Imbolc

Many of you know that Imbolc (pronounced EM-bulk)  is just around the corner!

What is Imbolc?  Well, it is one of the 8 Sabbats.  Its also sometimes called Candlemas.  Think of it as the Spring starting to kick within the womb of Earth.  It is a time to celebrate the lengthening of the days.

There are many traditional stories about Imbolc/Candlemas.  Groundhog Day is a spin on an ancient Celtic tradition where they thought if the weather was nasty – the hag stayed inside and gathered no more wood for the winter (meaning Spring will come sooner).  If the weather is lovely – then the hag is out gathering wood and Winter will last a bit longer.  This is of course the Laymen’s Terms.  I tend to just give the basic idea so as not to drone on and on (I do that sometimes.)

This is the time of year (first couple weeks of February) that the ewes give birth en masse.  In England they called it “Lambing Season”.

Here is a list of things associated with Imbolc/Candlemas

 

Activities Usually done at Imbolc/Candlemas

  • Light a candle in every window (never leave candles unattended! Just light one in the room you’re in)
  • Hiking and searching for signs of Spring
  • Making Priapic Wands (wand made out of an acorn, ribbons, a stick, and a bell. Its meant to be phallic to represent fertility. Instructions to make one is below*)
  • Feasting
  • Bon Fires

(some) Deities associated with Imbolc:

  • All Virgins/Maiden Goddesses
  •  Brighid
  • Athena
  • Gaia
  • Gods of Love and Fertility (such as Eros)

 

Symbols of Imbolc/Candlemas:

  • Purity
  • Growth
  • Re-Newal
  • Fertility
  • ‘Out with the old – In with the new’ 

 

Herbs associated with Imbolc

  • Angelica
  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Blackberry
  • Coltsfoot
  • Iris
  • Myrrh 

Stones/Gems of Imbolc

  • Amethyst
  • Bloodstone
  • Garnet
  • Ruby
  • Onyx
  • Turquoise 
*And if you’re interested .. here’s how to make a priapic wand:
You will need —-
An acorn
A stick
Glue (hot glue works best)
Ribbon (any color you want!)
Bells (the small jingly kind)
Glue the acorn to one end of the stick.
However many bells you are using – leave that many strands of ribbon hanging free
Wrap the rest of the ribbon on your stick however you like!
Attach the bells
Go outside and wave your fertility wand about.  Find new growth and make a fertility tornado/cyclone around it.  The bells help wake the sleeping earth after its Winter hibernation.
This is a great activity to do with children in particular – but its fun for adults too!

Posted on January 27, 2012, in crafts, sabbats and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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