The Celtic Wheel of the Year
'1st February - IMBOLC is the time between the Winter Solstice (emptiness) and the Spring Equinox (beginning growth) when inspiration for the seed to be sown is given nurture. If we focus on what we intend to bring about in our lives over the following cycle of seasons we can let quiet contemplation bring forward the next aspect of life's need.' Kaaren Whitney
Imbolc the day on which the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over.
It's time for re-awakening
For the maiden of fertility,
The goddess moon still shines,
We are here to realise our dreams,
To initiate the clearing,
So we worship the elements,
The air we breathe,
At last we can breathe again,
by Andrea Gibbons 2006
Underlying energy of Imbolc
by Glennie Kindred
As with all cross – quarter festivals, this is the point when the manifest energy begins to change. We can use this time to activate our new cycle.
Our acceptance of winter is giving way to an urge to move forward into springtime energy. Now is the time to prepare inwardly for the changes which will come. Plant your visions and ideas leave them to germinate. Bring forth your inner understanding through poetry, song, art and craftwork. Divination and clairvoyance are potent now as the link with the inner realms remains strong.
This is the time for initiation and healing, for reclaiming what has been forgotten. A time for working with your intuition, inspired leaps of faith, expressing your deepest feelings and understanding your own inner wisdom and beliefs. From your unconscious many things will be revealed to bring understanding of yourself. This is the special energy of Imbolc which will help you find your way forward.
Gather at New moon to share visions, dreams, poems, and songs.
Meditate and connect to the re-emerging power which is stirring deep in the earth. Ask for guidance from within: separation from the old, a transition and integration into the new.
Make a fire and use it to cleanse and leave behind, what is no longer helpful to you.
Collect snowdrops and fresh leaves. Gather twigs of Willow, Forsythia, Winter Jasmine, Almond and Cherry Buds. Weave them together into a circle and place them into a shallow dish of water. Over the next weeks fresh growth and flowers will come out.
Use seeds to plant ideas, seeds of future intent. Share these with friends.