Today is Imbolc or Imbolg Day (pronouced I-molg with short i and silent b).
This is the second Sabbat of the Wiccan year. Often it is celebrated on February 2nd, and is also known as Candlemas, as well as St. Bridid’s day.
These match her three faces, and three is her sacred number.
Oil lamps and candles hold Brigid’s sacred fire.
Besoms sweep the winter away.
Corn dollies symbolize the Goddess and invoke Her blessings.
Woolen yarn or toy sheep represent the animals who helped keep our ancestors warm and fed.
It is a day that we celebrate the earth waking from her winter sleep.
We embrace Mother Earth and all life sustained by her.
This is the first sign of spring which makes it time for purification and spring cleaning.
It is a time to consider new ideas and new projects.
It is also a time to light candles and fire, to celebrate Fire Goddess Brigid and welcome the renewed power of the sun as spring approaches.
This was also the time in which candles were made for the coming year. Candles of all colors and purposes would be blessed, smyted and put away for later use.
The process of smyting a candle is to charge the candle with a specific intent and burn the candle briefly while visualizing the intention being charged into the candle. Then the candle would be snuffed out with the fingers and stored for later use. From Kheopsinternational.com.
Many people make Brigid’s cross to celebrate St. Brigid’s day.
They are typically used to bless a room and can be hung over the doorway.
- Place it over a person’s bed to bless them.
- Place it under a mattress to boost fertility.
- Place it wherever a blessing is needed.
This is the day that old crosses are burned and new ones take their place.
I found an excellent tutorial on making Brigid’s cross that uses paper.
While not reported in writing until the 17th century, the practice of making a St. Brigid cross is believed to have carried over from preChristian times. The cross is associated with the start of spring, the time when the ground can first be prepared and lambs are born. The cross is made of rushes in the shape of a fylfot or swastika.
Fylfot or fylfot cross /ˈfɪlfɒt/ (FILL-fot), is a synonym for swastika or “tetraskelion.” It is a cross with perpendicular extensions, usually at 90° or close angles, radiating in the same direction.
The cross as a religious symbol dates back to ancient times, long before Christians adopted it.
On St. Brigid’s eve it was generally believed that the saint traveled around the countryside, bestowing blessings on the people and livestock. Various elements were used to indicate that her visit to the house was welcomed.
A common practice entailed the placing of a cake or pieces of bread and butter on the window-sill outside.
Often this offering was left to be collected by a tramp or impoverished person. in other areas it was brought in the next morning and shared between the members of the household. From Medieval Ireland’s Facebook Page.
Visit a stream, river or well
Traditionally, Imbolc was a time for visiting holy water; a spring or a well, to both purify us and bring fertility to our dreams. Why not set off on an adventure together as a family to find some water near your home: a river, stream, or well. If the water’s clean, splash some over yourself as you set your intention to cleanse and purify. Glennie Kindred (author of Sacred Celebrations) suggests dipping a piece of ribbon in the water and then hanging it from a nearby tree (trees near water are especially sacred) to carry messages of hope and healing. She also reminds us to thank the spirits of the place you visit and pick up any rubbish you see nearby as an act of gratitude. From The Green Parent.
Happy Imbolc Day!
Leave last year’s troubles and worries behind!
Get ready for new opportunities!