Interested in Celtic festivals? Did you know that Imbolc, also known as Candlemas, welcomes the mid-way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox?
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the name and some of the meaning and symbols connected with this ancient festival. Then I’ll suggest ways that you can bring this deeper meaning into your modern mystical everyday through Soul-Centred Journaling and a special Imbolc meditation.
Imbolc (pronounced EM-bowlk) is one of 4 cross-quarter festivals – along with Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain – of the Celtic calendar with Solstices and Equinoxes celebrated in between.
The name Imbolc is derived from Old Irish and means “in the belly,” or “ewe’s milk.” This was a time to celebrate the survival of Winter and was set to coincide when farm work began.
It is a time of preparation and welcomes the fertility of the land.
The Celts honoured the Goddess Brigid (pronounced breed) who later morphed into the form of St. Bridget. Brigid is known as the Goddess of the Hearth, she rules over smithery, healing, and creativity. The flame of Brigid was tended by the Daughters of the Flame in Kildare, Ireland over many centuries from the 5th BC to the 16th CE.
What does all of this mean and how can we acknowledge the sacredness of this time?
As Rumi said: “And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in Winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”
This is a time to notice the gestational stirrings of Spring within you and meditate on what needs cleansing or purifying in your life/health; what creative pursuits beckon you; and how you will choose to go about manifesting your desires.
But first…we are called to discard what is no longer working (anything harmful or not needed) in order to create space. If space is not created then a new seed planted in overgrowth will suffocate.
What we discard acts like mulch allowing the old ways of being to fertilize new growth.
Then…we turn our gaze to new vision. New vision requires new insight and new actions.
How do you do that?
Let’s explore some suggestions about how to celebrate this time of year plus Soul-Centred journal reflections and a special Imbolc meditation. You can listen to it by clicking a link at the bottom of the post.
Soul-Centred Journal Reflections
- What do I want to manifest in my physical world? What am I currently building or what would like like to start buildingin my life?
- What needs healing or cleansing within me? Does my physical health need tending? How am I mentally or emotionally? Are there any thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or behaviours that need attention?
- What wants to create through me as its muse? What do I feel pulled to create right now? How am I appreciating the beauty of life and/or how can I develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty in life?
Ways to Celebrate Imbolc
- Light a fire in your fireplace or outside in a safe firepit.
- Gather with friends and feast!
- Start some Spring cleaning.
- Visit a stream, river, well, or other body of water: Traditionally, Imbolc was a time for visiting a spring or a well, to both purify us and bring fertility to our dreams. If the water’s clean, splash some over yourself as you set your intention to cleanse and purify. Possibly dip a piece of ribbon in the water and hang it from a nearby tree. Treat this tree as a “wishing tree” to carry your wishes of hope and healing.
We’re going to plant “fire seeds” with this meditation. You can have three candles for this or just imagine them.
Click here to listen to the meditation (duration: 9:28).
- What is it that you are finally ready to discard and allow to become mulch for new growth?
- What is your new vision for yourself and your life?
- If you do the journaling or meditation, how was it for you? What insights took shape?
I’d love to know!
Leave your comment in the box below and share your experience with me.
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Your Soul Sistah,
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