Today is IMBOLC – though some give the date also as tomorrow.
Imbolc – the word comes from the Celtic for belly – is also known as Candlemas, or Brigid’s Day.
It’s one of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals on the Wheel of the Year and the first of the 8 Sabbats in a calendar year.
It commemorates the passing of winter into spring in the northern hemisphere and of summer into autumn Down Under. It also commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden in the north and from the maiden to the Crone in the south.
Symbolically it represents the recovery of the Goddess and her body after giving birth.
From Angelfire.com This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of winter, through the renewing power of the sun. It is also a festival of light and of fertility, once marked in Europe with huge blazes, torches and fire in every form. Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as lite and warmth.
As it happens, I arranged to meet up with an amazing woman called Jane today (Jane is – among other things – a midwife – and Brigid is the Goddess of midwives!) We didn’t know it was Imbolc (or at least I didn’t realise). And yet here we are. SO amazing as I know this is meant to be, and I am meant to celebrate this first occasion on the Wheel of the Year.
I did some quick research. I will do a puja to the Goddess as always and then … from here.
Decorate your altar with 3 snowdrops if you can find them or 3 white flowers if you cannot. Imbolc is about hope for the coming year so, on this day, Brigit gives us three wishes, one Universal, one for the family and the last for you. Place a white candle (or tea-light) in a holder, dedicate it to Brigit, and light it in front of your flowers. From that candle, light 3 more and make your wishes as you light them. Preferably, perform this on the 1st but can be done in the day on the 2nd. Allow the candles to burn to the end. Think carefully about what you wish for as you only get one chance annually, so make it count and choose wisely!!
‘Spring cleaning was originally a nature ritual’ – Doreen Valiente
Please note that regarding whether or not Imbolc is today or tomorrow, I am going by the calendar here – I believe February 2 is the date which is used unless you want to work things out based on the actual variations of the year. In any case, today is my day to celebrate it with Jane!