I thought I’d post a quick explanation and correspondence list for Imbolc.
Imbolc is celebrated on February 2nd or when the sun is 15 degrees of Aquarius
This is the day we celebrate the first evidence of the return of life and the first stirrings of spring. This is also the day we pay homage to Brigid (pronounced Breed), the Celtic Goddess of fertility, the fiery forge, healing and poetry. She is pregnant with the seed of the sun and like the coming season of spring, she is ripe with the promise of new life.
Imbolc (pronounced Immol’g) translated as ‘in the belly’ and Oimelc (pronounced EWE-milk) translated as ‘in milk’ are the same holiday. The name of the holiday is marked by the lactating cows and sheep. With the start of milk production comes the eventual birth of their young. All of this signals the end of the long, lifeless, dreary winter and the beginning of the restoration of life. Milk is often poured on the Earth during this festival to encourage growth. This is the second of four fire festivals and it is tradition to light a star shaped candle from dusk to dawn to hasten the return of the sun.
This is also a time for early, pre-spring cleaning. The new energies of the warmer part of the year are starting to emerge and flow in now making it time to get rid of the past and prepare for the future. Rekindle old hobbies you’ve let fall by the wayside. You can make a corn doll and place her in a doll’s bed or basket with a phallic symbol like a wand of oak.
An oaken wand is known as a Priapic or Phallic wand and was so named for the Greco-Roman god of procreation. This will ensure the coming year is fruitful and prosperous. It is the Maiden’s season to prepare for growth and renewal. The Maiden Goddess is honored with corn dolls and the corn dolls are bestowed with gifts from each household. It is a representation of Brigid and since this is her day, you can use her in her guise as muse, and she will aid you in nurturing your soul’s desire for enjoyment, sustenance and the simple pleasures of life.
Also Called- Candlemas, Candle Festival, Disting, Lupercus, Imbolgc Brigantia, Candelaria, Ground Hog’s Day, St. Brigit’s Day and Feast of the Waxing Light.
Traditions- burning candles from dusk to dawn, hearth relighting, lighting white candles, creating corn dolls in a white dress and placing her in her bride’s bed or a basket, candle burning, stone gathering, hiking in the snow and looking for signs of spring, bonfires, feasting.
Symbols- hearth, a single flame, purity, growth and renewal, the re-union of the Goddess and the God, fertility, and dispensing of the old and making way for the new.
Foods– preserved, canned and dried foods, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seed cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, peppers, onions, garlic, raisins, spiced wines and herbal teas.
Herbs- seaweed, mace, snowdrop, rowan, first flowers of the year, crocus, angelica, basil, bay laurel, blackberry, celandine, coltsfoot, heather, iris, myrrh, tansy, violets, and all white or yellow flowers.
Stones- amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, onyx, turquoise.
Colors- white, pink, red, yellow, light green, brown.
Deities- Maiden Goddesses, Brigid, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Gaia, Februa, Aengus Og, Eros, Februus, Danu, Epona.
Time of Day- midnight
Astrological Sign- Aquarius