Hello and welcome to this fortnight’s blog. On the 1st February we celebrated Imbolc here at Quest and we’ve been doing a little research on this fabulous festival and thought we’d share it with you. So let’s find out more.
What is Imbolc?
The word ‘Imbolc’ is derived from an old Irish word ‘Imbolg’, which translates to ‘in the navel’. It refers to the signs of life beginning to emerge from the womb of Mother Earth herself. Imbolc begins at sunset on the 1st of February and continues through to sunset on 2nd of February. It marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Quite literally we are 6 weeks through the winter, with just 6 weeks left until spring arrives. Rooted in ancient Celtic traditions, Imbolc, is a wonderful time to welcome the first signs of spring, honour the Goddess Brigid, and embrace the light returning.
Who is Goddess Brigid?
Brigid, often referred to as the Celtic Goddess Brigid, is a deity with deep roots in Celtic mythology and spirituality. She holds a prominent place in the folklore and religious practices of various Celtic cultures. Brigid is commonly associated with fire, poetry, healing, fertility, and craftsmanship. Although of Celtic origin, her influence can be seen in both pagan and modern spiritual practices. In fact, Imbolc itself, is sometimes referred to as Brigid’s Day or St Brigid’s Day in her honour. It serves as a time to honor and invoke her blessings for inspiration, creativity, and protection.
Rituals & Traditions
Imbolc is a time of purification and preparation for the coming spring. Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the festival with a variety of rituals and traditions, each highlighting the themes of renewal and light. Some common practices include:
- Lamp Lighting – Fire plays a significant role in Imbolc celebrations. Lighting lamps or candles around the home at sunset symbolises the return of the sun and the growing strength of its light. Many choose to place candles in every room of their homes to banish winter’s darkness and welcome the increasing daylight.
- Brigid’s Crosses – Creating Brigid’s crosses is a traditional craft associated with Imbolc. Crosses are made from rushes or other natural materials, and symbolise protection. They are often hung above doorways to ward off negativity and invite Brigid’s blessings into the home.
- Feasting – Sharing a meal is a central aspect of Imbolc celebrations, fostering a sense of community and unity.
- Nature Walks – Connecting with the natural world is essential during Imbolc. Taking nature walks to observe the first signs of spring – budding flowers, emerging shoots, and the returning song of birds – allows individuals to attune themselves to the cycles of the Earth and express gratitude for the coming season.
We love the idea of lamp lighting to welcome the return of the sun. Did anyone see the Sunset on 1st February 2024? It was stunning!
Along with the rituals and traditions listed above, Imbolc is also a time of reflection for the soul. So why not spend a little time over the days surrounding Imbolc to reflect on your growth through the winter. Here are some suggested journalling prompts:
What have you learnt? How have you grown? Is there anything you wish to leave behind, as you emerge from your winter hibernation? Now, reflecting upon the lessons of winter, how do you see things changing for you in the weeks and months ahead? Do you see yourself doing things any differently? If so, why? What is it you want to achieve this year? What are your hopes and dreams?
Take time over the coming weeks, to nurture the spring seeds of hope you have planted for yourself. Create yourself a plan, and figure out how you are going to bring them to fruition when the time is right. Our beautiful Tree of Life box would make the perfect place for your spring wishes.
Tree of Life Box£31.99
So as we begin to emerge from the depths of winter, Imbolc offers us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the returning light, honour the goddess Brigid, and embrace the promise of new beginnings. We hope it’s inspired you, and helped to lift the January fog. It’s certainly excited us here at Quest!
We’ve Got You Covered
As always, we’ve got plenty of amazing products available in store and online to help you on your spiritual journey. So if Imbolc, resonates with you, take a look at some of the products we have below.