In the past, Imbolc was a sabbat without meaning for me, primarily because many of the books on sabbats only focus on the goddess, Brigid, at this time. Since I don’t follow a Celtic path, the focus on Brigid, amazing goddess that she is, held little meaning for me. All that changed last year while I was working on an organic farm in mid-February. It was cold and snow covered the ground. By all outer appearances the world was still sleepily locked in the grip of winter. It was at this time that the owners began tapping the maple trees for sap. Although everything seemed cold and lifeless outside, beneath the bark these trees were pulsing with life.
That’s when I discovered the true meaning of Imbolc. Imbolc is all about potential, the spark of life. At Imbolc everything is new and nothing has been decided. It’s the most exciting time of the year to cast spells because, at Imbolc, life is full of endless possibilities. At New Year I like to create wish lists for the coming year, but at Imbolc I like to do serious planning. It’s at Imbolc that I decide the paths I will pursue throughout the year and where I will spend my precious reserves of energy. I take the spark of life, so nascent and energetic, and place it into the seeds that I will (literally and metaphysically) plant in the spring.
What really makes Imbolc so powerful, so wonderful, and so special is hope. Everything is just beginning at Imbolc. There are no regrets, yet. Nothing is spoiled. I can begin anew each year, just like nature does. So I take this time between now and Ostara to purify myself, both physically and metaphysically, and to prepare myself for the blooming of spring. At Imbolc the world is renewed and anything is possible.