Imbolc is the celebration of the passing of winter and the coming of spring. It is usually celebrated on February 2. Imbolc is the season where the first signs of spring come and the return of the sun happens. This is the very end of winter and where the sun God starts to push his way back. It’s also a time where we celebrate the Goddess Brighid and the changing of the Goddess from Crone to Maiden.
Preparing For Imbolc
In preparing for the coming of light, it is the tradition of most people to light every lamp in the house after performing a ritual. You may walk in the leftover snow on the ground and feel the warmth of the sun winning over it. A miracle is happening in the cosmos and we are just watching below in awe.
Decorating your Imbolc Altar
There are specific colors, crops, and shapes that should dominate your Imbolc altar, appropriate for honoring the God, Goddess, and the season.
Your Imbolc altar should contain lots of red and white colors. The white symbolizes the melting snow while the red represents the awakening sun.
In this time of year, most plants and flowers are still bulbs and not yet blooming. Use that in your altar decoration (if your flowers start to bloom when taking them inside, it’s okay).
Brighid is a Celtic Goddess, so it’s appropriate to add Celtic designs to your altar (circles, spirals, triquetras etc.)
“Goodbye to Winter” Solitary Ritual
This ritual will help the sun God awake from winter, melt the snow, and wrap us in a blanket of warmth.
What you’ll need:
- Pot or cauldron
- Small candles for light or night lamp (optional)
- A snowflake made of paper
What You Should Do:
- Sit in a dark room. You want the room to symbolize that darkness of winter. Use drapes or a sheet to keep as much light out as possible.
- Place your candle in a holder and put your pot or cauldron next to it (don’t light the candle yet). If it gets too dark, have a smaller candle to make some light (or a night lamp).
- Take your snowflake outside. Stand in the cold for at least a couple of minutes. You want to experience the cold and chilling effect of winter.
- Hold up your snowflake in front of your face and contemplate on the meaning of winter. How it affects the world and how it affects you. Think about how winter gives all life a chance to gather energy and regenerate.
- Go back inside. Feel the warmth and safety of being inside.
- When you are ready, say the following words, or make your own with the same meaning:
“The days grew shorter and shorter; the nights longer and longer
Winter got colder and colder and cold enveloped the earth
The sea froze over, and we watched life wither and fall
While we felt the chill, we knew the cold wouldn’t last.
The spark of life from the womb of the Goddess always remains,
Spring is coming, bringing warmth, comfort and hope”
- Light your candle. Feel how the light fills the room with warmth and life. Envision the sun warming up the land.
- Say the following or similar words (source):
“That spark of light, like the light at the end of the tunnel, is always there.
Even when we’re plunged in the depth of darkness and despair, we know it is there.
It is always promised to be there; and even when we can’t see it, we have only to
Remember it in our hearts… and, as promised, the light always returns.
It grows, and melts away the winter.”
- Take your snowflake and hold it to the flame. When it catches fire, lay it in the pot. Look at it and say:
“It melts away the cold. It grows and melts away the despair.
It fills the darkness, bringing the promise of hope, and a chance to start anew.
I can feel the light growing, in me and around me, to guide me through.”
- As the fire burns out, close your eyes in sit in the darkness. Meditate on the meaning of this season and what it will mean when the sun comes back. If you need to look into the future or past, now is the ideal time to do it.
- You may proceed to magickal workings and spell casting.
- Have your feast.
- Thank the God and Goddess.
How are you preparing for Imbolc? 🙂 We would love to hear your plans and rituals! Please share them with us in the comments section below. 🙂