Imbolc: Part I

February 2nd is the ancient holiday of Imbolc.  This celebration has survived in several forms, including Candlemas, St. Brigid’s Day, and Groundhog Day. 

In the symbolism of the Old Ways, the Winter Solstice represented the end of the reign of the Holly King (the dark half of the year) and the coming of the Oak King (the light half of the year).  Additionally, the Goddess has given birth to the infant Sun; light and longer days are on the way!  Moving along the Wheel of Life and approaching Spring, then, Imbolc represents the fertility of the Goddess.  She continues to raise the infant Sun, while also sustaining the new life within her. 

At Imbolc, not only are we heralding the coming Spring and the accompanying growth, but we are also assessing our resources.  Traditionally, this was the time when food and supplies were running low.  Having survived the worst of the winter, we look forward to the coming of the Vernal Equinox and new growth.

We can continue to honor the meaning of Imbolc today by taking stock of ourselves.  Much like our ancestors who had to see what stores remained in the pantry after a long winter, we can assess our own life.  What has gone bad and needs to be tossed out?  What do we have that is still viable?

Consider writing out a list of all that no longer serves you, whether it’s bad habits or fruitless projects.  On February 2nd, remember Imbolc and burn the list, letting go of the old and welcoming the new.  Get ready for your new growth!

St. Brighid

Brighid, Celtic Goddess of Fire

(The information here was taken from “Llewellyn’s 2013 Sabbats Almanac,” available at www.llewellyn.com.)

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4 responses

  1. Forget the list, I am very glad that half the winter is over and longer days of light are coming. There is something about February and hibernation…. I am getting very sleepy. But first I must check my pantry for my storage of food. I think I mean looking in my freezer and using the food that is stored there, time to clean it out.

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