Pagan Origins of Imbolc

Imbolc is a cross-quarterly festival that takes place on 2nd February in the Celtic calendar. It marks the half way point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Also known as Candlemas, it is one of the fire festivals and a celebration of light.

This festival is about encouraging the passing of winter and the enticement of spring to make its first appearance soon.  Slowly the days will be getting lighter little by little and the first sign of the spring bulbs will soon be sprouting. Imbolc is about the Sun God returning and this is where the old Crone transforms back into the Maiden ready for spring time.

This is the time to think about new beginnings, while being a symbol of purification, renewal and fertility. Imbolc is the start of the new agricultural year, it’s the time when the cold, dark, barren winter is being left behind and the earth once again comes to life.


Traditions of Imbolc

Corn Dollies – Imbolc is about the spirit of the corn once again leaving its winter home found in the corn dolly to return back to the fields, to ensure a bountiful harvest in the upcoming year. Corn Dollies at this time of the year are most associated with Brigid and her cross or Brigid lying in her bride’s bed.

Fires and candles – Candles and fires are a symbol of the sun, often lit to entice the sun to return quicker and to give strength to the Sun God.

As this time of year represents new beginnings, this makes it the perfect time to clear out the old by having a spring clean. It’s time to let go and welcome in the new possibilities for the rest of the year. Clean out the clutter and the things you no longer use, purify the air and let go from the stagnant and bad energy. In the next few weeks place some fresh flowers in the house or even hang herbs if you have any left over from last year. The wheel keeps on turning, release yourself from the energy that is holding you back.

Blessed Be )O(


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