Published on February 01, 2023 at 1:13 p.m.
Time passes and the wheel of the year continues to turn. January has finally just bowed out in favor of the most express month of the calendar. February passes at light speed not only because it is made up of fewer days, but also because it is punctuated by many events. Valentine’s Day, winter holidays, pancake parties… If you thought you had to wait for candlelight to start the festivities, you’re totally wrong. For good reason, on the agenda of witches and practitioners of Wicca – the pagan religion of magicians – February 1 is marked with a white cross. It is the date of the Sabbath of Imbolc, also called the return of light. A festival that celebrates the renewal of spring.
Imbolc: what is this holiday and its meaning?
Among witches, as in astrology, each season is imbued with an energy of its own. Imbolc thus serves as a gentle transition between the harshness of winter and the prosperity of spring. It’s the exact middle of winter, the moment when the days start to get longer. February 1st celebrations are thus held in honor of the Celtic goddess of inspiration, healing and fire: Brigid or the greek deity, Vesta. Imbolc is an invitation to open up to the world and to others. Like nature waking up after a period of hibernation, it’s time to call on your creative spirit to drive renewal.
This holiday, which is also called the Sabbath, is a time when it is good to do some sorting, cleaning and tidying up to welcome change. Day of purification, Imbolc pushes us to appreciate the abundance to come. That of the Sun, of nature, but also of our projects. in full Aquarius season, we find in Imbolc all the energy of this sign: a reforming power and a desire to get rid of conventions in order to move forward by following his instincts and his ideals. “It’s an opportunity to create new opportunities and choose a new path. A perfect time to improve, ”says modern witch Lida Pavlova on her Instagram account.
Imbolc: a Candlemas before its time?
Imbolc literally understanding “in milk” has an origin that may surprise you: it was during this period that mothers began to breastfeed babies in ewes. Whether you live on a farm or not, it is therefore customary to perform rituals with milk to mark the occasion. But beware, not just anyhow: to celebrate Imbolc, we make pancakes whose shape and color (round and golden) evoke the power of the Sun or the appearance of a coin. It is therefore a Candlemas before its time. Moreover, February 2 is none other than Saint Bridget on the Christian calendar, which has made it possible to merge the celebrations given to the goddess Brigid and the festivities of Candlemas. What combine pleasure, greed and beliefs: a three in one that delights! We will also make sure to light white candles whose color symbolizes nourishing milk and purity. A way to symbolically “burn” a snowman and thus take a step closer to spring.
Why should plants be sown on February 1st for Imbolc?
Imbolc marks the return of the snowdrops. These plants with white bells announce the return of spring and therefore of sunny days. It’s not the only one plant with which this Sabbath is associated. It is said that it is good to admire white lilies, heather, violets, primroses or hazel catkins to become aware of how nature is blossoming. Even more, it would be advisable to sow seeds or prepare for future plantings. A way of illustrating the fact of initiating a renewal. In this way, everyone can give birth to their projects and cultivate their desires. Seeing the seeds germinate and observing them as they transform into plants will have the effect of an inspiring reminder that will motivate us to make all our dreams come true.
Incense for Imbolc
As we said above, Imbolc is an invitation to clean up your space and your mind. For that, nothing better than burning a sage stick to purify through fumigation. But, you can also use incense. Attention, again, the race list is precise. For Imbolc, we turn to incense of basil, myrrh or gardenia to promote its openness to the outside world and purify its energies. All while soothing our minds. The opportunity to slow down to take the time to admire the beauty of nature and to (re)connect to our inner power. Burning incense for Imbolc is therefore a good excuse to take a break for yourself, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Whether you believe all this or not, the sabbaths, witches’ feasts or celebrations of the wheel of the year, call them what you will, are above all calls to order. It is an invitation to contemplate the richness of nature and a perfect opportunity to reconnect with cycles of the seasons. In short, a way of connecting to the concrete, to the earth and to the universe that surrounds us. To be tested, especially if you need to get out of your routine a little to breathe for a moment.
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How to celebrate Imbolc: rituals for the February 1st witch festival – Elle
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