Topic: Imbolg/Imbolc
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March 5th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Imbolg - (Ihm-bowlk) other names are Imbloc, Brigantina, Candlemas, Lupercus

Feb 2nd - or for some can be celebrated from the eve of Feb. to Feb. 3rd. This lands between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox

This is considered a Fire festival Or The Winter Festival of lights; Fire as in light not heat/warmth. Fires are lit to encourage the sun to return. This festival reminds us that the day light is growing and the winter will soon be gone.

Imbolg marks the end of the winter, a festival of survival and new life; anticipated with joy as Mother Earth stirred from her winter's sleep.

This is a time for cleansing, re-dedication, planning and personal assessment and transformation.

Groundhog day falls during this time and is thought that upon the groundhog's return from hibernation, we will find out if the winter will continue on or end soon. Possibly a manifestation of the God, He has been sleeping since Samhain and stirs in his slumber to get a take on the coming light"

Traditons for Imbolg are -

- Making your own candles to use for the rituals now and for the rest of the year

- Do a house cleansing and blessing to rid the house of the old and unwanted and to welcome the new (this can include 'spring cleaning', yard sales, etc!!!)

- An Imbolg seven day ritual - focusing on new plans, goals, wishes, projects, etc. and leaving behind the past mistakes and negativities

- Sow seeds for your gardens or to share with others

- Ceremonial lighting of fires and solar wheels (which were once lit and rolled down hills to send blessings to the feilds and animal, telling all that spring will soon return!!

- Hang a scarf outside on the eve of Imblolg and Brigid will bless it with healing powers.

Please share any additional and/or different info you may have!!

From Gypsy~~

Traditionally, Imbolc was a time for fertility rituals for the land and rituals and prayers to ensure there was enough food until the harvest. Fires were lit and Brigid, the goddess of fire, healing and fertility was petitioned.

Today, it is a time for rekindling activities that may have been neglected throughout the busy year, and rituals include making and lighting candles, planting seeds and spring flowers, reading poetry and storytelling.

Imbolc is traditionally at the cross-quarter point between winter solstice and spring equinox in the astrological year, but modern Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere often celebrate it to coincide with the Christian festival of Candlemas.

From Sandy J~~

Imbolc is always heavy house cleaning time for me. I scour every floor, wall, counter, and tile. All the rugs are beaten. All the cleaning brushes are tossed out or given to my husband for garage work and new cleaning brushes are bought. The mattresses are flipped and rotated. The fridge and freezer are cleaned and defrosted. I go through clothes and toys and bag up things to go to goodwill. Its usually a month long process. Last weekend I scrubbed all the window blinds and cleaned and ironed the curtains. My house is never cleaner than in February and March!

I'm also a big fan of cooking for the holidays. My family always had a big meal for every holiday and I have carried on that tradition. For Imbolc I usually serve an all white meal- fish, bread, pasta, cauliflower, etc. I have a recipe or two that is traditional for every holiday and I vary the menu from there. My traditional Imbolc dish is Swiss Onion Bread.

White = all colors combined so consuming white foods is a way of bringing color and light back into our lives after the long winter. White is also a purification color and thus fits in with my heavy cleansing association with the holiday.

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