Imbolc is arguably one of our most underrated sabbats. If you do not study the value and impact of each of the eight sabbats, you lose balance on the wheel of the year, but for many Pagans, any celebration that is not Samhain or Beltane is met with limited enthusiasm… the sure sign of an amateur, truth be told. Sigh.
Traditionally, Imbolc relates to the concept of “in the belly” and celebrated the fecundity of ewes that would lamb in the spring. Around February 1st is when their bellies would quicken. Likewise, the stirring of life quickens within the Earth that is frozen by winter, promising new life in the spring. The Christianized version of Imbolc is Candlemas and is celebrated with the lighting of many candles. Since, until recent times, candles were quite expensive, it is unlikely people of the villages who lived by the land celebrated Imbolc by lighting of dozens of candles, so the fact that many Pagans now do so is a celebration of our changing times and the privileges we have that our ancestors did not.
Imbolc in CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway)
In the CUSP tradition, the spiritual path my husband, Eric, and I developed over twenty-five years ago, we welcomed the spark of light at Yule/Winter Solstice on or around December 21st. We welcome that spark of light into our spirits and ask it to guide us in creating a list of what we want to grow in our lives in the coming year that we will harvest in the Fall. By Imbolc, we have finalized our list and we are clear on what our ideas are for what we wish to manifest over the coming months. The six weeks following Imbolc serve as our system of checks and balances. We offer up our list and then pay strict attention to the guidance we receive afterward. Over the next six weeks, the Universe/Deity/God & Goddess will show us any adjustments we should make to our list through a series of confirmations or redirects. Either we will see indications that what we want to “plant” in the spring is a good fit for our life and whatever plans Fate has for us or we will meet resistance and the Powers That Be will show us a different plan to pursue.
Imbolc becomes the time of “Commitment” when we have solidified our intentions and commit to the process of manifestation, but in terms of the magical energy we send toward our goals and the practical energy that happens on the physical plane (“As Above, So Below”). As humas, we see what we see from a linear and somewhat limited perspective of evaluating our perceived needs and wants. God and Goddess, however, have panoramic view of what will be serve us moving forward and at Imbolc, we submit our list of intentions and wait for the Divine to tell if if they concur with our plans.
Making Imbolc Work for You
If you have not already done so, make your list! Check it twice! Then burn a copy or otherwise send it *out there* into the ether for consideration. If you tune into the vibes, by the time we plant at Spring Equinox, you will know exactly what to plant for your own greatest good and finest actualization. In this post, I discussed how to create achievable New Year’s Eve goals that maximize the outcome you see. You can use those same suggestions to create your list of goals to manifest at Harvest time.
Interested in CUSP? We wrote a book about it! https://a.co/d/4pSYAo7
Katrina Rasbold is a professional Witch, published author, priestess, and editor of Green Egg Magazine. She and her husband, Eric, are the creators of the CUSP spiritual path and owners of Crossroads Occult. She and Dahlia Rose host the popular livestreamed video broadcast “Crossroads of Cognizance” most Thursday afternoons. You can reach her through www.katrinarasbold.com.