What is Imbolc? In modern times, it’s honored by Wiccan and pagan celebration that has also been known as Candelmas. Imbolc symbolizes the halfway or midpoint, or bridge point between the Winter Solstice (Yule tide) and Spring Equinox (Ostara). In modern times, it is revered between January 31 – February 3. In the year 2022 it will fall on the astrological alignment of the Sun in sign Aquarius, a new Moon in Aquarius, and the Lunar Chinese New Year. 🐅
Imbolc is believed to have originated from Proto-Indo-European cultures, and is loosely translated to mean “to milk” and “to wipe clean”. As cultures and people traveled further into what we know as Europe, the practice and name of Imbolc was adopted by old Irish Celtic word meaning “pregnant” or “in the belly”. This was to reflect the pre-seasonal change of seedlings beginning to “stir” in Mother Earth to sprout or be birthed in the Spring. This holiday celebrated Brigid, the Celtic fire and fertility Goddess. Over the centuries, Brigid was adopted by Christianity as St. Brigid.
Black Woman and Imbolc
As “black” indigenous people of the African Diaspora, it is vital for our mental and spiritual liberation to reconnect with our spiritual natural order. Imbolc is a “religious” rite of honoring Black Womanhood by our ancient matriarchs and fathers. This was and is the sacred feast honoring the transitional stages of a girlhood or Maidenhood entering the enlightenment of womanhood, or motherhood. This holy feast day honored the transition and wisdom of each biological phase, spiritual responsibility, and divinity of the female human form.
The ancient Celtic practice of Imbolc celebrated Brigid, the Celtic maiden goddess in the form of the sun. Legend and myth stated that she would spread her green cloak across the land, releasing it from the icy grips of winter. Her feast day represents the midpoint of winter to spring., and honored with bonfires, blazing hearths, lit candles and foods that symbolize the the Sun.
This was a high time for magic, for ritually burning off and releasing the old year and nourishing the new.
We can honor this high holy day today by placing a woven or weaved cross on our doors. The weaving and the cross symbolizes the bridge between dark and light of our journey. You may light a candle and sit in silence to honor your personal life journey, every high and low that has led you to this point. You may even journal gratitude for your experiences and wisdom gained while sitting near a bonfire of fireplace.
To learn more about Brigid, Oracles, and Her-Story click here!