Come and celebrate Imbolc with us! I (Bernadette)will honoring Brid, Brigit, Briggantia on this day! We ask that you RSVP for this one as supplies need to be bought for this ritual/celebration-so I really need a head count!
As usual..please food and drink to share with one another, on this wonderful day! All items that are left over much be brought back home with you as we have no way or storing leftovers here.
Imbolc, also called Oimelc, is a holiday celebrated by many modern day pagans. The word Imbolc means “in the belly”. The word Oimelc is associated with milk or mother’s milk. It is one of the eight sabbats, typically celebrated on February second in the northern hemisphere. It is a cross quarter, in between Winter Solstice and the spring Equinox. Some pagans do celebrate it on the first full moon in Aquarius as opposed to the actual date. Dates are reversed for those in the southern hemisphere.
In Celtic traditions, Imbolc is sacred to the goddess Brighid. Brighid represents the goddess in her maiden form. She symbolizes new beginnings, purification, fire, and healing. She was honored in Ireland on this day by burning sacred bonfires in her name. The Roman Catholic Church later canonized her as St. Brigit and Imbolc became known as St. Brigit’s day.
Imbolc represents the coming of spring. The days are getting longer. While it is still winter, changes are already taking place and spring will be here soon. It is an awakening of the earth and all of its creatures
Imbolc traditions center around new beginnings and clearing out the old in anticipation of the new. Spring-cleaning typically takes place at this time. Some pagans will also use a sacred broom to sweep the house, symbolically clearing away old or useless energies. Any remaining Yule greens are taken out of the house and burned. It is also a time to ask forgiveness from those you have hurt, so the new season can be started with a clean slate.
Imbolc is a festival of lights. Candles are lit at dusk on Imbolc eve and placed in every window of the house. They are kept burning until dawn. This is symbolic of lighting the way in to the future and the coming season of spring and renewal.
Traditional foods for Imbolc include all dairy products, dried or preserved fruits, and cakes. Symbols can include Sheep and lambs, seeds, candles, and the bride.
Groundhog day is connected to Imbolc in its origin. Groundhogs are said to rise from their mound on February 2nd. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it foretells six more weeks of winter. This tradition, which has no scientific evidence or basis, is pagan in its origin. Traditionally, the cross quarter sabbats are associated with divination. The type of divination depends on the meaning of the holiday, and Imbolc was seen as a time to divine the weather. Originally, a serpent rose from a mound to divine the weather.