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Imbolc

Imbolc is a wonderful Sabbat that occurs in the northern hemisphere around February 1, 2, or 3. What to call it so it makes sense in my life is something I have been wondering about for some time. The word Imbolc seems to be about lambs needing to get ready for spring milking ASAP. But I have never met anyone that owns sheep. Some eat lamb but do not own lamb. It is difficult trying to communicate the meaning of the holiday to others who don't know what it is.


I find this annoying when wanting to set up a way to celebrate this time of Earth movement.


It can be called Brigid's Day. But that leads to a host of problems when trying to communicate the awesomeness of this time. "oh, do you mean St Brigit's Day?”. No, I mean the Goddess Brigid. But I don't want to go too far with the concept of Brigid's day. I don't want to make straw dolls or make a bed and other comforts for Brigid in my home.


Oh, Candelmass? I don't care what that is beyond that it is a christian thing.


Don't get me started on 'Groundhog Day'. This is profoundly strange, but the good news is it only applies if you live in some wooded area of Pennsylvania.


Many cultures celebrate something around February 1 and 2. None of them apply to my reality. What I love about Feb1,2 is the fact that at that time Winter is half done! This is awesome! Even if it is snowy and -5 degrees outside, one is given hope by this knowledge. It is time to think about and plan for Spring if it is not already done.


So, how to rename the holiday, and figure out any holiday decorations, events, tasks, etc. to help us pay recognition to the day?


How about WinterHalf? Or Vinterhalff? Nope. Lets for now and probably many years leave it with Imbolc.


To make the event meaningful one must analyze one's life at the time of the event. That is to say, what do you do in your life around February 1 or 2? Look at work and income. Does the focus of your job change around this time? What is ahead in the coming Spring? What preparations are needed to advance the next few months?

What about love life, have it or searching; in both cases maybe this area of your life needs attention or needs to rest.

What about children if there are any? What focus now and in the next months till Spring?


Each individual, family, or group of friends celebrating, should define these things were needed and put together an Imbolc celebration.


To start, one should consider what is going on astronomically at this time. During Winter, the Earth is closest to the sun. After passing that point Earth begins its journey to Spring. Yule and its surrounding days provide an opportunity for quiet reflection, and a celebration of light and warmth in our homes to help us deal with the cold days. Now, we are at the dawn of the new year. To compare this to a new day, this is the time when there is light appearing in the sky as the sun comes round again to the promise of a new day. So at this 'waking' time of Imbolc, you would look at your life and get ready for the 'waking year'. What is your situation? What would you accomplish, and what must you do between now and Ostara for example whereas in the day analogy, now the sun has come above the horizon. Put together your thoughts and plans into some words, decorations, music, or whatever so that you feel the wonder of the time of year.


Every year, your Imbolc celebration may have some similarities with the previous years, but also some differences. For instance, if you decide to become a ski instructor next fall, then not only will Yule be your busy season, but so will Imbolc. Therefore, it may be a good idea to start discussing plans for Spring skiing in the coming days.


Some things you might have for your Imbolc recognition or celebration:


Decoration:

  • for the ritual

  • for inside the house

  • For outside the house

Meditation:

  • A meditation can be done as the complete Imbolc celebration; nothing else is needed.

  • A meditation can be part of a ritual celebration.

Ritual:

  • Words: should fit the individual('s) focus now and the next months

  • A meditation.

  • Steps: Full circle casting? etc, up to each party, whatever makes sense.

  • Level of solemnity: Whatever makes sense.

  • Stones and Crystals: whatever you feel fits the moment.


Now relax, enjoy, and get ready for Ostara.

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