Newsletter: Imbolc 2023
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Imbolc & Brigid
Imbolc takes place on February 1st and 2nd and is the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The holiday has been traditionally celebrated by burning lamps and lighting bonfires. “It was understood by our ancestors that light was connected to knowledge. A spark of light could illuminate a room and illuminate the mind.”
Imbolc also celebrates the Goddess Brigid. Brigid was the daughter of Tuatha du Danann, the oldest God in the Celtic pantheon.
Brigid is known to be the Goddess of Spring, Fertility, Motherhood, and the Dawn. She is the matron of poetry, divination, inspiration, childbirth, pregnancy, healing, home, crafts, and prophecy.
“She is the one who blesses the natural world with her gift of fertility, her gift that ensures life will continue for as long as the great wheel turns. She is the light and the warmth and she represents all phases of life, as the maiden, the mother, and the crone.”
To honor Brigid, people sometimes celebrate by making Brigid’s Cross as a sign for goodwill and peace and hanging it in their doorways to ward off evil. Another common tradition was to create straw doll effigies and leave them in a basket overnight on February 1st to help represent fertility and abundance. People would also bake bread and serve foods that symbolize the sun, such as pancakes, cakes, and crepes.
Christianity recognizes Brigid as St. Brigid and celebrates St. Brigid’s Day on February 1st and Candlemas on February 2nd.
Many people gather around to see if the groundhog, Puxatony Phil, will see his shadow or not to determine if Spring is on its way. However, I have discovered a Gaelic Legend that has another take on it.
“Imbolc was also believed to be when the Cailleach — the divine hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the Winter. Legend has it that if she wishes to make the Winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people would be relieved if Imbolc was a day of foul weather, as it meant the Cailleach is asleep and Winter was almost over.”
Colors: White, Gold, Green, Blue
Symbols: Brigid’s Cross, Candles, Dolls, Sun, Fire, Seeds, Rain
Photo Source Links:
Imbolc Coloring & Word Search Fun
Create your own Imbolc candle on the provided coloring page (downloadable .pdf file below). Pick out colors that represent the season (blue, gold, green, white) or something that represents the intentions you want to draw on this season (refer back to our Ostara 2022 newsletter for some color inspiration). Once you have it colored, add some more embellishments such as flowers, herbs and crystals to further support your Imbolc goals. Then carefully cut out your candle to display on your altar as a safe, friendly alternative to having an open flame (kids should always ask an adult for help when using scissors).
For a bit of additional Imbolc fun for you (or the kiddos in your life), we have also included a word search themed for this turn of the wheel (see .pdf file below).
Both activities are in .pdf format and available for download below!
Keep an eye out for future newsletters for more coloring and activities to add to your altar.
Shadow Work: Keeping your flame
The flame is a common symbol of Imbolc. It suggests life and vitality. For many it can represent action. What are some things in your life that make you feel your vitality, move you to action, and/or make you feel alive? Are these things healthy for you? Do you have a healthy relationship and balance of these feelings (life, vitality, action) in your life? If yes, how can you continue to maintain your position in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.? If no, how might you find ways to find more time or better habits? What steps need to be taken?
Southern Hemisphere Shoutout: Lughnasadh
Blessed Lughnasadh to our friends in the Southern hemisphere! We wish you a bountiful beginning to your harvest season! Feel free to check out the Lughnasadh newsletters (2021 or 2022) we released when it was celebrated in the North. We hope you find it useful and love the activity. Blessed be, friends!
Travel with a Mini Grid
Some witches find comfort in configuring crystal grids. For the witch on the go, this can sometimes prove a challenge. Our precious crystals are heavy and not all of them travel very well. With this in mind, the coven has added a new fun product in our Etsy shop! Our mini/travel crystal grid sets come with a travel pouch, mini vial of an array of itsy bitsy crystal chips, and a small cloth grid (featuring the sacred geometry pattern, “flower of life”).
There are only a limited number available! Get them while they last!
February 1 Imbolc
February 3 MCCP: Weekend Reads S3E22
February 5 Full Snow Moon (12:28 PM CST)
February 17 MCCP: Weekend Reads S3E23
February 19 Put out New Moon Water
February 20 New Moon (1:05 AM (CST)
March 3 MCCP: Weekend Reads S3E24
March 6 Put out Full Moon Water
March 7 Full Worm Moon (6:40 AM CST)
March 17 MCCP: Weekend Reads S3E25
March 20 Ostara