Celebrating Imbolc

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Fire plays a big role in most Wiccan Imbolc traditions. At coven celebrations, a high priestess may wear a crown of lit candles or carry tapers during ritual. This is done in honor of the Goddess stepping into her Maiden aspect and the God’s growth into boyhood.

Candles are lit in each room of the house to welcome the Sun. Bonfires are held if the weather is fair, and any evergreen decorations from the Yule Sabbat are burned as a way of letting go of the past season, or even the past year.

For Wiccans, Brighid’s status as a Fire goddess makes her an appropriate deity to be recognized on this Sabbat that celebrates the return of the Sun. You can honor her in a variety of ways—by visiting a  natural spring or holy well and making offerings, cleaning and purifying your home, lighting candles for her at your altar, or even engaging in writing or other creative activities.

Try making a Brídeóg to place on your altar, and make a Brighid’s bed for her to rest in. If you made a “Corn Mother” for Lammas last year, you can repurpose it, dressing her this time in white, yellow or pink (think “Maiden” colors). The bed can be a small basket, a wooden box, or even a well-decorated shoe box. Just be sure to make it comfortable and attractive, with blankets and flowers, ribbons, etc.
Place your Brídeóg in the bed near your hearth (or altar, if you don’t have a fireplace). Some traditions leave a small wand with her, which she can use to bless your home. You can also make your own Brighid’s cross to hang over your doorway. Instructions for these Imbolc crafts can be easily found online or in other print sources.

Other traditional Imbolc activities include going for walks or hikes to look for signs of spring in the surrounding countryside, taking a ritual bath for physical and energetic purification, and decorating and blessing farm equipment (such as ploughs) for the coming season. Placing a besom, or ritual broom, by the front door symbolizes sweeping out the stale energy of winter and allowing fresh new energy to enter your home and your life.

As with all cross-quarter Sabbats, a special feast is a great idea, particularly on Feb 1st, or “Imbolc Eve.” Bringing food to those in need after the long winter—such as homeless shelters and elderly shut-ins—is an excellent way to raise abundance energy for your community.

Finally, Imbolc is a good time to perform self-dedication rituals, or to undergo coven initiation if you are in a position to do so.

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