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Imbolc Rites and Rituals

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Imbolc is a time of celebration and ritual, often honoring Brighid, the goddess of the hearth. This is also a time of new beginnings and of purification. Celebrate the Imbolc season by performing rites and rituals that honor the themes of the end of winter.

1. Set Up Your Imbolc Altar

Image © Patti Wigington 2008
It's Imbolc, and that's the Sabbat where many Wiccans and Pagans choose to honor the Celtic goddess Brighid, in her many aspects. However, other than having a giant statue of Brighid on your altar, there are a number of ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most. Set Up Your Imbolc Altar

 

2. Hold a Farewell to Winter Ritual

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Imbolc is typically around the time when we're all getting cabin fever -- it's cold, we're snowed in, and frankly, we're all a bit tired of winter. This simple ritual is a fun one to do with your family on a snowy day, but can also be performed by a single person. The best time to do it is when you have a fresh layer of snow on the ground, but if that's not possible, never fear. Find a big pile of snow to work in. Try to time the rite so you begin it just before dinner -- you can actually start it while your meal is cooking. Hold a Farewell to Winter Ritual

 

3. Imbolc Candle Ritual for Solitaries

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Hundreds of years ago, when our ancestors relied upon the sun as their only source of light, the end of winter was met with much celebration. Although it is still cold in February, often the sun shines brightly above us, and the skies are often crisp and clear. As a festival of light, Imbolc came to be called Candlemas. On this evening, when the sun has set once more, call it back by lighting the seven candles of this ritual. Keep in mind that like all rituals, this one can be adapted for group practice. Hold an Imbolc Candle Ritual for Solitaries

 

4. Imbolc House Cleansing Ceremony

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 No one really likes to clean, but we all know we feel better when our physical space is tidy. It's one of life's necessary chores. Start your spring off with a good thorough cleaning, and then follow that up with a spiritual cleansing. This is a great ritual to perform at Imbolc -- remember that for many of our ancestors, washing came only a few times a year, so by February, a house was probably smelling pretty ripe. Pick a bright sunny day to do a clean sweep, and then invite friends and family to join you in a blessing of your home. Imbolc House Cleansing Ceremony

5. Group Rite to Honor Brighid

Brighid
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This ritual is designed for a group of individuals, but could easily be adapted for a solitary practitioner. Imbolc is the time between Yule and the Spring Equinox, the halfway point in the dark months of the year. It's the time when the days suddenly seem to be getting longer, and the snow is beginning to melt, showing us small patches of earth and green. At this time of returning spring, our ancestors lit bonfires and candles to celebrate the rebirth of the land. Group Rite to Honor Brighid

 

6. Hold a Rededication Ritual

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Imbolc is a time, for many Pagans, of new beginnings. Spring is looming close by, new life is beginning to stir beneath the surface of the land, and it’s a season for spiritual reawakenings. If you’ve already dedicated yourself to the gods of your magical tradition, why not use Imbolc as a time of rededication? By reaffirming your commitment to the deities of your pantheon, you can reawaken the sense of wonder and magic that may have been lying dormant through the cold dark months of winter. Hold a Rededication Ritual

 

7. Imbolc Initiation Ceremony

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Some Pagan groups use Imbolc as a time of initiation, because of its association with new beginnings. The following ritual is for use in initiation in a group setting. Imbolc Initiation Ceremony

 

8. Imbolc End of Winter Meditation

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This meditative journey is one you can read ahead of time, and then recall as you meditate, or you can record yourself reading it aloud, and listen to it as a guided meditation later on. You can even read it aloud as part of a group ritual. The ideal place to perform this meditation is somewhere outside -- try to pick a day that's warm, or at the very least sunny. Imbolc End of Winter Meditation

 

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