Imbolc in the Northern Hemisphere and Lammas in the Southern Hemisphere take place on February 2nd, following the Aquarius New Moon on the 1st. Wherever you are in the world the vibration of these days will bring you a new perspective and refreshed energy.
Imbolc is a Celtic Fire Festival, falling on the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. At this time, the Goddess transitions from the Crone into her Maiden energy. The sun is beginning to stay out longer and longer, foretelling the coming spring. This is a time of rebirth, renewal, and hope for the future. As Imbolc shows us the earliest signs of spring on its way, traditionally this was also the start of the agricultural season.
Imbolc is also known as Brigid's Day. The Goddess Brigid is honored on this festival. In the past, she was said to visit people's homes on Imbolc Eve, bringing blessings to those who welcomed her. Brigid is a triple goddess, meaning she embodies all three divine feminine archetypes: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. She is a goddess of fire and assists us with purification and liberation. Brigid is a healer, protector of home and hearth, and can be called upon for a fruitful harvest. She also watches over and guides writers, poets, and creative types. Brigid's influence was so powerful and important to the ancient Celts, that the Catholics actually made her a Saint in an attempt to convert more people to Christianity.
Ways to honor the Sabbat:
perform self-dedication rituals
volunteer or bring food to shelters
spend time walking in nature if the weather permits
to connect with Brigid: clean and purify your home, light a candle for her on your altar, practice writing or creative pursuits
colors - red, white, yellow, pink
crystals - bloodstone, amethyst, ruby, onyx
herbs - bay leaf, basil, myrrh
aromatherapy - myrrh, jasmine, vanilla
alter decorations - white flowers, Brigid's cross, sheep, candles, poems or a poetry book
foods - pumpkin and sunflower seeds, poppyseed pastries, earliest spring produce
I feel it is very important at this time for those in the Northern Hemisphere (or even those who feel called to in the Southern) to work with Brigid to tap into their inner passions, purify themselves and their lives, and move forward fearlessly.
If there is anything you want to release, or feel that you need to release, allow Brigid to help you heal and purify your aura. If there is a burning passion within you that needs to be unleashed, Brigid will help you find the courage to go after it and the focus to stay on your path.
This ritual focuses on removing blocks in your way so you can follow your passions freely.
You will need:
a red, white, or yellow candle
paper and a writing utensil
incense, candles, or essential oils (used in an essential oil diffuser) - choose from the ones mentioned above
a quiet space where you won't be disturbed
a cauldron or fire-proof bowl
matches or lighter
On Imbolc Eve (February 1st, under the Aquarius new moon) go to your sacred space and do what you normally do when you're preparing for a ritual or meditation. Bring your paper, writing utensil, candles and aromatherapy items, and get yourself comfortable.
Spend a few moments in quiet reflection. You may wish to write about the blocks or challenges you are facing right now as you reflect.
After spending some time vividly thinking about the things in your life that you want to release, or the energy of the blocks you feel, pull out your candle. As you light it, repeat the following:
"Brigid, Goddess of Fire, I invoke you now. Lady, I ask that you help me to remove physical and energetic blocks keeping me from expressing my greatest passions. Assist me in finding my own voice and bring me the courage and fortitude to follow my inner calling. Help me activate my inner fire as I create my dream reality. Lady protect me and watch over me this year. I am grateful for your presence and dedication in my life."
After you have recited your invocation, leave the candle burning as you return to your paper and pen. Write to Brigid, in great detail, about the passion and inner calling you are working towards right now. If you wish, you can also write a poem about your passion or calling.
When you are finished, put your candle paper/poem on your altar or in a safe space for the evening. Allow it to sit there until the evening of Imbolc. As night falls, light your candle for Brigid and call on her to be with you as you burn your writing in your cauldron or your fire-proof bowl. Throw the ashes away or release them to the earth. Your manifestation is in the works.
Lammas is the first of three harvest festivals on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year and is the midway point between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. Where Imbolc represents the end of winter, Lammas represents the end of summer. From this point on, the days are getting noticeably shorter and weather is slowly beginning to cool.
The Goddess is still in her Mother aspect as she brings us our harvest. She is pregnant with the new God who will be born at Yule. The God is currently waning and his energy is beginning to deplete. The sun (The God) is rising later and setting earlier each day.
The Ancient Celts honored the God Lugh on this day, so this Sabbat is also known as Lughnasa. Lugh is a Sun God and warrior, who was said to hold a feast on this Sabbat every year, in honor of his stepmother Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion when she cleared the plains for agriculture in Ireland.
Ways to honor the Sabbat:
prepare a feast for you and your loved ones, using fresh, in-season ingredients
practice gratitude for all blessings you received over the last year
spend time outdoors to soak up the last days of summer
practice any of the skills you have or if there is a new skill you'd like to learn, now is the time to get started
colors - gold, yellow, orange, red, green, light brown
crystals - citrine, aventurine, carnelian, peridot
herbs + flowers - sage, dill, calendula, ginseng, sunflowers
aromatherapy - sandalwood, rose, frankincense, rosemary, chamomile
altar decorations - freshly baked bread, first harvest fruits and vegetables, Lugh's spear
foods - apples, breads, grains, summer squash
For those in the Southern Hemisphere (or those in the Northern who feel called), now is an excellent time to express gratitude for the blessings you received over the last year, as well as celebrate your passions and skills. Invoke the God Lugh to help you honor all that you hold dear.
This ritual is focused on celebrating your abundance with your loved ones or on your own.
You will need:
2 loaves of fresh bread (you can bake or purchase)
2 orange candles
first harvest fruits and vegetables (optional)
After you have made or purchased your loaves of bread, clean your altar or a sacred space in your home and leave one of the loaves in that space as an offering to the God. Save the second loaf to have on your own or share with your loved ones.
As you place the loaf on your altar, light each of the orange candles - one for Lugh and one for you/your loved ones.
Then, recite the following prayer before eating your own loaf of bread and the seasonal fruits or vegetables you picked up.
"Lugh, Warrior God of the Sun, I invoke you now. I pray that you help me tune into the energy of gratitude, in honor of the path of my journey. Help me protect what I hold dear, and assist me in allowing my inner light to lead the way. Protect my home and loved ones. Bring us together in love and harmony. Bless us with abundance as we welcome this harvest season. Thank you for your protection and blessings."
As you eat your bread, think about or discuss the blessings you have received over the last year. Feel gratitude in your heart for all of the blessings in your life. Tune into the energy of excitement for all that's to come in this harvest season. Give thanks to Spirit/The Universe and take the time to enjoy the food you have been blessed with.
Blow out your candles or let them burn down - it's up to you.
Have a blessed Imbolc + Lammas!