Integrating Imbolc into a Modern World

Imbolc, was celebrated in ancient Ireland since pre-celtic times. It marked the cross-quarter day between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Today, many combine Imbolc with St. Brigid’s Day on the February 1st, but astronomically, it can lie within the first week of February. 

Imbolc, means to be “in the belly”. Its a time that refers to the approach of spring and a return of life to the land. The plants begin to grow again, it’s lambing season, vitality has returned. It is also associated with the Goddess Brigid, who gifted the world with fertile land whenever she lay down her cloak and was a represented fire. The idea of the divine feminine, encompassing fertility, rebirth, warmth and growth is at the forefront of this time of year.

In today’s world, particularly for those living in large cities and towns, there is a certain disconnect from nature’s natural cycles and we tend to slide from one season into another without paying particular attention to the process. 

By rediscovering that connection to the natural yearly cycle, and by paying attention to the way that nature deals with the changing temperatures, seasons and environments, we can learn to be more in sync with these changes and apply natures tools to our own self healing and self management. 

Winter is a time for self reflection; it’s a time for looking inwards and decluttering our lives as we release old energy, and let go of what no longer serves us. As the plants and many of the animals return underground, into the belly of the earth, we too symbolically return to the womb. 

As the new year approaches, we plant seeds of intention for the coming year. While we are still focusing our energy inwards, we find the energy centre within our selves – and like the seeds settle to germinate within the earths underground nest, we too plant our intentions to germinate within our energetic centre. 

Now the time of Imbolc is here. The seeds are well and truly planted, and they are growing and expanding upwards. As the vital force of the plants awaken once more, shoots are created which begin to travel towards the top layer of the earth, preparing to break through into the light and warmth of spring. So too must we awaken our own vital force from deep within us, focus on our goals and intentions for this year and channel energy and support into those seeds, so that they too will gather strength, grow upwards and break into the light and warmth of success. 

We are reminded that winter is coming to a close, and it is time to prepare for a time of vitality and growth. Take some time out over the coming days and reflect on the intentions that you set for this year. If you haven’t already made some, think about some new goals or projects that you would like to begin and develop. Reflect on aspects of yourself and lifestyle that you would like to improve. Would you like to work towards a healthier diet? Or perhaps offer more time to spirituality and self-love? 

Or simply, just sit and connect into the energy of this special time of year. Give gratitude for having endured the winter and for having the privilege to experience the changing of the seasons, the welcoming of spring and a time of rebirth and growth.

Acknowledge. Embrace. Be. 

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