Imbolic is one of the four fire Festivals. It is also know as Candlemas (Christian influence) and Imbolg, Brid’s Day, Oimelc, Bride’s Day, and so many other names. Imbolic is celebrated midway between winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
This is a festival of Young women and Men. This is where we all recognize the cyclic change of the crone to the maiden from the winter to the spring. Using the signs of Spring, the greening of the grass, the flowering of the early spring flowering plants such as the crocus and snow drops. In places where snow is still on the ground and not much spring is to be had this is a perfect time for a festival of warmth, love and light. When the Goddesses womb stirs and the earth begins to wake.
Imbolic literally means “in the belly”. Mother Earth’s stirring of spring with all her hidden magnificence such as the seeds to come and the quickening of the earliest when the ground has grown warmer.
Most people attribute this day to Bride(BREED),but you could easily say that this is the day of Vesta. Yet I believe this is only some of the many forms of the Goddess.
This is a time of cleansing for the spring. A time to prepare for new growth and renewal. Home fires are put out and the Hearth cleansed and relit. Candles are placed around the home and lit to honor the return of the sun. A besom (broom) is used to sweep away the cobwebs and dirt of the home and the set by the front door to welcome the new of spring.
Symbolism of Imbolic:
Growth and renewal, Purity, Virginity, dispensing of the old and making way for the new
Symbols of Imbolic:
Besoms, Candle Wheels, White flowers, fire, plow, acorn wands
Herbs of Imbolic:
All white or yellow flowers, Angelica, Basil, Bay, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Tansy, Violets, Blackberry, Myrrh
Foods of Imbolic:
Herbal teas, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppy seed cakes, Muffins, Scones and Bread, all Dairy Products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, and Spiced Wines
Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh
White, Pink, Red, Yellow, Lt. Green, Brown
Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise
Candle lighting, stone gathering, searching for signs of spring, making priapic wands, feasting, bon fires, making corn maidens from corn and wheat, and spring cleaning.
Please don’t pick any parts from plants today.
Imbolic, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc
Carmina Gadelica, Volume 1, by Alexander Carmicheal, , at sacred-texts.com
Imbolc Traditions http://www.adf.org/rituals/celtic/imbolc/imbolc-traditions.html
Imbolc Rituals http://www.adf.org/rituals/celtic/imbolc/index.html
Imbolc Traditions, Customs and Folklore http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolctraditions/Imbolc_Traditions_Customs_and_Folklore.htm
Patti Wigington, Februalia: A Time of Purification,http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/p/Februalia.htm
Patti Wigington, Setting Up Your Imbolc Altar,http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/p/Imbolc_Altar.htm
Star Breezes, Imbolic, http://www.starbreezes.com/pgim/imbolc.html
Akasha, Imbolic, http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/imbolclore.htm