IMBOLC - CANDLEMAS
Double the power of your Purification & New Beginnings Spell during the spring months at the Imbolc - Candlemas. 1st - 2nd February.
Imbolc is one of the four main Celtic festivals within Celtic paganism, alongside this, it is also known as Candlemas within Christianity and is celebrated in many different cultures around the world. Imbolc always falls on the 1st - 2nd February in the northern hemisphere. Each year in the Southern hemisphere, it is celebrated on the 1st - 2nd August. This is a very specific date because Imbolc always falls exactly between the winter solstice and the spring solstice.
So alongside being one of the four main Celtic pagan festivals, it is also known as Candlemas and is celebrated by many different Christians all around the world. But it is also a festival of the goddess Brigid. Brigid is one of the most highly celebrated deities in the entire world because of the reach that she has. Brigid is not just found in Celtic paganism, she is also found in voodoo tradition as mama Bridgette, as well as in Christianity as Saint Brigid, It is a very diverse holiday, but its deep roots are connected to the home, the hearth and of new beginnings. Read more about St. Brigid here.
In paganism, she is a goddess of many different things. She is a goddess that is very closely represented by the home, of the kitchen and of the cold. She's also a goddess of blacksmithing. Of childbirth or fertility of farm animals and livestock. She's very deeply connected to the earth and the earth rhythms and cycles. Primarily she has a biodiversity of the home and its protection.
Imbolc is all about protecting what you have but also looking forward to the future. It is designed to be a festival that is very closely connected to the earth, to the seasons, to the harvest, to new beginnings. It's surrounded around farming. Brigid's Day or Imbolc is designed to be a turning point within the seasons. You're no longer in the deep dark parts of winter. You can now start to look forward to the spring, to the new beginnings. And a lot of Imbolc is very deeply rooted in this. Even the word in Imbolc can be taken in two different ways.
It has two different origins. The first origin of the word Imbolc comes from the Gaelic Imbolc, which means in the belly. It's all about new beginnings developing, being fertile. Giving birth to new life in the spring, but it also has a secondary origin, which is from Irish Gaelic. it could be derived from the word oimelc, which means ewes milk.
The colours of Imbolc are some of the most diverse of any sabot. It's not just one or two or three colours. It's actually more like six or seven, and they are completely opposite ends of the spectrum depending on how you choose to celebrate Imbolc. If you choose to celebrate it as a time of new growth, new beginnings, then the colours of Imbolc are white for purity of snow, of new beginnings, of the end of winter and the start of spring. But there is also pale green, pale purple and pale yellow for the new flowers, new growth or the development or birth of the young animals. But if you want to work with Imbolc for the fire energy or Brigid's energy, then the colours of it Imbolc are yellows, oranges and reds, fiery hot sunny colours.
Herbs of Imbolc are also varied. Bay, Basel, Ginger, Angelica, Heather and Blackberry’s.
The trees that correspond with Imbolc are Willow and Rowan.
Incense plays a big part in Imbolc because of its fiery properties. These are mainly Frankincense Myrrh, Rosemarie, Clinamen, Bay and Basil.
For Crystals, you can either take this in a Brigid fiery festival way with Citrine and Sunstone, or you or you can go in the direction of new beginnings in which it could be amethyst, aquamarine and turquoise some really nice crystals. Once again, there's a lot of difference between the two sides.
The things you can do to celebrate Imbolc
Number one: Make a Brigid Cross which is woven out of reeds. This is such a common practice. It is found in schools, in Christianity, at church and within the pagan community.
Number Two: You can wear the colours of Imbolc as I listed above.
Number Three: work with flowers. Flowers are such a wonderful part of Imbolc. It's all about that new beginning, the new growth. So if you're in an area where you have daffodils, or if you can go to the supermarket and get a bunch of flowers, putting it on an altar, or even just putting it on a table is a great way of bringing the energy of Imbolc into your home. You can also wear flowers in pockets, or you can even create a flower crown to wear.
Number Four: a spring clean. It's all about clearing out the old and bringing in the new, and Imbolc is where the idea of a spring cleaning came from.
Number Five: writing or reading poems. It's great if you're with other people that are interested in similar things. If you have children you can read and write poetry with them, even though that poem might be really bad, they're taking part in an Imbolc tradition, and this is mainly part of Imbolc because Brigid is a goddess of poetry and reading and writing of poetry on Imbolc is really a dedication to her.
