The Meaning of Imbolc
The Meaning of Imbolc
Imbolc (Brighid’s Day) arrives February 1st. (in some calendars you might see it February 2nd) . At Imbolc, the Goddess Brighid the daughter of Dagda (a chief Celtic diety) was honored as the waiting bride for the youthful Sun God to return to her. She was known as the Goddess of fertility, creative inspiration, poetry, metal-smithing, medicine (midwifery), and a guardian of children. Brighid represented the light half of the year hence her presence was much revered during this festival. It is claimed on Imbolc Eve, Brighid would visit homes and would bless all those who slept in them. People would leave clothing, food or other tokens for her to either bless or entice her to their home.
I’ve been asked why these festivals were so important for my ancestors to honor as the wheel continued to turn. They revered Mother Earth and were keenly aware their very survival was largely dependent upon each cycle and what it meant for their families and clans. And with that knowledge, they treated her with honor and respect understanding that her health was directly connected to sustaining life – their life. They understood the need for clean water and fertile soil and knew just as they relied on Mother Earth she too relied on them to treat her honorably.
Imbolc is the celebration of the end of winter and the impending light half of the year. A time to acknowledge and honor all that has been germinating as the earth has been asleep gaining strength and nourishment to sustain the beginning of Spring and all that entails. It was a time to continue to honor the winter and yet hope was once again renewed, as the signs of spring would begin to, ever so gently, display themselves.
I think of Imbolc as a time to prepare ourselves for what we hope to ‘plant’ come Spring. A time to reflect on what we released at Winter Solstice that no longer served us and called in what we hope to manifest in the coming year. Imbolc is the time when we are invited to take inventory and see if our ‘soil’ is prepared. Is our foundation solid and are we open and willing to do the work necessary to bring what we long for to fruition? Have we cared for ourselves during the dark months as Mother Earth has, turning inward allowing that which needed time to regenerate? Have we provided ourselves the nourishment needed, as the seeds and bulbs do, to have the will to break through our ‘soil’ as we begin to see signs informing us that some of them are already peeping out from under Earth Mother?
Calling in what we long for is our informing the universe what our hearts’ desire(s) is. It’s affirming to ourselves as we speak it aloud that yes, this is what I am preparing for. Imbolc is taking inventory of whether or not, the will is there and if we are are willing to embrace all that it entails. Spring is around the corner, when the seeds will be planted in the fertile soil we’ve tilled and some eager seeds will begin to let their sprouts be seen and flourish as we tend our gardens.
We are, each of us, responsible for creating space -making room for what is to come. If you think of it like this: a glass is filled with water and you see sediment has drifted to the top of the glass - you want fresh water to replace that which is no longer desirable – to make that happen, water must be poured from the glass to make room for the fresh water. If we are ‘full’ there is no room for new energy to find its way to us. So I invite all of us to take a moment and be honest with ourselves; asking ourselves whether or not we are making room or have made room for that which we want to manifest in our lives? And to evaluate if we are willing to put forth what is necessary to create and sustain what we have dreamed of and imagined for so long.
Imbolc presents us with a magnificent opportunity to literally begin to create an environment where we will bloom. When our visions dance with magick and create fertile ground for all that is awaiting us.
Change is all around us. Look around. Feel the energy that swirls without care. It’s an exhilarating time – drink it in with abandon.
,Janet (aka) Crone