We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Monday, January 21, 2013

Imbolg/Imbolc/Candlemas ~ Feast of Lights

Our next holiday celebration will be the cross-quarter and greater sabbat of Imbolg. Imbolg, as we all know, is also known as Imbolc, Candlemas/The Feast of Flames, Festival of Lights, and Groundhog Day among others.  It falls on February 2nd of every year and it is a time for purification and cleansing ~ the “sweeping out of the old and bringing in of the new” as it were. It marks the first fetal stirrings of Spring in the womb of our Earth Mother and seeds are prepared for sewing.

It is also a time when we honor the Triple Goddess in Her maiden aspect of Brigid (pronounced “Breed”) who is the goddess of fire, inspiration, healing, craftsmanship, and midwifery. She is also the patroness of the hearth, poets, smiths, craftspeople, healers, and priests/priestesses. The God who was born of the Goddess at Yule stirs in His slumber and awaits the Spring Equinox. It is also said that Groundhog Day (later known as Candlemas), which had its’ beginnings in German Paganism and is celebrated in both the United States and Canada, symbolizes the manifestation of the God Himself. In regard to six more weeks of winter: “If Candlemas day be sunny and bright, Winter again will show its’ might. If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey, Winter soon will pass away.” Of course, in reality, either way we must still endure six more weeks of winter before the start of Spring. Personally, I just adore Groundhog Day here in the States. It is such a fun festivity whether celebrated locally or abroad. We always enjoy watching "Punxsutawney Phil" awake from his hibernation to make a brief appearance to predict our winter's future on early morning of February 2nd. For more on Phil, please read my post, “Can't get enough of that Phil!” Just an aside, last year when we took our 5-day cruise on Ontario, Canada's Rideau Canal, the Captain and family business owner's sister, who happened to be the Cruise Director named Ann, told us a story of how she made a special trip to Punxsutawney, PA here in the States for the express purpose of actually meeting "Phil" and joining in on the town's festivities! Such a delightful woman!

Imbolg is a good time to get organized ~ spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is also the traditional time for dedications, rededications, and initiations if you are associated with a coven or group. It is an ideal time to cleanse your sacred space, altar, and tools. Activities may include making Brigid’s Crosses, Sun Wheels, a crown of candles, creating a grain or wicker dolly to represent Brigid, making a Brigid’s Bed using the corn or wheat from the previous Lughnasadh, and hanging a scarf outside on the eve of Imbolg so that Brigid will bless it with healing powers. Other activities include hanging three ears of corn on your door until Ostara to honor the Triple Goddess and making Dream Pillows for every member of the family. I always like to cleanse and bless our home on Imbolg.

Also, on Imbolg eve, it is customary to leave food and drink out for Brigid such as buttered bread, milk, grains, or seeds.


We light the candles on Imbolg
Weave our crosses end to end
We light the candles on Imbolg
To urge the Sun to come again,
We light the candles on Imbolg
To honor the Goddess Brigit,
We light the candles on Imbolg
To plow the field and sow the seed

~ Lady Caer Morganna


  1. So with you re: Phil! He's too adorable for words. :o)

    There's a large family of groundhogs that lives in and around our yard in the summer. They love the area under our shed and have a summer burrow at the back of our yard as well. Every year we get to see (and fall in love with) the new babies!

  2. Great post Kim! I love all the information you shared ;o) Your poem is beautiful! Big Hugs ;o)

  3. Love Groundhog Day! Love the movie too! But what I love even more is Imbolg because I know spring is right around the corner! Blessings!

  4. What an informative post!

    I've been busy cooking, cleaning, getting organised...and will be setting out bread and cheese, apples and honey. Hmmm, perhaps it is time to make new dream pillows as well.

    It's also time for fresh beeswax candles. =)

  5. thanks for the reminder! I need to get moving on my pillows :)

  6. Your post is very edifying, thank you for sharing!


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