Imbolc

During the most obscure part of the year, when the lack of sunlight begins weighing heavily on our mood, the feast of Imbolc is there to remind us that winter is soon coming to an end and that spring is in the air. Imbolc is celebrated on the second of February and the celebrations are held in the honour of Brigid, the goddess whose influence can be felt right up to Beltane. Brigid, wise woman who is an ambassador of the sacred feminine, represents the Celtic goddess Brigid and the christian saint Brigit. Impossible today to distinguish between pre-christian and christian traditions, that’s how much the stories of the two Brigits have been woven together. This is one of the strengths of Brigid who reunites different traditions beyond all entitlement to bring a message of tolerance and peace. The person of Brigid is still very much alive in the Celtic lands, especially in Ireland, where numerous celtic-catholic holidays are organised in her honour.

The goddess Brigid, associated with the water and fire elements, honours the principle of the divine trinity which she translates into 3 different aspects of transformation: forge (alchemy, the fire principle), poetry (the arts and divine inspiration, the air principle) and healing (health, the water principle). She is the guardian of numerous sacred springs in Celtic lands and a perpetual flame is still ablaze today in the city of Kildare in Ireland (“Kildare” means oak temple, the oak being a sacred tree in druid tradition), as well as in numerous houses and communities that honour the principles and the energy of the goddess.  

With the help of the energy of water, Brigid helps us purify our body and energy after the winter months and she helps our vital energy recirculate, our creative juices flowing, regain inspiration and resume our active life. In the natural world she stimulates the mounting of the sap in the plants and trees. 
As a fire goddess, she invites us to stay hopeful and keep our faith alive, she rekindles our inner flame, gives us the energy we need to move forward. With her fire and light she invites nature to leave its winter sleep. She shows us how, after a period of death and decline, life always resumes. Because she accompanies the rebirth of the natural world, she is often invoked to assist mothers to be in the birthing process of their offspring. 

Other symbols of Imbolc (source collège Nemet Ana)

  • The colour of this day is white, representing purity, milk, snow bells. The colour of all that is sacred.
  • The Imbolc celebrations are often held in the night in the presence of the moon, the feminine principle
  • At Imbolc we often light 8 candles or little hearths, symbolising the 8 serpents of the earth and the 8 celebrations of the wheel of the year.
  • The trees that symbolise this moment are the holly (kellen which means: master teacher) and the birch tree (the buds offer a purifying elixir).

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