A Witch’s New Year begins after Samhain. But there’s something about the festival of Imbolc, the first to take place in the new calendar year, that feels like a fresh start. As the midpoint between Winter and Spring, Imbolc carries a hopeful quality: as Nature all around us starts stirring from under her deep blanket of snow, so do we. We shed our “hibernating” mode and begin to renew our commitment to growth, both personally and spiritually. During this time of reawakening, putting pen to paper is one of the best ways to prepare for this new Turn of the Wheel. Here’s what you need to know about Imbolc journaling—and all the ways it can help you in your practice.
At the dawn of Imbolc, when the flicker of Spring quickens in the belly of Winter, Brigid’s fiery arrow descends from the Heavens to usher in hope for the new season. Brigid, also known as Brigit, Brighid, and Brighde/Bride, has been one of the most important goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. The Goddess of Spring and Fire, Poetry and Smithery, Healing and Prophecy, has a long and winding legacy that has survived the Christianization of Ireland and is beloved by Pagans worldwide to this day. Brigid has been transformed into both a Christian Saint and a Vodou Loa while still maintaining her primarily Celtic and Gaelic identity. As we’re gearing up for Imbolc, the first Wiccan Sabbat of 2021, let’s spend some time getting to know the many different aspects of the Goddess and learn how to best work with her.
In February, the wheel of the year turns once again to Imbolc. Imbolc is a celebration taken from the roots of the ancient Celtic fire festivals and marking the return of the maiden for Wiccans. This Sabbat for Wiccans is time to give thanks for the ever-increasing daylight. The goddess is in her form as the maiden, and the god is coming into his strength and power through puberty. The heat and warmth of the sun from the growing light germinates seeds deep within the earth’s soil, awakening them to sprout forth shoots of new life. In many places, the Crocus flowers have sprung forth and broken through the frozen ground. New life is stirring just underneath the surface of the cold and dark winter. Nature’s rhythms pulse once again from the light of the sun ready to emerge in the coming months.
During the peak of winter lies the Imbolc. As the wheel turns and the fierceness of winter is upon us, we celebrate the fire that keeps us warm and the fertility that keeps us alive. Imbolc is a holiday that marks the halfway point of the dark season with the concept of renewal and rebirth. As the spring is on its way, so is new life both through physical birth and the figurative birth of new ideas and projects. Imbolc is a time to celebrate the hearth and home. And what better way to celebrate home, than with the members of your spiritual home. A great way to celebrate Imbolc is with your coven mates as you come together at the height of the darkness to bring forth the light of Imbolc.