Cold crisp mornings giving way to golden rays of sunshine when the fog lifts. Days are lengthening, the light is returning. The Quickening is upon us. The ground stirs below us as the first hints of Spring bring joy after a freezing Winter Down Under.
A time of new beginnings, out with the old, in with the new. Rejoicing in the return of the Sun/Son. There are many ways to celebrate Imbolc that won’t break the bank, in fact Imbolc maybe the cheapest Sabbat of the eight Pagan Sabbats to celebrate. Here are some ideas for ways to honour and celebrate Imbolc:
1. Dawn Ritual- This can be done solitary, with family, or as part of a group. The last few years I have facilitated group dawn rituals that begin before sunrise. The ritual plays out as the sun rises and is greeted, honoured and welcomed back by the group. If it’s just you or yourself and family, rise before dawn, rug up warm, grab extra blankets and head out to a spot where you have a great view of the east horizon. Sit (or stand), perhaps with a glass of orange juice (orange to represent the sun) and toast the Sun as it rises, welcoming him back and being thankful. Take some time to feel the warm rays on your face, allowing them to melt away the cold of Winter. When you’re done, why not head off for a celebratory breakfast of eggs- sunny side up!
2. Imbolc is a great time for a Spring clean. At this time I like to go through the drawer where I keep all the bills/invoices and other miscellaneous paperwork and clear out what is not needed anymore. It’s also a good time to go through your wardrobe and clear out what you no longer need and donate it to charity. This can be done with any items in the house that are no longer needed.
3. Extend that clearing out of the old by spending some time thinking about and listing the things that you need to rid from your life, whether it be a bad habit such as smoking or nail biting, or maybe excess kilos, maybe even debt… basically anything you want to let go of. Write it down on a small scrap of paper, then burn it in the cauldron or other fire proof vessel, and as the smoke rises, bid the habit/weight/debt or whatever it was, good-bye. Next, think of something positive you want to start such as a gym program, a veggie garden, an online class, or whatever takes your fancy, write it down, focus on it, filling it with positive intention. Place the piece of paper somewhere safe where you can review it along with your progress next Imbolc.
4. Another simple and inexpensive way to honour this Sabbat is to light a candle at dawn (a big one that will burn for a while), preferably white in colour (Brigid’s colour). You can have a candle in each room of the house or just one on an appropriately decorated altar. Also leaving out offerings to Brigid and her cow of milk and bread/cake the night before can be a fun activity for children, similar to that of leaving out milk, cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer.
There are many ways any of the Sabbats can be celebrated, don’t be afraid to experiment and find a way that suits you and your family and fits into your lifestyle.