Ψ The Meaning of Imbolc. Ψ
Imbolc, occuring at the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, on Feb. 1, commemorates the first signs of the coming Spring. The rising Sun now begins to get the upper hand against the darkness and cold of Winter. Imbolc is the holiday of Brigid, the Goddess of Home and Hearth, of poetry and healing, and of smithcraft, who brings us fortune for the coming year.
The name Imbolc derives from Old Irish root words meaning 'the time the sheep's milk comes'. The lactation of ewes in anticipation of birthing is an important sign of Spring's approach. Ewe's milk provided the first fresh nourishment for our ancestors since the onset of Winter. Other signs are buds on trees, early flowers such as primroses and dandelions peeking through the snow, and the emergence of a few hibernating animals to check on the weather, such as the famous groundhog.
A tradition of Imbolc is to make a straw dolly representing Brigid, called a Brideog, and use it for various rituals. The dolly is dressed in white cloth and adorned with ribbons, early flowers, stones, or shells, with an especially lovely ornament in place of the heart. Young girls of the village, dressed in white, carry it from house to house to offer blessings and receive gifts. Brideogs are placed in a special bed overnight with white candles lit nearby, blessing the house with health and protection for the coming year. Candles may also be lit in each room of the house, commemorating the growing light of the Sun.
Imbolc is a time of hope and preparation, to dedicate oneself to the coming challenges of the growing season. Time to get one's life in order, to bless the seeds, to ready the tools. Time to clean up and prepare a new start. Winter grows long, life begins to stir.
Very nice, Frank. Happy Imbolc to all!
This was really interesting... Thanks and Happy Imbolc to everyone
Thanks Frank, very nice. Happy Imbolc to you!
Thank you, Frank
You're welcome, everyone. I'm glad if I brought you a little cheer this Winter. Of course, for our ancestors getting through the Winter was a matter of life and death, 'touch and go' sometimes. How dear of them to pass along this sweet holiday to us.
Thank you Frank , Happy Imbolc to you
Thanks, Frank, and a very happy Imbolc to you!
Thanks, Frank, for your Imbolc greeting and history and all of your help in this group and your individual help when needed.