imbolc eve

Imbolc (im-bolg) is a traditional festival that marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Imbolc is also the feast day of Goddess Brigid.

The etymology of Imbolc is unclear. Most commonly agreed upon is that it comes from Old Irish, meaning “in the belly”, and refers to the pregnancy of ewes and “to wash/cleanse”, referring to a ritual cleansing. Still another possibility is the derivation from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning both “milk” and “cleansing” and from the Proto-Celtic embibolgon, “budding”.

The wheel of the year continues to turn and Imbolc marks the point where spring is approaching.  It is soon time to sow.

Goddess Brigid is associated with spring , fertility, healing, poetry and smithcraft. Cormac’s Glossary, written in the 10th century by Christian monks, says that Brigid was “the goddess whom poets adored” and that she had two sisters: Brigid the healer and Brigid the smith. This suggests she may have been a triple deity and, thus, honored in all her aspects.

It is traditional on Imbolc Eve at sunset, or just thereafter, to light a candle in honor of Brigid and the return of the sun (longer days). When you meditate, think about the transition from cold to warm, from dark to light.


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