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Celebrating Imbolc: An Ancient Fire Festival

Updated: Feb 26

Imbolc, or Oimealg, is an ancient Celtic Fire Festival that honors Goddess Brigid, & celebrates the very first stirrings of Spring. After the Winter Solstice, the Sun begins to grow & light returns with the promise of warmer days ahead. Brigid just so happens to be a goddess of fire & sun as well, reminding us that the light resides within us even during the darkness of Winter. Brigid brings you to new heights & encourages you to step into your power.

Imbolc is typically celebrated on or around the 1st of February. In some traditions, it is also said that Imbolc is honored on the first full moon of Aquarius season. This time represents the beginning of life in the womb, "in the belly," which is what Imbolc translates to. Imbolc is a time of inspiration, insight, visions, & creativity. Continue to rest & receive ideas to bring forth in the Spring!

Brief Altar Ideas: One simple way to rejoice is to create or refresh your altar. Place the cardinal directions/elements on your altar - North (Earth), East (Air), South (Fire), West (Water). I provide elemental offering ideas below (+specific symbols of the season), if you're unsure of where to start. You can also add any magical objects/tools to your altar - pendulum, divination cards, bones, salt, herbs, wands, etc.. Don't forget to cleanse your space!*

Offerings for the Elements + Directions:

  • Earth / North: snowdrop flowers, acorns, citrus, pine needles, evergreens, crystals, herbs

  • Air / East: feathers, incense, smudge sticks (dragon's blood, myrrh, etc.)

  • Fire / South: white/orange/yellow candles, dandelions, citrus, mirrors

  • Water / West: seashells, oil, fresh snow or stream water, water crystals (orca agate, blue kyanite, aquamarine, moonstone, flourite, selenite, larimar, blue lace agate, etc.)

imbolc, fire festival, goddess brigid

Symbols of the Autumnal Equinox:

  • Brigid: Brigid/Brigit/Brighid represents the eternal flame. She is pure inspiration, known as The Exalted One or She Who Rises. Brigid is known for her skills at crafting, future-seeing, magic, poetry, & peacekeeping. "In ancient Ireland, poetry & seer-ship were interlinked (Hinds & McColman, 46)."

  • Sunlight: The Eternal Flame, light, inner-guidance

  • Blackberries: a sacred fruit to the goddess' Brigid & Venus. Blackberries bring abundance & healing

  • Gwyl Ffraid: In Wales, Imbolc is referred to as Gwyl Ffraid or Gwyl y Canhwyllau, & they celebrate Brigid's Welsh counterpart, Braint. Braint is the Welsh goddess of healing & the bearer or Spring! This is the time to bless candles, a symbol of the return of sunlight

  • White Cow: a sacred symbol of the goddess, Brigid. She was believed to have drank the milk from a sacred white cow with red ears as she grew

  • Crafts: a time to create - Brigid is known as the goddess of smith-work, art, & poetry!

  • Bees: the messengers of Spirit - a symbol of Spring & warmer days ahead

  • Shamrocks: with its 3 leaves, the shamrock represents the triple goddess. And, at this time, Brigid emerges in her earliest form of the triple goddess as the Maiden

  • The Womb: fertility, gestation, germination - childbearing & midwifery

  • The Well: known to be another symbol of the womb, & a symbol of Brigid's sacred healing waters

  • Herbs: bay laurel, violet, basil, myrrh, rowan tree, snowdrops, hyacinths, dandelions, willow tree

Crystals for Imbolc & Brigid:

  • Carnelian

  • Amethyst

  • Tiger's Eye

  • Aquamarine

  • Golden Healer Quartz

  • Citrine

  • Shiva Lingam

  • Garnet

  • Amber

  • Lepidolite

A Simple Ritual:

The most common ritual that you will hear about this time of year in the Celtic/Nordic tradition is a Brigid's Cross**, but we're going to focus on an even simpler tradition today! The tradition of the Brigid's Mantle is an ancient blessing given by the luminescent goddess, Brigid. Here is the simple practice that you do the night before Imbolc, January 31st.

  • Always center yourself before performing any ritual, practice, or spell work. I do this by closing my eyes, breathing, & focusing on both my earthly & heavenly connections. I do this by bringing my awareness to my feet connected to the earth, my crown connected to the sky, & my heart fusing the two together in center.

  • The night before Imbolc (1/31), leave a ribbon or cloth outdoors to be blessed by goddess Brigid.

  • On the morning of Imbolc (2/1), gather your ribbon or cloth & use your blessed "Brigid's Mantle" as you see fit.

  • Your Brigid's Mantle is a powerful healing tool as it is blessed by a powerful healer, Brigid. Use the enchanted cloth to heal wounds/scars, recover from surgery/injury, or bring headache relief.

Notice what is arising within you & feed the fire of the feelings, actions, movements you enjoy/make you feel lighter! Take note of visions & ideas that float to the surface. Know that you are not alone & you can bring these ideas to life. You are a creator. Enjoy remaining in the womb of Winter, but begin to feel the stirrings of Spring, allowing ideas & fresh opportunities to rise to the surface. Feel free to comment with any shares or questions! Blessed Imbolc.

Learn more about other holidays within the Wheel of the Year in the Moon & Magic section of the Embodied Ambrosia blog.

Looking for holistic clean beauty & body care products that you can trust? Check out the Embodied Ambrosia Clean Beauty Collection in the Shop!

*How I clear my space: I typically clear my altar & wipe it down with either lemongrass or cedarwood essential oil. Next, I will either spray a smudge blend I've made, or burn one of the following: sage, palo santo, cedarwood, or resin of dragon's blood / frankincense (keep your windows open when smudging).


  • Hinds, K. & McColman, C. (2020). The Spirit of the Celtic Gods & Goddesses: Their History, Magical Power, & Healing Energies. Weiser Books.

  • Hopman, E. E. (1995). A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year. (1st Edition). Destiny Books.

  • Lafranque, S. (2020). Moon Energy: A Practical Guide to Using the Lunar cycles to Unleash Your Inner Goddess. Skyhorse Publishing.

  • Lister, L. (2017). Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic. (1st Edition). Hay House UK.

  • Starling, M. (2022). Welsh Witchcraft: A Guide to the Spirits, Lore, & Magic of Wales. (1st Edition). Llewellyn Publications.

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