Imbolc Rituals, Blessings, and Celebrations
For many witches, Imbolc is the first day of spring, and also a kind of new year—one that I personally believe is better for the psyche. January is for resting, doing less, and trusting Earth (and life’s productive periods) to regenerate in due time.
Imbolc is traditionally observed on February 1st and 2nd. The fire festival honors the goddess Brigid.
Slightly different versions of Brigid are found throughout the world and history. She’s an earth goddess responsible for breaking the chill of winter and bringing the beginnings of fair weather to last through summer.
Brigid lost her son in the heat of battle and fell to her knees wailing and sobbing. Her cries became known as the inspiration behind the music. Musicians honor her to this day. Also still today, many Irish women participate in “keening” which is a mournful wailing call performed at funerals inspired by Brigid's cries.
Along with music, Brigid influences creativity, fire, and metalworking in particular due to her experience with the fiery sting of loss. She blesses those who ask with knowledge and artistry. In some mythology, she would emerge from the earth as a fiery serpent at Imbolc to indicate the coming of spring.
She also protects mothers and animals — those that give milk in particular — as milk is our first form of nourishment and has long been crucial to survival for those living through long winters. Thus, Imbolc is a milk "harvest" festival.
Fresh strawberry almond milk.
Due to the festival’s association with babies and milk, it is customary to decorate one’s altar with white flowers and candles. Milk and food may be left for Brigid as a way to invite her blessings.
Imbolc is a very good time to ask for fertility blessings and good fortune in any upcoming creative endeavors. It is also an auspicious time to request blessings for all animals as well as human babies and children. Cleanse the home and purify some areas of your life.
How I’m honoring and celebrating this festival:
Making fresh strawberry almond milk and cinnamon maple walnut milk
Baking simple butter cookies dipped in dark chocolate
Studying color theory and honing my closet and makeup to suit my seasonal color palette
Sweeping, which is the best at clearing stuffy winter energy
Decorating my altar with white candles and crystals
Centering my intentions for the evening around creativity and the sacral chakra
Reading Tarot cards by candlelight, focusing on spring intentions