Written by Maeven Eller Five
Feast Of Bridget
Imbolc or Imbolg was a festival that marked the start of Spring. Imbolc, which translates to “in the belly’, is also known as The Feast of Bridget, the Triple Goddess of the Gael. Bridget is the Goddess of fire, healing, and smithing, and much more. Later Bridget became known as the Catholic Saint, St. Bridget. “In The Belly” is in reference with lambing season.
We observe Imbolc in the Northern Hemisphere on the 1st or 2nd day of February, and on August 1st or 2nd in the Southern Hemisphere. This time is the time to ready the earth to receive seeds. The seeds would be blessed with the hope that doing so would help ensure a good harvest.
Bridget is known as a Goddess of the Tuatha De’ Danann, the Shining Ones of Ancient Ireland, and daughter of The Dagda, the Chief of the Gods. She is considered the Goddess of poets, smiths, childbirth, and healers. She is also known as the Goddess of inspiration, hearth, and home.
Since ancient times, there is evidence that Imbolc was an important date, as it appears in some of the earliest known Irish writings. Even then it is identified as a pagan festival, associated with Bridget.
Around The Hearth
In Ancient times, the Gael would put clothing outside to be blessed by Bridget as she made her rounds throughout the night. In ancient times Imbolc was celebrated from one evening until the next. On the evening of January 31st, the matriarch of the household would put out the hearth fire, raking the ash smooth. Food and drink would be left out to nourish the Goddess Bridget as she made the rounds blessing the households of the ancient Irish. In the morning the hearth would be checked for marks or symbols that showed Bridget had indeed blessed their hearth and home.
Celebrating The Seed
In modern times, we find the Imbolc celebration often surrounds the seed, be it figuratively or literally. It is this time of the year we come to honor the coming Spring. The growing Sun in the sky tells us it is time to make ready the soil for that which we hope to bring to fruition in the coming year. Imbolc is the time to consider the harvest we hope have come the fall. The energy we put into those intentions right now help make sure our crop bears fruit.
Community Celebrations at Mystic Elements
Celebrate Imoblc by joining in a community event in your own area. You are also invited to share in Mystic Elements’ public celebration. Please follow this link for more information about date and time. Imbolc Celebration at Mystic Elements.