Imbolc for the Family
The halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Imbolc for the Family
Imbolc is a day to reconnect with nature, celebrate the spring, and start planning your garden for the upcoming growing season. It is celebrated with a festival, feast, crafting and bonfires. This Wheel of the Year celebration is held from February 1 until sundown on February 2, although some celebrate it on the first full moon of February instead. It is observed by Celtic pagans, Wiccans and new age Norse pagans. It does not have any attestation in historic Norse manuscripts.
The pre-Christian origins of Imbolc are found in 10th-century Irish literature that relates ewe's milk to purification, spring and rebirth. The Celts celebrate by honouring the Celtic goddess Brigid. One of the ways they honour her is by crafting corn husk or straw dolls of her, placing it in a dress and laying it in a basket overnight with offerings. The next day, people celebrate by burning lamps and lighting bonfires as a tribute to their goddess. Eventually, the church recognized Brigid's purity and kindness. They recognized her as patron Saint Brigid (Bridget), to honour her. Aligned with Imbolc, Swedish pagans celebrate Disting/Disablot festivals which translates to 'Thing of the Goddess' or 'Gathering of the Goddess'. (Remember: Thing means 'community assembly place').
In Denmark, pagans celebrate Disting with a 'Feast of New Beginnings' where ploughs and churns are charmed for a blessed growing season. Note: Disting/Disablot dates get a little complicated. Originally Disting/Disablot was likely celebrated on the full moon in March/April, the spring equinox. It was then moved to February to avoid getting absorbed with Easter.
What I enjoy about Imbolc is the inner work that is hidden from sight. There is a lot of change happening within the earth we can't see, but the energy it's pulling is what makes the plants bloom in the spring.
IMBOLC ACTIVITIES FOR THE FAMILY:
(I save the best for last)
1. Get your garden ready (physically & spiritually)
Although it is too early to plant seeds in most of the northern hemisphere, this is an excellent opportunity to plan your garden. A fun family activity is paint clay pots and channel your intention to your seedling's first homes.
2. Charm the plough
Most of us do not have ploughs anymore, but we have gardens and gardening tools. Set your intention for the year ahead on your garden and your tools. If you don't have what you need, now is a good time to acquire them.
3. Chase away lingering Yule spirits
Pack up your Yule decorations. If you haven't done it already, this is your sign. Packing up your holiday decorations chases lingering spirits away. Do it now before they get bored and start playing tricks on you and your home!
4. Enjoy a special feast
Symbolically this meal will include offerings to your gods/goddesses. The traditional food of the Celts is made of cow dairy. Other traditional foods for this time include lamb or cow/bull. This offering requires genuine effort and intention. Once offered to your deity, the other members of your table can begin enjoying the food.
5. Hold an offering
Create a straw or corn husk doll of the goddess Brigid. Place it in a basket overnight with meaningful items as offerings.
6. Light a bonfire and/or candles Fires are lit to symbolize the coming of the light, help chase away the darkness and show gratitude for the warmth your deity is soon to bring. 7. Meditate and reflect
Mediation and reflection can be held anywhere. You can do this outside with nature, inside, where you can find peace, and even in a herbal milk bath where you can soak in the essence of nature.
8. Do some spring cleaning and cleansing (literally and spiritual)
Out with the old and in with the new. It is time to purify and renew!
9. Make plans
Just like the Earth is preparing to grow, you should too. This preparation stage is important if you want to see your plans come to fruition. What is something you want/need to start doing in the spring? What steps do you need to take to accomplish it? 10. Craft Imbolc herbal ice lanterns
This brilliant craft idea came from another pagan mom, and it is a beautiful idea the whole family can enjoy.
What you need: A plastic container, water, a rock, a freezer, a candle and herbs or flowers.
Here are the directions: Step 1) Get a flexible plastic container
Step 2) Put a candle-sized rock in the middle of it Step 3) Fill the container with water (but don't cover the rock!) and freeze for a day Step 4) The next day, take the ice out of the freezer and remove the rock Step 5) Place herbs and flowers along the top icy rim Step 6) Place in a safe location outside and light a candle in the middle of it When the ice lantern melts, it leaves a nature ring in its wake. A symbol of the spring to come 🌷🌸
I hope you all enjoyed 'Imbolc for the Family.' If you found inspiration from this post and follow through with the crafts, please tag @PaganKids in your pictures. I would love to see your masterpieces!
Sincerely, Jennifer Hartman Pagan Kids
https://www.academia.edu/1366945/Jul_disting_och_f%C3%B6rkyrklig_tider%C3%A4kning https://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/pagans-celebrate-coming-of-spring-with-imbolc-festival https://www.theasatrucommunity.org/holidays https://www.learnreligions.com/guide-to-celebrating-imbolc-2562102