Next week sees the coincidence of two exciting and energising events. Sundown on February 1st 2022 is the start of Imbolc – the festival of light and fertility, and this year, it’s also a New Moon…the second one of 2022! Imbolc runs until sundown on February 2nd, so you have a full 24 hours to celebrate. Both events are times when it’s all about new beginnings….so grab the opportunity over the weekend to prepare yourself and your home to celebrate Imbolc and welcome the New Moon. You’ll see that they share lots of common themes – of renewal, refreshment and relighting a fire…..
What is Imbolc?
Imbolc is a Pagan festival, celebrated on February 1st & 2nd each year to mark the coming of Spring and celebrate light and fertility. It’s the start of the agricultural year, when the earth is warming up, plants and crops begin to grow and lambs and other livestock make their way into the world.
So, as winter thaws, take a moment to mark Imbolc and celebrate the moment spring starts to peek through. You’ve probably already noticed the longer days and lighter nights – add to this by lighting candles and spending as much time as you can outdoors - feeling the sun on your face, even if you still need gloves and a scarf, is guaranteed to improve your mood!
Many of us are still trying to shrug off the post-Christmas and New Year lethargy, so this is an ideal time to really welcome the New Year in your own way. Imbolc marks the moment we can finally say goodbye to the harshest days of winter and welcome the light and warmth into our lives.
Here are a few things you might like to do to celebrate Imbolc:
Tip #1 - Light a candle
or better still, a group of candles…..5 white candles will help you to light a dark corner of your home and give you a great focus for meditation. Flames are traditionally associated with Imbolc, which is known as a ‘fire’ festival.
Tip #2 - Spring clean your home,
or perhaps just make one corner of it look shiny and new. The home is central to the celebration of this festival. This month, when the two festivals coincide, this is also a great chance to focus on what YOUR New Moon intentions are going to be.
Tip #3 - Get a head start on your planting
or at least, PLAN your planting with a diagram and notes for what goers where) and maybe a few early seeds. You can start off tomatoes, chillies or sweet peas indoors in February.
Tip #4 - Welcome Back the Sun
As the sun goes down, light candles in every room, (or a glowing lamp) to keep the light going and welcome back the warmer days.
Tip #5 - Celebrate Brigid
It’s also Brigid’s day on 1st February, she’s the Celtic Goddess of poetry and rebirth. So, instead of your usual book or magazine, why not re-read a favourite poem or find a new poet to love? If you think poetry is a bit fuddy duddy, think again! There are lots of contemporary poets who are writing about 21st Century themes and it’s a great way to meditate. . One of my favourite classics to listen to is Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, there’s a beautiful BBC recording narrated by Richard Burton that I find it delightful to relax with.
Tip #6 - Connect With Water
If it’s not too cold, you could brave a paddle (or even a full dip) in a river or stream. Wild water swimming is gaining in popularity. If you’re feeling less brave, indulge your water cleansing ritual with a lovely warm bath, surrounded by candles and maybe music or even poetry being recited gently in the background
Tip #7 - Celebrate With A Feast
The word Imbolc comes from ‘ewe’s milk’ so you might want to round off your celebrations with an indulgent milky hot chocolate at bed-time, or cream with dessert or even a cheesy treat like fondue or raclette. If you don’t eat dairy, then focus on a dish that celebrates the warming of the earth with a spicy, fragrant curry or soup.
How do you celebrate Imbolc?
Let us know in the comments
Wishing you a blessed weekend