I’ve decided to start a small series here discussing the Pagan holidays and the Wheel Of The Year. We’re starting with Imbolc, the first holiday celebrated by most Pagans and Wiccans. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them and share your thoughts with others. How do you celebrate Imbolc?
What is Imbolc?
Imbolc is the first of four fire related holidays. It takes place on the 2nd of February, and is midway between Yule and Ostara. Traditionally, this is a time for initiations and dedications. Imbolc comes from the old lambing season, so dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter are popular, as is the overall theme of birth and youth.
It is also closely connected to the Celtic goddess Brigid (associated with fire and light) hence the importance of fire and lanterns at this time of year. This Christian adaptation of this Pagan holiday is Candlemas.
How to Celebrate Imbolc
One way to celebrate Imbolc is by feasting by a fire. Either create a bonfire or settle down by a fireplace and share warm food with your loved ones.
Spring cleaning is another great way to celebrate Imbolc. Spring clean your home, bedroom, technology, lifestyle, or wardrobe! Creating a fresh start in your practices can also be beneficial at this time.
Visit a natural spring or stream. Collect flowers (be resourceful and do not take more than you need!) to decorate your altar or bedroom.
Plant some flowers! Especially in your garden or in the wild.
Light some candles, read a good book, and relax!
Create something (such as artwork, a piece of clothing, or even bake something)!
Start a new hobby. Finding a new pastime can help you meet new friends, focus your mind, and just enjoy new things!
Spend time with loved ones—go for a nature walk, invite a friend over for tea, or just generally enjoy the company of those you love.
What to Eat on Imbolc
- Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Cakes, scones, and muffins made with poppy seeds.
- Dairy products (or dairy alternatives) such as milk, butter, and cheese
- Vegetables such as peppers and onions.
- Dried fruit and raisins
Another idea would be to bake cakes or bread, and place a charm on them. (If you give the bread away, always tell the recipient that you have put a charm on their gift! It is polite and considerate to do so.)
What to Drink on Imbolc
- Spiced teas
- Spiced wines
- Herbal and floral teas
Herbs to Use at Your Altar on Imbolc
Incense to Burn on Imbolc
Crystals Relevant to Imbolc
- Amethyst (Birthstone of Aquarius)
Other Ideas for Altar Decorations on Imbolc
- Ribbons (use white, yellow, red, pink, green, and brown)
- Brigid’s (there are variations to this deity's name) doll
- Brigid's cross
- Candles (use white, yellow, red or green)
- Redecorate your altar and create new tools.
Spells and Rituals Relevant to Imbolc
- Fresh starts
Some people see Imbolc as the perfect time of year to hold a dedication ceremony. You can do this with others, or alone if you choose. If you have a connection to a specific deity, you can dedicate yourself to them during a ritual. There is lots of information about this online, so do your research if this is something you are interested in.
Finally, here are some useful links to further your research into Imbolc (some of my own research was done via these sources!)