Number six: is going on a nature walk it's also great for noticing the new growth new beginnings. See if you can see any flowers popping up, any native birds coming back.
Number seven: is planting seeds because Imbolc is all about new growth, new beginnings, and because Brigid is also a goddess of farming and agriculture planting seeds it is a really nice way of experiencing it.
Number eight: is undertaking an Imbolc meditation. This is similar to the idea of a house cleanse. You're basically cleaning your mind of all the clutter and the rubbish that's gathered that over the past year. So release all of that negativity, release all of the things that you're holding onto that you really don't need to hold on to.
The ninth activity is making a Brigid doll or Bridey doll. It is a small corn husk doll created in the image of a woman i.e. Brigid. They can be on an altar just corn dollies. Or they can be dressed in white cloth and decorated with fresh flowers from the spring. It is also considered to bring a kind of fertility and abundance into the home.
Purification & New Beginnings
Join in at this auspicious time in a ritual and spell to enhance Imbolc - Candlemas & Double the power of our Purification & New Beginnings Spell.
This February we celebrate the Imbolc On-line Event Ritual! This offering features tools needed for the spell and basic ritual for the Purification & New Energy spell through the spring. Contents are handpicked to help create and maintain a practice that fits the event, and on such a powerful day it can't but help increase its power.
Each item has been blessed at my altar, with a clear mind & a full heart, to bring forth your heart's desire.
A printed version on quality paper of the spell is also included in the box. Plus a description of the goods and their significance. So on our day of celebration we will :-
- Decorate your altar, using what you feel represents the Imbolc to you, including our Spellbox Altar Candle, our rose-scented candle, plus add the first signs of flowers that you may have found out and about on your nature walks etc. You may want to celebrate St. Brigid and make a Brigid cross or doll.
- also place the Birdhouse on your alter as we will bless it to entice the birds back to our gardens, or parks where we live, and then you can ceremoniously place it outside with perhaps some nuts inside,
- First, before joining us to take part in our Imbolc ritual you may want to relax and perform a bath ritual (see below) with the Spellbox Soap Rose Petals, Loufah, and also light your Rose Candle. Being relaxed after all that 'spring cleaning' helps you concentrate and strengthens the ritual and the spell, it all adds to the ambienceNatural Loofah Mitt
- We then Cast a circle of protection,
- We space cleanse the circle and honour the four directions
- Light our Altar Candle (as it is Candlemas you may want to light as many candles you may have)
- We perform our purification ritual.
- We bless the flower seeds that are in our Spellbox, so they grow and bloom gloriously for the butterflies and bees. The seeds are a packet of Cornfield Annuals Wildflower Seeds that are recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society as plants that support pollinating insects across the UK.
- For Divination, we Cast our Spell for New Energy in all the new ventures and renew the old ventures that may have become stale and anything you feel needs an energy spurt.
I look forward to joining you all on this happy celebration.
Fellow Witches let us continue this custom and not allow it to die out!
Perform a Ritual Bath
First set the mood you want; you will need peace and quiet for a ritual cleansing bath. It is supposed to be restful and empowering so you will need to ask the household to keep quiet.
Light some scented candles so the lighting isn’t harsh, the candlelight makes bathing in the bathroom soothing. You could light a favourite incense that you find restful.
You could play meditation music, instrumentals or of natural sounds, such as whale songs, waterfalls, rainfall or ocean waves with or without music whatever makes you feel relaxed.
Herbs for Cleansing and Purification
As you run the bath you can add herbs that are associated with cleansing. Tie herbs into a muslin cloth or bag and hang it on the faucet so that the warm bathwater runs through it into the bath. Here are a few:- Sage, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Lemon Balm, Sandalwood, Lavender, Rosemary, Hyssop, Sweetgrass, Peppermint.
Once you are in the bath clear your mind completely. Focus on the warmth enveloping your body. Breathe deeply, taking in the scents of the herbal oils in the water, allow your mind to wander visualising a place where you feel most relaxed, a beach, a wood a garden etc. Become attuned to the rhythms of your own body.
Visualize the negative energy in your body. Imagine it cleansed out of your body, slowly up into the ether. Use a natural Loofah or sponge to gently wash the negative energy away. See it being released from your body and diluted into the water. Think about how rejuvenating the bath is, as the negative energy is leaving your body. See your spirit and soul being cleansed and purified by the warm perfumed water, grounding you and connecting with the spirit
When you feel ready, get out of the bath, when you are completely out release the plug so that all the negativity absorbed by the water can be drained away.