Also known as:- Imbolc, Oimelc, Festival of the Bride, Festival of Brigid, Candalmass
Associated Deities:- Bridgid, The Maiden, The Spring Goddess, The young Lord
Assiciated Herbs:- Angelica, basil, bay leaves, myrrh
Associated stones:- Quartz crystals, opal, moonstone, aventurine, sunstone
Imbolc means 'in the belly' and oimelc means 'ewes milk'. Imbolg is the celebration of the first awakenings of spring as she becomes pregnant. It is a fire festival where the emphasis is on the light as warmth, as it guides spring and its greenery back to earth. Yules festival evergreens are burned in the imbolg fires. In some villages there is a dressing of the well celebration where a wish is made and an offering to the Goddess is given, in others, offerings are tied to trees. This is a time when Bridgids bed is prepared. A basket is adorned with raffia, grass, ivy and white ribon and a corn dolly, dressed as the bride in white, is laid in the basket along with a symbol representing the young Lord.
Imbolg is a time of purity and cleansing and so getting rid of bad habits, old ideas, un liked character traits to make way for the new things. The broom is used to sweep the space clean and thus we feel the need to spring clean.
It is a time to plant bulbs and seeds (providing the last frost has passed) and herbs such as rosemary and lavender that a Witch would use in her workings.
Ostra Celebration ideas
The alter could be adorned with brown earthy coloured cloths and flowers such as crocus and daffodils. A dark candle can be lit to say farewell to the wise one so that she may rest after the winter months. Spend time thinking about what has passed since Samhain and lessons learned. Now light a white candle and extinguish the dark one to welcome the young maiden.
Think about new ideas that could now be started. Bundles of straw could be tied together with black ribbon, one for each habit or old unwanted character trait you wish removed from your life. and the burned in the cauldron. Tie ears of corn with white ribbon for all the things you would like in your life and lay them in the basket. Place a quartz crystal point in with them to represent the young Lord.