The Wheel of the Year: Imbolc

The Wheel of the Year: Imbolc

Ann Meyer

A time when the earth starts to shake away the cold and welcome new life. 

Imbolc is a pagan holiday that is celebrated between February 1st and 2nd. It is the second holiday in the Wheel of the Year celebrations and marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The word “Imbolc” translates to “in the belly,” which is appropriate for this time of year as this is the time when plants start to wake up from their winter slumber and the first seeds of spring are becoming restless in the belly of Mother Earth. Since it aligns with the beginning stages of spring, Imbolc signifies life, creation, and rebirth. It is during this time that we start to notice the days getting longer and buds of green making their way onto bare trees.

The main deity honored during Imbolc is Brigid, the goddess of fertility, fire, poetry, crafts, and prophecy. She is considered one of the most powerful gods to the Celtic. A popular tradition for this time is making Brigid dolls and crosses, which are made by weaving together pieces of oat or wheat straw. From there, people would give these as gifts or would leave the items on altars as an offering for the goddess. Another tradition for Imbolc is, just after sunset, to light a candle, or turn on the light, in every room. This is done in honor of the returning sun and longer days ahead. 

It is easy to see why Imbolc represents the promise of new growth, rejuvenation, and life. Imbolc is the beginning stage of spring and happens during a time when we are ready for winter to be gone and spring to take over. During this time, some animals begin to give birth, marking the first of many to come. Even our bodies are starting to feel restless and are wanting to come out of hibernation. This is the perfect time to work on manifestation and planting the seeds of your dreams and goals (and, your actual seeds for your garden)! That way when spring comes,  everything you planted will start to take shape. This is also a great time to declutter and remove anything that is stagnant from winter. A lot of people like to take this time to prepare for spring cleaning. 

Herbs for Imbolc:

Plants for Imbolc:

  • Corn 
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Daffodils
  • Crocus
  • Snowdrops
  • All seeds
  • Heather

Ways to Celebrate Imbolc:

  • Making Brigid crosses
  • Manifesting and setting goals
  • Setting an altar
  • Making Brigid dolls
  • Spring cleaning
  • Lighting candles or turning on lights in every room
  • Outdoor bonfires with loved ones

Fire Starters for Imbolc by Amanda Furbee

Bring a little light to the dark with our herbal fire starters for Brigid and Imbolc celebrations. 

Here’s what you will need:

To Make Your Own: Herbal Fire Starters

  1. Grab your double boiler and get it going. Once the water starts to boil, go ahead and add your beeswax to the top pot. 
  2. Add some of your frankincense and myrrh to the beeswax.
  3. Keep over low heat and stir until everything is melted and blended.
  4. Line your muffin pan with the cupcake liners. 
  5. Break up your rosemary and sawdust into small pieces, and add these and the remaining resins to the muffin pan. I like to fill about ¾ of the way up (You can mix these as you prefer, but I would start with a pinch of rosemary, pinch of each resin and the rest sawdust).
  6. Add approximately 15 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops of frankincense essential oil to the melted beeswax.
  7. Pour the wax blend over the rosemary, resins and sawdust in the muffin pan. Just enough beeswax to cover the dried blend.
  8. Let sit overnight.
  9. Add to all your outdoor fires this season!
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