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Imbolc Sabbat – Get to know everything about this Pagan celebration!

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The Imbolc Sabbat represents growth. On the Wheel of the Year, it is in this period that the Goddess leaves her Crone form and returns to her Maiden form, overcoming the coldness and severity of the Winter and nursing the new Sun God.

This Sabbat is related to the Goddess Brigid, the Fire Goddess who also ruled the arts, poetry, and wisdom in Celtic culture.

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Imbolc Sabbat
  • Northern Hemisphere: February 1st or 2nd
  • Southern Hemisphere: August 1st
  • Colours: red, orange and white
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The celebrations of the Imbolc Sabbat are usually made with candles. Another name for which this Sabbat is well known is Candlemass. At festivities, women used to wear wreaths with burning candles symbolizing the joy and the warmth of life.

Wheel of the Year: Imbolc Sabbat and Growth

On the Wheel of the Year, the Imbolc Sabbat marks the moment when the Sun God is being breastfed by the Goddess. The term “Imbolc” means “inside the belly” and is related to birth, breastfeeding, and growth.

During Imbolc, the fires represent the enlightenment of the spirit, the search for new knowledge, the creative power, and a new life. This Sabbat shows that Spring is on its way and that is when the animals begin the lactation period. Although it is still Winter, the cold is already less intense and the promise of warmer days and new harvests remains alive.

During the Imbolc Sabbat, the Goddess Brigid is honoured for having kept the fires burning during the Winter and acknowledgments are made. For this, it is usual to make a “Brigid’s Cross” and place it on the door of the house or some wall where it is visible. In addition to bringing protection, the Brigid’s Cross is also a way to welcome the Goddess.

Wheel of the Year Imbolc Sabbat - Brigid's Cross

Imbolc is the right time to celebrate the vital energy that increases every day, the fertility and the power of rebirth. The Goddess, on this date, leaves her Crone face and returns to her face as a Maiden.

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Wheel of the Year: Imbolc Sabbat and the candles

Also called Candlemass (Candle Set), during the Imbolc Sabbath several candles are lit to symbolize the Sun God who is growing. Candles, often orange in colour, also represent the energy, joy, and warmth of life.

Wheel of the Year - imbolc Sabbat - Candlemass - Candles

The Imbolc Sabbat is also a time for reflection and purification after the intense Winter. Therefore, lighting not only candles but torches, lamps and any other objects that may house a flame is recommended so that the heat of the flames distances the Winter and brings more joy.

Another habit is to sweep energetically the bad energies, the bad luck, the fear and other bad emotions. Use your magic broom and sweep from the inside out of your house.

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Now that you know about the Imbolc Sabbat, you can also read about the Imbolc Rituals.

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Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year

You can also read about the other Sabbats which are part of the Wheel of the Year:

General FAQ

What is Imbolc?

Imbolc is a Pagan celebration that celebrates the growth of the Sun God.

Are Imbolc and Candlemass the same?

Yes. The name Candlemass is a Christianized version of Imbolc. The celebration is adapted, but it stills the same.

Why milk is part of Imbolc celebrations?

Milk represents the act of breastfeeding. The Goddess is breastfeeding the Sun God.

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