Imbolc is a time of year in which we honor the pause of midwinter, and the promise of spring yet to come.
It is associated with white, snow, purity, and the animals sheep and ram. The goddess we honor at this time is Brigid, who is the Celtic goddess and the Keeper of the Sacred Flame. She encourages us to hold strong, and let our inner light burn bright as the cold and dark of winter is beginning to draw nearer and nearer to a close.
I love this pagan holiday because it is still and pure and about energetic cleansing, pause, fire element, and stillness. Imbolg translated from old Irish means "in the belly" or "ewe's milk" (Llewellyn's 2019 Sabbat Almanac).
It is associated with the time of year in which farmers began to see that flocks of sheep were beginning to produce milk again, getting ready for the birth of young in the spring. It was also a time of year, while, although still cold, could be linked to small signs of life beginning to appear in the landscapes: a few blades of grass, a bit of midwinter cheer because spring is gaining near.
These types of natural associations are what make me celebrate the pagan holidays with so much love and reverence. The Wheel of the Year walks us through the rise and fall of energy as it is interwoven with nature, our greatest teacher and spiritual guide. Honoring the pagan holidays isn't about religion or being religious to me; it's about honoring the cycles and rhythms of nature, the goddesses, the animals, and the elements all associated within life. It is pure.
As my Llewellyn's 2019 Sabbat Almanac shares "Yule is heavily over-written with the memories of the Christian observations all of us have; so is Ostara. Imbolg is a truly Pagan festival. It's fresh. It's free of baggage." Isn't it nice to have a holiday that is just that...a holiday? Many "holidays" now are overwrought with to do lists, parties to attend, family obligations, and things to do. I love Imbolg because it is quiet and pure. It asks for none of that.
"Imbolg is a stirring, a quickening just before something wonderful comes forth. We celebrate it in Bridget, daughter of the Dagda...Many Pagans believe she was Pan-Celtic even in the early days- known and accepted by Celts across Europe, Britain, and Ireland."
Brigid is also the patron goddess of poets and storytellers; this makes sense as she is associated with candlelight and firelight and these are where the best stories are told! In astrology, the fire element is associated with creativity and that divine spark of light, fertility, and healing.
Here are a few more inspiring quotes to savor about Brigid:
"Brigid tells us to get ready for the coming warm weather by cleansing and purifying ourselves and our surroundings."
"She walks back into our lives with a single candle light. It's just a flickering ember, but that tiny flame is a perfect metaphor for what is going on in nature."
"Bridget is a fertility goddess and a healer. She takes over from the old Crone of Winter, the Cailleach, as ruler of the lighter half of the year."
Here's an Imbolc cheat sheet I have written up for you:
Imbolc Cheat Sheet
Also known as: Brigid's Day
Spiritual lineage: Celtic, Pagan
When: Midwinter in the Wheel of the Year
Colors: white, yellow, cream
Totem animals: sheep, ram
Spiritual Tools: candles, crystals
Imagery: snow, white owl, Celtic cross, braided cross
My crystal recommendations: white quartz, dendritic agate
And lastly,check out some BIG magic below!
To fully embrace the magic of this midwinter moment with you all, I have prepared two magical goodies for you:
1. I have written and designed the Imbolc Invocation below. Live it, love it and share it with your friends! Teach others about the magic of this beautiful holiday. Make sure to tag me on Instagram @julieannfae or on Facebook @julieannfaehealing so I can know where to celebrate your share!
2. I am doing a card reading sale for Imbolc! All card readings will be discounted to 35% off for big midwinter savings, and prices will be updated and reflected on my website during the sale time.This will be a shortcard readings only sale and you will definitely want in while it lasts. Shop around the card readings on my site and treat yourself to some wisdom for yourself or another!
Julie Ann Fae is a professional astrologer, certified angel card reader, and soul coach. She weaves together the strength and magic of the Celtic traditions and Egyptian mystery schools with the healing arts of oracle cards and astrology to enliven, enlighten and inspire others. See the wealth of reviews she has on her website julieannfae.com to learn how people have been uplifted and inspired by her services.