Archive for the ‘Imbolg’ Category



Lesson 7



Imbolc (February 1)




Colors: White, orange, red

Decorations: Lamps, besom, yellow flowers

Foods: All dairy products, curries, onions, chives, garlic, spiced wine, seeds, herb teas

Incense: Rosemary, cinnamon, wisteria, frankincense, myrrh

Herbs: Snowdrop, bay, heather, any first flowers of the year, violets, daffodils


Pronounced “IM-bulk” or “EM-bowlk” and derived from the Gaelic word “oimelc” which means “ewes milk”.  Also may derive from a word meaning “In The Belly,” which is a reference to the womb of Mother Earth.


Also called Oimealg (“IM-mol’g), Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigit’s Day, St. Lucy’s Day, Feast of Brighid, Oimealg, Imbolgc Brigantia, Imbolic, Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th), Lupercus, Candlelaria, The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin.


This sabbat marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. The length-ning periods of light awaken Her. The God is a young, lusty boy, but His power is felt in the longer days. It is a fire Sabbat, meaning there should be a fire burning.


This cross quarter holiday and Greater Sabbat is celebrated by most Pagan traditions on February 2, although some groups celebrate on February Eve. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year and is the festival of the Maiden because from this day to March 21st, it is her season and a time for the earth to prepare for growth and renewal. From Samhain to Feast Of Brid (pronounced BREED) the Celts observed a time called “the period of the little sun”.


Although our Mother Earth rests at this time and her stirrings are still hidden from us there is life nonetheless. At Imbolc the long winter is almost behind us. The coldest times have been experienced and survived and now the days are becoming longer. The earth is coming alive and once again, it is time to begin anew. This is the time for banishing winter and preparing for the coming spring. On this day we celebrate the return of light, new beginnings, fertility of the land which is shown to us in things such as the swelling of buds on bare branches and in many places the first Crocus and snow drops flower, springing forth brightly from the frozen earth.. We also celebrate agricultural fertility as evidenced by the livestock birthing new babes, the engorgement of udders and the planning and preparation for the coming planting times. For this reason many people chose this day to bless seeds and consecrate agricultural tools.


It is also felt by many traditions that the eve of Imbolc is the best time of the year to perform divinations specifically pertaining to the future welfare and prosperity of your family. While New Year’s resolutions are often about letting go of habits or things that you no longer want, Imbolc is the time for taking the first active steps toward what it is you want to draw into your life-a time of new beginnings.


Assignment: Pick the correct answer to the questions.


1. What Goddess is associated with Imbolc?

    A. Cerridwyn

    B. Gaia

    C. Belenus

    D. Bridget


2. Imbolc is…?

    A. A Major Sabbat

    B. A Minor Sabbat


3. Another name of Imbolc is

    A. Lammas

    B. Spring Equinox

    C. Candlemas

    D. Ostara


4. Imbolc is a

    A. Death Sabbat

    B. Fire Sabbat

    C. Harvest Sabbat

    D. Fertility Sabbat


5. At Imbolc the days are…

    A. Fading

    B. Growing shorter

    C. Growing Longer

    D. Equal

    E. all of the above.



Imbolg 2010

   Posted by: Scrivener

What do groundhog s and the lactation of ewes have in common?

In this day probably nothing, but once upon a fairer time, both pointed reassuringly (at least as long as the groundhog didn’t see its shadow) to the lengthening of days and a return to springtime warmth. A quite literal translation of the Celtic—Old Irish— word, Imbolg (actually, Óimelc), is the lactation of ewes. Some also claim the word means, in the belly, but I believe that definition is probably a debasement of the word’s true meaning. I any of you reading this are more expert in Gaelic than me, feel free to correct my assumptions. Finally, since the Wiccan Sabbat, Imbolg, and Groundhog Day celebrations occur on the same day, you now know the connection between the two events.

Our coven, the Circle of the Dark Moon, like so many other Wiccans celebrated Imbolg this past Tuesday evening. Barb, one of our second-degree students, led the ritual. She also did a fine job of writing said ritual. The main working of the ritual was an Earth-healing dance and chant, which was appropriate since our tradition focuses more on the agricultural aspects in this the first of the fertility Sabbats.

Afterwards, we had a potluck dinner that featured many traditional Celtic foods. Scott, Barb’s son, and one of our first-degree students, prepared an Irish stew with a curry kicker. He also brought freshly baked bread. Michelle (first-degree student), brought a warm milk prepared with turmeric and cinnamon. The only way that drink could have been more appropriate for the Sabbat was if she had used ewe’s milk. Even though she was not assigned anything for this food rotation, Elaine (first-degree student) volunteered to bring the paper plates and plastic ware so that cleanup was a breeze—a fact that was not lost on my grateful wife. For dessert, there was chocolate cake. Okay, nothing traditional there, but hey, it was chocolate.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and brought food or consumables, and especially to our guest, Jess, who quite literally and quite appropriately—after all, Imbolg is a fertility Sabbat—had something “in the belly.” Jess informed us that she was five months pregnant and that she’s looking forward to her upcoming wedding. Finally, congratulations to Barb for a fine job in writing the ritual and in performing the Priestess duties. It was a pleasure conducting the ritual with you.