THE IMBOLC SABBAT
Imbolc means “in the belly” and corresponds with the time that sheep would typically become pregnant. This concept is woven throughout the sabbat as a time of rebirth, hope, and internal growth.
Imbolc is a wonderful time to clear clutter and start fresh for the fast-approaching spring, and it’s also a time of clearing the mind. This sabbat offers the perfect energy to let go of the old so that you can let in the new, as the time for looking to the past is gone it’s time to now look to the brighter future and the promise of the sun to come in the coming months.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE IMBOLC
THE THEMES OF IMBOLC
A FRESH START
Since Imbolc marks the midpoint of the winter time, it’s a time to start over and begin to think about the season of growth that is fast approaching. Clear your mind of the past and focus on the bright hope of the future while you prepare yourself for growth and renewal.
This time of deep winter was traditionally a time when sheep and other animals were pregnant, to be due in spring. This idea is still prevalent today as we can draw on the nurturing energies of this natural cycle of nature. What are you growing within? Is it a new idea? A new beginning for yourself? Now is the time to explore and nurture that thought to be revealed in the spring when growth is in full swing.
In winter, we often go within ourselves and reflect on the things that are meaningful to us. During the Imbolc season, these reflections can begin to take life. As the days begin to get longer and the light slowly returns, let your inner light shine with creative projects and undertakings.
For those of us who love the sun and spring, Imbolc is an inspiring time, because it brings with it hope that the dark, cold winter will give way to a new light and life all around. Work with this naturally inspiring time to manifest your desires for the spring to come.
Imbolc is a great time for renewql in all areas of your life. Spring cleaning, focusing on your health, and creating an environment of wellness in your life are all best accomplished during this time of year. A Use this time to renew yourself, your home and your inner self.
SYMBOLS OF IMBOLC
A powerful symbol of the Pagan Goddess Brigid is seen all across Ireland. It is sometimes called a solar cross when it has 4 arms, and can be seen as a three armed cross as well. It’s typically made of field rushes, but you can make a Brigid’s cross to display on your altar or above your door out of any fresh growing grass in your area during this time of year.
Sheep are a symbol of fertility and the promise of new life. Sheep have been a staple for thousands of years to many people-groups, and the success of our ancestors largely depended on their success in turn. Many pregnant, health sheep meant a spring of prosperity and hope. Imbolc is a celebration of that truth.
The Sun Wheel, or Solar Cross is an equal armed cross inside of a circle, and it represents fire, the sun and the bright hope of its return every day.
White flowers called Snowdrops, are one of the first flowers to bloom in early spring. With their bloom comes an exciting rush of color and the hope of warmer days and abundant seasons to come.
COLORS OF IMBOLC
A fiery color that celebrates the return of the warmth of the sun and Brigid herself. Use red candles to bring heat into your celebration.
A symbol of starting over and hope for new, prosperous times to come into your life. Decorate your altar and home with these.
Another symbol of the sun and a celebration of the days getting longer, warmer and more full of life as winter fades away.
FOOD & HERBS OF IMBOLC
The warmer days of spring aren’t here yet, so eating traditional canned or fresh veggies like potatoes, carrots and other root veggies is a great addition to your feast.
Seeds can be planted and propagated now that the temperatures are on average above freezing. Start your own seeds in your home to on Imbolc.
SHEEPS MILK CHEESE
Sheep are an ever-present symbol of Imbolc. Honor their life living presence with sheeps milk cheese at your Imbolc feast.
Blackberry is sacred to Brigid and berries and leaves can be used to bring healing and abundance into your life.
Sunflowers also honor Brigid, as they represent the fiery presence of the sun and its warmth. Place sunflowers on your altar or eat roasted sunflower seeds during your Imbolc feast!
A spicy and “hot” herb, Cinnamon can be used in your food and spell workings to honor the coming of the sun.
Another “hot” herb that lights up the energy within. Consider making Astragalus Chai Tea that contains ginger or making a dish that uses it as well.
THINGS TO DO ON IMBOLC
Bread is one of the best symbols of health and prosperty, and as a way to say “goodbye” to the dark depths of winter, bake a nice warm loaf of bread!
Spring cleaning begins when the temperatures warm and the light begins to return, showing that dust that’s accumulated on your altar. Clean it up and let your inner light intensify!
In honor of Brigid or the light returning, light candles as you work around the house to honor the sun’s return.
MAKE A BRIGID’S CROSS
A 3 or 4 armed cross weaved out of grass or similar. It’s a symbol of the returning sun and the end of winter and a great craft to do during Imbolc!
Imbolc was traditionally the feast of The Goddess Brigid. You can celebrate by either honoring Brigid, if that suits you, or to simiply honor the sun and the cycle of nature that is bringing us closer to the warm days of summer.
SPELL WORKINGS FOR IMBOLC
Blessings on you and your family are great during Imbolc beause you’ve made it through the winter and a fresh, new year is ahead of you during the spring, summer and fall.
Keeping with the “spring cleaning” theme, clease your home and cleanse yourself with ritual spellwork designed to put the past down and focus on the present moment.
Sabbats are always a great time to work protection magic. Build protection energy and even enchant your Brigid’s Cross to use as a protection talisman.
It’s the time to sow seeds, and that also means wishing for the desires of your heart. Candle magic with white candles works well for this!