope with and life becomes easier. I also love working closely with the phases of the moon and the cycles of nature in everything I do as the benefits are huge. At the end of 2017 a dear friend nudged me in the direction of creating art to sell, and if it had been anyone else who encouraged me I would have thought they were mad. But this particular friend has a special gift. She can see the life purpose of others. So I listened and I took every piece of advice she had to give me.....and here I am, creating art, working with the Moon, teaching people how to heal through Mandala art, feeling happy and sharing what I love with the world. Thank you for joining me on this journey.