Sunday, January 3, 2010
Imbolc ~ Candlemas
Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and Groundhog's Day, occurs at the beginning of February on February 2nd. It marks the middle of Winter and holds the promise of Spring.
In ancient times, people danced around bonfires and celebrated until dawn. Certain foods are traditional for Candlemas/Imbolc, such as crepes and pancakes. Because of their rounded shape and golden color, they are symbolic of the returning sun, which this holiday represents. The emphasis on fire represents the returning warmth of spring and the spark of life and fertility for the coming planting season. The element of fire is the element of creation and beginnings.
The Candle Wheel or Sun Wheel is at the center of the celebrations. As the days begin to grow longer and with the return of the Sun, Imbolc is the time to visualize life flourishing with abundance, creativity and renewed strength. Imbolc represents purification, renewal, reflection, fertility and illumination.
Brigid, a Celtic Triple Goddess, is known as the Goddess of the Sacred and Eternal Flames. Her name represents all three sisters, combined as one Triple Goddess. She is the Goddess of the hearth, poetry, divination, prophecy, healing, the smith's craft, and traditional learning, representing the three aspects of a woman. Maiden or Virgin, the nurturing and loving Mother, and the Crone, Sage, or Wise Woman. She is the Goddess of Fire who tirelessly protects those who call upon her.
Brigid is celebrated on the Pagan sacred holiday, Imbolc or Candlemas, at the beginning of February. A celebration of the return of the sun or the return of the light from the dark of winter. The Goddess manifests as the Maiden and Brigid, the Goddess of Fire.