All About Imbolc

Enthusiasts Enjoy The Marsden Imbolc Fire Festival 2012
The Marsden Fire Festival is still held each year at Imbolc in Huddersfield, England. Bethany Clarke / Getty Images

By February, most of us are tired of the cold, snowy season. Imbolc reminds us that spring is coming soon, and that we only have a few more weeks of winter to go. The sun gets a little brighter, the earth gets a little warmer, and we know that life is quickening within the soil. There are a number of different ways to celebrate this Sabbat, but first, you may want to read up on Imbolc History.

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Imbolc.

Some people focus on the Celtic goddess Brighid, in her many aspects as a deity of fire and fertility. Others aim their rituals more towards the cycles of the season, and agricultural markers. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying -- and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

Imbolc Magic

Imbolc is a time of magical energy related to the feminine aspect of the goddess, of new beginnings, and of fire. It's also a good time to focus on divination and increasing your own magical gifts and abilities. Take advantage of these concepts, and plan your workings accordingly.

Because of its proximity to Valentine's Day, Imbolc also tends to be a time when people start exploring love magic -- if you do, be sure to read up on it first!

Traditions and Trends

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of February? Find out how Valentine's Day became important, what the Romans were up to, and where the legend of the groundhog began! We'll also look at the many different aspects of Brighid - after all, Imbolc is her feast day - and talk about the very important issue of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which often rears its ugly head around this time of year.

Crafts and Creations

As Imbolc rolls in, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with a Brighid's Cross or a Corn Doll. Let's look at some simple decorations you can make for your home that celebrate this season of fire and domesticity.

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Imbolc, celebrate with foods that honor the hearth and home -- breads, grains, and vegetables stored from fall such as onions and potatoes -- as well as dairy items. After all, this is the season of Lupercalia as well, honoring the she-wolf who nursed the twin founders of Rome, in addition to being the time of the spring lambing, so milk is often a focus in Imbolc cooking.