Today is a pagan holiday, the halfway mark between Yule (the winter solstice) and Ostara (the spring equinox). These are ancient Celtic and Gaelic traditions from the pre-christian era.
The name Imbolc probably means “in the belly” in Gaelic. This sabbat celebrates the first evidence of the return of life. The Sun is slowly starting to make its return and the very hardiest of plants will begin to grow again from this day forth.
Imbolg is also the holy day of Brigid, who is the Goddess of fire, healing, fertility and is the muse of the poets. It is a fire celebration, but the emphasis is mainly on the light aspect of the fire and not so much the warmth. It is seen as light piercing the dark(the slow return of the sun).
Celebrations during this sabbat are some of the most beautiful. They tend to include a large amount of candles in addition to a bonfire. There is typically many poems and stories told, in addition to music and art. Many tend to make St. Brigid crosses at this holiday. The crosses tend to be made from straw and usually are of
the Celtic variety with 4 equal-length arms.
In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year.
This is traditionally a time of purification — clean your house! If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.
Make your own Brighid’s crosses and hang them up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food.
Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health and strength this year: for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, and ask for God’s blessing.