FREE US Shipping over $60 + Free Crystal & White Sage leaves with EVERY order!* Please note that due to COVID19, there may be shipping delays.

Imbolc and Candlemas: Flames of Fertility

January 29, 2019 0 Comments

Imbolc and Candlemas: Flames of Fertility

 

Officially celebrated on February 1 at sunset, Imbolc, or Imbolg, signals the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Its name derives from Celtic meaning "in the belly,” as it refers to the “just-showing” pregnancy or a stirring of new life that has just begun.  At its core, this Pagan holiday is a clearing and cleansing preparing us for rebirth. Imbolc focuses on fertility and the promise of returning light in the spring season.

However, Imbolc’s claim to fame is the Irish Goddess Brigid, also spelled Brigit, Bride, or Brighid. She was considered a triple goddess or triune representing maiden, mother, and crone. In this way she had several facets to her symbolism of fire, hearth, poetry, and smithcraft. Brigit was believed to bring fertility to land and its people and therefore also has a close connection to midwives and other healing touch. With Imbolc, Brigit takes on her maiden aspect as being pregnant with possibility with sacred fires representing inspiration, creativity, and cleansing.

As with most Earth-based holidays, Christianity adopted its own versions and the well-loved Brigit was honored as Saint Brigid. With the Christianization of Ireland, Candlemas was celebrated on February 2 instead of Imbolc. It was instead renamed the “Feast of Purification” and paid homage to the fertility and purification of Virgin Mary and her guiding light instead of Brigit’s flame.

Fortunately in both the Pagan and Christian versions of Imbolc, the Brigit’s Cross remains sacred symbolism. Usually made of reeds, it is a solar cross or wheel—she was a Sun goddess of sorts--woven together and used for protection. According to some Neo-Pagan rituals, a new one was made every year and then the old one was burned.

brigits cross

Brigit's Cross

Other traditional celebrations of Imbolc included putting out the main home fire and doing a thorough cleaning of the hearth. In other cases, entire fields purified with fire rituals or bread offerings to the Grain Goddesses. The adapted holiday Candlemas was honored in the Roman Catholic Church as a day to cleanse and bless the church candles. Below are more modern ways to celebrate Imbolc, Candlemas, or Brigit and her fiery fertility:

 

  • Create an altar with candles (duh), poetry books, chalice representing healing waters, flowers, or other spring symbols.
  • If you are feeling ambitious you could make a traditional Brigit’s cross out of reeds, there are plenty of resources online with an easy Internet search. See our example above.
  • Start cleaning out closets and dusting corners (this can also be an honoring of Marie Kondo)
  • Candle ritual with prayers or simple gratitude for what’s to come, if you want more inspo, check out the Energy Cleaning Kit or Fertility Ritual Kit
  • Wear red or other bright colors or decorate the home with some added elements (I bought some bright red tulips for the occasion)

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Farrar of Wild Witch of the West has her M.A. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and has worked with many renowned astrologists and cosmologists. Read her bio here, and catch more of her work on Witch of the West.

______________________________________

Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!





Also in Esoteric Insights

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn, July 4th & 5th, 2020: Overcoming Obstacles
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn, July 4th & 5th, 2020: Overcoming Obstacles

July 02, 2020 0 Comments

This is a big one kids, hold onto your shorts! July and August are gearing up to be some of the more intense months of the year. This is a build-up of energy that’s been taking place for the better part of the last two and a half years. This is the final Capricorn eclipse for years to come, and she will close with a bang. Full Moon Lunar eclipses are often riddled with physical events that come to a close. Unlike Solar eclipses, which are more on the emotional side, these types of lunation bring about massive changes in the physical World. In the sign of Capricorn, it will have an authoritarian vibe to it. Some of you in the weeks ahead will see a boiling point with your relationships to superiors. For every one of you, Capricorn takes place within the twelve houses of your natal astrology chart. This is where knowing your astrological placements is essential. Even if you’re not a Capricorn or have any personal placements in that sign, this event WILL affect you. Why, you ask? Because for the better part of the last two and a half years, Saturn, the taskmaster, has been occupying that area of your chart. Saturn is along the lines of the strict authority figure in your life who wants you to

Continue Reading

July 2020 Horoscopes
July 2020 Horoscopes

June 29, 2020 0 Comments

Get your sparklers ready; things are reaching some impressive heights this month. There will be moments where you can feel the energy swell to overwhelming proportions. I think everyone can benefit from keeping this in mind, focus on yourself and YOUR actions, not others. You want to be an actor, not a reactor. I liken this to not giving a toddler throwing a tantrum your attention. Anger and frustration is a funny thing. Some people handle it better than others. Some meditate. Others let it simmer until they explode. We want to watch out for any hidden intense emotions this month. The full moon lunar eclipse in Capricorn is a doozy, coming in on July 4th and 5th. I expect this to be a turning point, where the world becomes acutely aware of Saturn's tight grip. Being so close to Americas's birthday, and conjunct the USA's natal Sun, important things will be coming in the weeks ahead...

Continue Reading

Spotlight on: Crystal Quartz!
Spotlight on: Crystal Quartz!

June 25, 2020 0 Comments

Quartz is “The Master Healer” and amplifies the energy of anything that is programmed to it, and because of its ability to be negative and positively charged, it is able to channel and store energy for use at a later time. For this exact reason, it is also ideal to use during spiritual or meditation work. It can be used to balance, cleanse, charge, and carry the intentions of anyone, or of other crystals, so it can be used for any ritual with any intention, and even as a substitute should you not have other rocks, minerals, or other talismans around...

Continue Reading