Well....Imbolc is upon us. Unfortunately, I have to work till close on Wed. so this is going to be my Imbolc post for the year. I also have some new goodies coming up this week (starting tomorrow) so you'll have to stay tuned :)
Imbolc...what shall we say about Imbolc? It's always been a good holiday for me....there's a current of hope that rushes through the air. The promise of spring on the other side of the horizon....warmer days with more and more sun as we approach summer. The first shoots of grass peeking out from the deadened landscape (sometimes even peeking through snow depending on where you are). This Imbolc, however, I think the majority of us will be spending it huddled around our fireplaces (or other heat sources) as we're still buried in snow (or about to be in my case). It's kind of depressing to tell the truth. But...as every cloud has a silver lining...I have decided to look at it as Mother Nature's way of giving us one last good cleaning before setting up shop for the warmer months.
This year Imbolc falls on the New Moon (what others refer to as the Dark Moon). I think this is a very auspicious occasion as the New Moon symbolizes a time for renewal and new beginnings. Well....so does Imbolc. New beginnings, renewal and purification are all themes of this day. It would be a great time to do some meditation on what you hope to accomplish through the rest of the year. You could also do divination to see what might come your way down the road...or ask questions...or see what the coming months could bring to you. I plan on doing a 12 month spread for myself....just to see what has changed between Samhain and now. I know I've changed since then...so I'm gonna go with it. It's also a good time to do a purification ritual/bath of some sort (depending on your individual path). This is the time of year that I start my Spring Cleaning. I start with closets and dressers and get rid of worn clothes, donate what we no longer need/use, etc. I then move to cleaning the house, top to bottom, back to front so that by the time Ostara gets here my house feels and looks amazing. And yes...sometimes it does take me that long. This time of year is also when I replace the broom over my front door. Tradition states that you should burn the old one to purge the negativity so that it doesn't come back....but since I live in a city I can't exactly go out on my patio and have a mini bonfire. So I settle for putting it in a trash bag and closing it tight and tossing it in the trash.
Some correspondences for Imbolc are:
Symbols: Candles, Grain dolls and sun wheels
Colors: White, Yellow, Red and Pink
Animals: Sheep, Robins, Lambs, Deer and Dragons
Stones: Turquoise and Amethyst
Foods: Milk, Honey, Poultry, Pork and Lamb
Plants: Evergreen, Willow, Rosemary and Dill
Oils: Jasmine, Neroli and Olive
Attunement Teas: Chamomile, Red Clover and Blackberry
Goddesses: Arianhrod (Welsh), Athena (Greek), Inanna (Sumerian), Brigid/Brid (Irish), and Kebehut (Egyptian)
Gods: Cupid/Eros (Greco-Roman), Diancecht (Irish), Braggi (Norse), and Dumuzi (Sumerian)
Key Actions of Imbolc are: Plan and Prepare
Imbolc Taboos: Cutting or Picking Plants
Meanings of Imbolc are: Honor of the Virgin (Maiden) Goddess, First Signs of Returning Life, and Festival of Light
Some activities you could do on Imbolc: Burning evergreen boughs that decorated your home during the winter months, Clean your house...discard all useless or unnecessary items either to charity or the trash heap, take a ritual bath, do a light body detox (be safe with this one guys), Cleanse your heart of old anger, pain and fears, Meditate, Clean your altar and ritual tools...reconsecrate them, Make "Brigid's Crosses".
This is by no means a complete list of correspondences for this holiday. I took my favorites out of a couple of books I have in order to share with you. The books are: "Sabbats: A Witch's Approach to Living the Old Ways" by Edain McCoy and "Coven Craft" by Amber K.
I hope you all have a wonderful Imbolc....may the fires burn bright and may Brigid bless you all.