Pagans celebrate the returning of light after the Winter Solstice on February 1st, Imbolg or Imbolc. In Old Irish, Imbolg translates to surrounding her belly or around the belly, meaning the Earth Mother’s womb, the land and soil, the beginning of fertility of the land. This is the time when the goddess Persephone renews herself from the underworld. In the cycle of renewal the young god (the Sun) is growing from child to youth.
The holiday became Christianized as Candlemas, Saint Brigid’s day, February 2nd, and was a celebration of purification. In Greece, this time was the Lesser Eleusian Mysteries, when the youth were initiated in the mysteries, and in Rome, Lupercalia was celebrated.
Rituals of light, not heat, to encourage growth and fertility of crops took place to herald the coming of Spring. Omens were taken on this day, especially around weather and hibernating animals, such a groundhogs, who were said to predict the coming season.
The message is to purify, initiate, and quicken with activities/spells for growth, increased money, healing, and blessings of crops, animals, and children. The rowan tree, laurel, violet, primrose, and amethyst stone are useful at this time.
Imbolc Rituals And Spells
Purification or Cleansing
• Use a burning sage stick and a cup of salted water. Go counterclockwise (widdershins) around each room, any ritual items(s), and one’s self, first with sage and then sprinkling with the salt water.
Omens And Messages
• To scry, take a bowl of water, place on a table, darken the room, and light one white candle in front of the bowl. Gaze into the water, soft focusing, and let the candle flame flicker over the water, opening you to visions.
• To dream true (prophetically), keep this charm under your pillow: a cloth bag with mugwort and a length of red cord, the two ends knotted together.
• Bury your financial petition request with a seed (or a seedling). Water it for renewal.
• Rub a Buckeye with money drawing oil, place in a bag with 3 pinches of basil, magnetic sand, a large denomination coin, and a $2 bill or $5 bill. Carry this with you and renew the money drawing oil from time to time.
Health And Wellness
• To heal from a distance, create a talisman by choosing a lodestone or quartz crystal. Charge it by prayers, incantations, setting on your altar, putting out in the sun and moon. Call on Hekate or a personal deity of healing from your tradition and/or Archangel Raphael. Place it on the person’s picture/name paper/petition.
• Carry three acorns and a piece of sassafras root in a green or gold bag for continued good health.
These are but a few ways to work with Imbolg/Candlemas and the returning of the light.