St. Brigid’s Day, February 1, marks the start of Celtic spring. Imbolc, also known as the Feast of Brigid and Candlemas, on February 1, celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and the early signs of spring. It is one of the four major “fire” festivals (quarter days between a Solstice and an Equinox) and the first of the three spring festivals, referred to in Irish mythology from medieval Irish texts. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. She is a triple Goddess, so we honour her in all her aspects – which are the maiden, mother and crone.
Saint Brigid’s Prayer
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Amen, Namaste, And so it is.
Imbolc is a time for marking the shifting of the sun from midwinter into very early spring. It is a season of hope and promise. We notice green shoots peek out of hard, cold ground, the days start to lengthen and it is the beginning of the agricultural year. If we may not be physically sowing seeds, we are most certainly preparing our gardens, literally and figuratively. The metaphor of awakening light, weeding, turning over new earth and blessing seeds we intend to plant is one that we can apply to our own lives; our psyche and spirit.
Use the idea of the garden to awaken yourself to this new month, season and year. Till and weed the detritus of last year’s fallow fields. Prune the dead branches of last year’s goals, successes and failures. Examine these with care and choose what has grown and flourished for you, what may yet grow again with some care and attention, and what simply needs to be replanted. Decide on some seeds you wish to plant this year. Is there something new and exciting you wish to cultivate in your life? This is that time. Find the seed and hold it in your mind’s eye. Light a white or pink candle, inscribed and anointed if you wish, and say a prayer or incantation to “activate or ignite” the seed within you.
On this Imbolc day, as I kindle the fire in my hearth,
May a spark of the flame of Brigid (or God/Goddess) ignite in my soul
And light the love there that it may burn brightly this season.
I pray that the warmth of this love activate the seeds of goals and desires
For myself and everyone I meet. May I radiate this light and warm those who are cold and lonely
Inspiring all to be the best they can be.
Amen/Namaste/So it is