Cat’s Bits & Pieces: Imbolc Is The Time For Strong Roots
Traditionally the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc is celebrated from the evening of February 1st until evening on February 2nd The purpose behind Imbolc was to celebrate the first early signs of spring. One of which was when the sheep give birth and begin nursing their new lambs. Imbolc is also mentioned in early Irish literature and was a pagan festival dedicated to the goddess Brigid. Later when it became a Christianized observance called St. Brigid’s Day. It was also called Candlemas by the ancient Greeks. There are celebrations of spring all over the world, each one similar as well as different. If you look closely at the Pagan traditions you will find a mix and match of traditions. It’s what makes it interesting.
The truth is that we don’t really know how it was celebrated by our ancestors, but for those of us who follow the Earth Based Traditions Imbolc celebrates new beginnings and growth. Growth meaning not only the coming planting season but personal and spiritual growth as well. One common ritual involves dedicating or re-dedicating yourself to both your craft and your patron goddess, a new project or simply making yourself the best you can be. It would be fair to point out that, in case anyone is interested, that “choreographed rituals” are not my thing. I prefer to keep things on a much simpler scale, candles, prayer and planting a few Thought Seeds.
I start my observance a few days ahead by checking my outdoor plants. My chrysanthemums, hyacinths and a few tulips are pushing away the mulch and reaching for the light. This exploration of spring wouldn’t be complete without a trip out to the desert. Grandmother Desert hold her secrets close to her dry, stony breast. There are no visible signs of spring but it’s. At this time of the year her energy is heavy and building toward a slow emergence of new life. but now it’s quiet, so quiet that you can hear voice of the breeze. That same breeze carries with it the scent of wet earth and it’s here that the first “sign” of spring can be found. It’s one of the few times that the desert smells “green”. As you look around you see there is no green, it’s simply a promise of the new things to come. A promise of new things, a dedication of continued growth, a taking stock of what you have to work with.
This what we do at Imbolc. We’ve had time since the Winter Solstice to decide where we want to go and what we need to do. We have gathered the seeds that will be planted today and the time has come to bless each one and surround them with intent and loving energy. Care for these tiny seeds as if they were children. They need your attention and focus to flourish. Take your time. Don’t force or struggle. Nurture your Imbolc seeds with care and as they grow so shall you. Strong roots make a strong foundation for which all else can built upon.
© 2018 Laura Bolotin
Candlemas, St. Bridget’s Day, Lupercus (strega) Candelaria (mexican), The Snowdrop Festival, Festival of Lights, Oimealg, Imbolg
Deities of Imbolc
All Virgin/Child Goddesses, Brighid, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Gaia, and Februa, and young Gods of Love and Fertility, Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus.Imbolc Symbolism
Growth and renewal, reunion of the Goddess and the God, fertility, dispensing of the old and making way for the new.Symbols of Imbolc
Bride Dolls, burrowing animals, ewes, besoms, white flowers, candle wheels, Brigid’s crosses and ploughs.
Herbs for Imbolc
Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh,Violets, and all white or yellow flowers.
Foods of Imbolc
Pumpkin & Sunflower seeds, poppyseed cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, raisins, spiced wine and herbal tea.
Incense of Imbolc
Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh.
Colors of Imbolc
White, light yellow, silver
Sacred Stones of Imbolc
Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise.
Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!
(C) L Bolotin/Cat
Laura (Cat) Bolotin has been following an eclectic pagan/spiritual path for over 25 years. She currently lives in Western Colorado where she enjoys communing with nature, desert crawling, belly dancing, nature photography, jewelry crafting and writing stuff she hopes will help others along their path. She is married and owned by a “clowder” of cats.
Please feel free to check out my websites!
The Desert Path: The Dusty Ramblings of a Desert Pagan.
Cat’s Treasure Trove: An Eclectic Collection of Jewelry & Gifts!
Sacred Spirals on Facebook: The Place Where All Paths Meet
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