The Wheel turned to Imbolc this first week in February. It is frigid, snowy, and still where I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York. As I’ve been leaving for work, it is dark and still, so much so that even the outside lights don’t light up my path. Yesterday, both Mouse and I noticed that in the east we could see the pinks and lavender of the dawn. It was very heartening. It is one thing to know, because the weatherman tells us, that we are gaining more light each day, it is another things to witness and experience it.
At Imbolc, Mother Earth begins to stir and awaken. Still snuggled warm in her earthy bed, her dreams turn to spring and growth rather than the deep sleep of wisdom and meditation. There is a deep quickening beneath the soil. Seeds and bulbs feel the change and begin to stir inside their skins and shells. The Earth hasn’t yawned and stretched and gotten fully awake, but we know it’s soon.
As humans, we begin to stir and awaken, moving from our hibernating state to awakening. We feel our creativity comes back and ideas, fresh and new, begin to excite us. We start by preparing ourselves and our spaces. One of the customs for this time of year, in honor of Brigid, is to clean our hearth. We can look at our hearth as our home, our workspace, our hearts, our souls or whatever is full of cobwebs and dust. Go widdershins around your spaces and sweep out the stale and outdated so you can welcome in the fresh new life.
Over the years, our circle has done different rituals to celebrate Imbolc. One of my favorite is to light different colored candles for our wishes and then raise energy for the success of the wishes. The glow of the candles remind us of the sunlight’s return and the warmth of the fire melts the cold surrounding our hearts. Another favorite ritual is to tie different colored ribbons to a tree branch, raising energy for their success. I keep the branch indoors in a sunlit window until Ostara when Mouse and I plant it outside in our garden. There the weather and the birds take the ribbons as gifts. At Lammas, the Sabbat opposite Imbolc, we burn the branch and the ribbons, raising energy in thanksgiving for the harvest of our souls.
And on a light-hearted aside, I’m kind of a musical comedy Witch so the holidays often bring to mind a song from a musical. My favorite for Imbolc is “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here,” from On a Clear Day. Since everything is on the internet, you can find a video from the movie sung by Barbra Streisand ; and the lyrics are below because you can’t help but sing along.
May your awakening be exuberant, rowdy, happy, and creative.
Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here :