Do you want to know how to honor Goddess Brigid through Imbolc Rituals and Altars? Let’s dive into the meaning of Imbolc, how we can honor Goddess Brigid, what blessings to prepare, rituals and practices to focus on and how we can align our energy for this season.
What is Imbolc?
Imbolc is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on the first day of February, also known as Imbolg or Saint Brigid’s Day. Imbolc, meaning “in the belly”, marks the midway point between winter and spring. This is also the 4th point on the Celtic Wheel and a time when we’re slowly edging from the darkness into the light.
During Imbolc, we can peep through the snow and see glimpses of sun rays peeking out with promises of spring. Mother Nature is preparing for a new life in the coming months. Seeds are nestled into their beds and growing daily. Animals are growing their young in their wombs to deliver in spring. This is an exciting time in nature and we can see it reflect in flora, in fauna, and in the energies we feel just before spring.
What is the Symbolism behind Imbolc?
Imbolc invites us to retrieve our gifts from the darkness, to slowly reflect on what intentions we’ve planted, and which of those have been or are now manifesting in our lives. In the past few months, we’ve gone into the depths, journeyed through the cave with Mother Bear and Grandmother Spider from the time of the Autumn Equinox, then deeper into our ancestry in Samhain, and further descending into the Winter Solstice. Now, at Imbolc, you have a better sense of your personal traits and your dark and light shadows, and can now begin to work on acceptance and integration.
- Which of your traits have you been enlightened about over the past six months?
- How has your shadow self surprised you?
- What have you learned from your shadow self?
How to honor Goddess Brigid during Imbolc
During Imbolc, we look toward Goddess Brigid, the Goddess of children, fertility, healing, and the land. She presides over the inspiration, healing, medicine, and herbs of the hearth, home, and land. Her elements are water, fire, and sunlight, so she is often honored through fire festivals, the lighting of candles, and building of altars around the fire element.
She brings unity between the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, the Inner Yin and Yang. In her human form, Goddess Brigid was born at dawn (a liminal time), on a threshold (a liminal space), on the first day of Spring. She is the triple goddess – maiden, mother, and crone.
Building an Altar to Honor Goddess Brigid
An altar is incredibly personal and there’s no “correct” recipe that you need to follow, but here are a few things you can add to your altar to honor Goddess Brigid. I invite you to reflect on what feels good to you first and to only add items that resonate with you.
- You can add meaningful offerings like beer, wine, milk, honey, butter, or crystals for Brigid. This represents gratitude for her love.
- Place items you would like blessed by her, like healing tools, wands, dowsing rods, singing bowls, crystals, jewelry, or anything you use for healing. This allows her healing energy to be infused with the tool you use, making it a powerful instrument for your lightwork.
- Place something symbolic of health, an item you would like blessed by Brigid, such as a piece of clothing or perhaps something you always have on you.
- Brigid is known for being the Goddess of fertility, creativity, poetry, and art, so you can leave a blessing in the form of a poem or letter, a painting, something you’ve created.
- If you want to bless your family and loved ones, leave a meaningful family photo on your front door during Imbolc and ask Brigid to bless your family as she enters your home.
- Enhance abundance by placing coins near your front door, and manifest the abundance entering your front door through Brigid’s power.
- If you are able, add a statue of Brigid to honor her spirit and place it on your Altar for the next 6 weeks, surrounding her with candles and symbolic items or blessings that resonate with you.
- If you crafted a Brigid’s cross, then add this to your altar as a blessing. In the Divine Woman Awakening program, I teach how to weave a Brigid’s cross and how to weave your intentions for Imbolc through it – we often meet live to weave these together!
To honor the four elements in your altar you can add:
Water: Blessed water from Brigid’s well in Ireland, if you can’t access this then I would invite you to use any water from a sacred site that you can bless with intentions for Imbolc.
Fire: A candle, lit with Brigid’s eternal flame. You ask Brigid to light it with her eternal flame while you light the candle in the ceremony.
Wood: You can add snowdrops, representing the earth warming up and peeking through the snow, preparing for Spring.
Air: You can add Swan feathers, the swan is the bird of Brigid, representing elegance, kindness, grace, and clarity.
Finally, you can place any crystals that resonate with you in this time, Beloved. If you want to honor Brigid’s flame then I invite you to see if you can find a Sunstone, Citrine, Red Jasper, Rose Quartz, or Amber.
What rituals can we practice during Imbolc?
Imbolc rituals and practices are centered around honoring Brigid, who symbolizes fertility, creativity, and renewal. You can celebrate Imbolc by lighting candles to bring in the light of spring, performing cleansing rituals to clear away winter’s darkness, and engaging in activities such as crafting wreaths, a Brigid’s cross, or practicing the Fiery Arrow ritual.
For the Fiery Arrow ritual:
Choose three intentions that you have for this time of Imbolc. These intentions are what you send your fiery arrow into, so be mindful of how powerful this ritual will be.
Manifest these intentions by meditating on them to align your daily habits
and rituals. Beloved, we have every opportunity to birth our intentions into life through this time of growth, birth, and newness.
Before deciding on your intentions, ask yourself the following:
- What do you want to birth in this new season?
- What have you gained clarity in over the past six months?
- In what areas of your life can you manifest new birth and begin anew?
- With what do you want to align yourself?
Soul-Inquiry during Imbolc
I invite you to take some time for yourself during Imbolc and ask yourself questions about your intentions, your life’s purpose, your dreams and aspirations, your relationships with others, and your relationship with yourself. These questions can help you get in touch with the divine within you so that you may reach greater heights in this new season of your journey.
- What no longer serves me? How can I leave it behind so I can move forward?
- What lies dormant, and what would I like to focus on more?
- What is ready to emerge? What am I doing to support this?
- What can I do to revive and nourish my body and spirit?
- What practice can I do today to connect with my inner needs and desires?
- Based on the intentions I set for myself at the winter solstice, do I notice anything new beginning to manifest itself?
- What changes do I see in my surroundings? How is nature shifting and preparing for the new season?
- What needs are alive in me?
- How have those needs shifted in the past year?
- Which aspects of my self-care need tending to?
By taking some time to reflect on these questions during Imbolc, we can gain clarity on our spiritual path and align ourselves with the divine energy of Imbolc, the presence of Goddess Brigid, and how we can also uncover new aspects of ourselves that were previously hidden in the shadows. May these questions bring you closer to your true self and help you create meaningful change in your life.
What is the next step?
Beloved, the intentions you have sown during Winter Solstice are taking root and will soon bud into their full beauty. You’ve come so far already in your journey and all you have set out to accomplish is taking shape just beneath the surface.
I invite you to listen to my podcast episode: How I prepare for Imbolc with Soul Inquiry and join the FREE Imbolc Gathering on the 3rd of February 2023, for a sister circle that supports you through this time of Imbolc.
Our LIVE class for Imbolc in the Divine Woman Awakening Program will take place on January 27th 2023. If you want to heal, thrive, and transform this year then I invite you to join us as we journey through the Celtic Wheel. There will be recordings along with the Imbolc module material for you to work through, with powerful meditations, ceremonies, rituals, altar building, self-inquiry, and inner healing. Your journey will be celebrated and supported, Beloved. You belong here.