The Pagan Sabbat of Imbolc

Chrystal JStarred Page By Chrystal J, 17th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Religion>Paganism

As a Wiccan High Priestess I enjoy sharing with the curious and other Pagans my love for our traditions, practises and beliefs.
Here's a bit of history and Pagan culture in regards to the Sabbat of Imbolc.

The Waning Hold of Winter's Grip

Here, soon to be upon us is the Sabbat of Imbolc (meaning in the belly) or Oilmec (ewe's milk). When the first signs of the approaching seasons of growth, and the energy surrounding the promise of darkness’s end lies within the life nurtured in the ewe's womb. With their lambs soon to be born and the Snowdrop flowers slowly pushing from the cold ground we are given a glimpse of the waning hold of winter’s grip.

Home Hearths Are Stoked With the Intent to Connect With the Fire Goddess

Imbolc is one of the four fire festivals observed in ancient times by the Celts and is still observed yearly by Wiccans and many other Pagans.
Celebrated when the sun hits the percentile midpoint of Aquarius, often falling on February 1st or 2nd, the Celtic Goddess Brighid is celebrated and honoured.
She presides over the Sabbat as patron Goddess of metalsmithing, poetry, healing and also serves as protectoress to the young animals and children first to be born at winters' end.
The triune Goddess reborn into her Maiden aspect at Imbolc, holds the hearts of many year round in all her aspects.
Her flames at the Temple of Kildare were kept alive for centuries, firstly by Druid Priests and later, for some time, by the nuns who re-homed the temple as a Cathedral and called the Goddess a saint.
Many wells dug and blessed in her name, remain in place to welcome yearly visitors who wish to be blessed by her healing waters and hundreds of candles of white and red are lit in honour of her during Imbolc. Home hearths are stoked and the cooled ashes are later raked so to discern overnight celestial footprints upon the soot. All done with the intent to connect with the fire goddess.

Celebrate Her in Warmth and Light

Brighid's Cross are woven and placed above the doorway of homes to draw upon Brighid's blessings. As a source of power for inspiration, healing and action, we make our plans and stoke our internal flame so that we may inherit the element of fire's power to drive our dreams into manifestation through the months to come.

During this time, fill yourself with a feast of traditionally prepared foods with nature’s nectar of honey and milk. Celebrate her in warmth and light, as such fire brings. Celebrate the beauty to be found amongst the frozen black nights and crystalline snows of the day.
In mind, heart, body and spirit, bolster yourselves, for the season of growth is right around the corner.

H.P. Chrystal Raven Rowanwood (Chrystal J)

Copyright: No part of this may be copied or sold without permission from the author.

Tags

Brighid, Celtic, Fire Element, Goddess, Pagan Holidays, Sabbat, Wicca, Winter Celebrations

Meet the author

author avatar Chrystal J
Mama to three, and Wiccan High Priestess. I write partially for a living and for fun. Short, descriptive verse, children's stories and spiritual non-fiction are my writing focuses.

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Comments

author avatar Lady Aiyanna
17th Jan 2015 (#)

While there may be good things to Wicca, I see the Horn God and the Moon being the most prominent along with the use of seasons.
None the less, being a victim of Wiccan magic in the past, I would stay clear of it.
Sorry high priestess, My guards are up because of you and will embellish myself with my armours and shield to ward away the dark wiccan practices.

It is an European form of magic and that gives rise to Dwarfs, elves goblins etc. as symbols of Wicca too....

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author avatar Chrystal J
17th Jan 2015 (#)

I'm sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with magic in the past. However, like anything, one can use experiential tools, spiritual or otherwise, for building positive foundations or destroying them.
As well, Wicca and magic are not synonymous with one another. One can adhere to the cosmology of Wicca and not practice the Craft.
Blessings.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Interesting to understand different beliefs and the history behind them - siva

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author avatar Chrystal J
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Thank you Siva for your open mind and heart.

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author avatar Retired
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Hi Wiccan High Priestess,
Congrats for the fancy title. My question is that what would you celebrate if travel to the southern side of the globe?

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author avatar Chrystal J
20th Jan 2015 (#)

Haha, thank you antonviktor007. That is a very good question you posed. As an example, there is a large pagan community in Australia which of course is in the Southern hemisphere. All the Wiccan Sabbats fall on either an equinox, solstice or cross-quarter day(mid-point between a equinox and solstice). The Sabbats are celebrated exactly opposite in a calander year to the Northern hemisphere. So Imbolc is celebrated on August 1/2nd instead of February 1/2nd, cause this is their 'winter'. Now seasonally they experience different changes and in some regards, less differentiated , but it still translates the same in daylight hours. There are many branches of focus to the Sabbat observance and one important one of these is the birth, growth and death of the sun god yearly. He is born at Yule, grows until summer solstice and then hits his mid years at the summer solstice and finally making his decent into death in the Summerlands with the Crone aspect of the goddess at Samhain(Halloween), only to be reborn again at Yule. This metaphor can be followed no matter where you live as can the observance of the patron deity of any given Sabbat. The celebration of the lands changes need to be personalized depending on your location. For more info on southern hemisphere Pagan celebrations there is this website, which has a good deal more information aussiewytch.wordpress.com.
I hope that was helpful!

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