Posted by: JanF | February 2, 2011

Imbolc – The Quickening

February 2nd is Candlemas, one of the cross quarter holidays on the wheel of the year. It is also called Imbolc which in Irish Gaelic means “ewe’s milk” associated with the onset of lactation of ewes, soon to give birth to the spring lambs. In Ireland it is known as Brighid’s day, celebrating the goddess Brighid (or St. Brigid).

For those of us in the northern climates, it is especially significant because it marks the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The daylight is getting longer: since December 21, we have added 11 minutes in the morning 43 minutes at night.

As with all holidays in earth based traditions, the holiday celebrated on February 2nd is connected to what is happening with the earth. This is the time of quickening or stirring. Pregnant animals start feeling the quickening of their unborn. Green life begins to stir under the ground.

We can still feel the winter but our memories of the warmth of the sun are starting to come back. We dream and we hope and we make plans.

One ritual suggests walking outside sky-clad to draw in the coldness for a minute or two and then visualize and remember the warmth of the sun. I personally do not recommend sky-clad when it is 16 degrees with a wind chill of 0 and in the middle of a raging blizzard. I think maybe a visualization sitting inside with a hot mug of cocoa and looking at the outdoors would work just fine. 😉

But we do need to start preparing ourselves for spring physically and mentally. Life will get busier and this may be one of our last chances to contemplate what we want for the new cycle. Goals for personal growth, new beginnings, dreams for the future and connections to each other.

Brighter Blessings to everyone on Candlemas!



Song: Imbolc Artist: Lisa Thiel Album: Circle of the Seasons

Blessed Bridget comest thou in
Bless this house and all of our kin
Bless this house, and all of our kin
Protect this house and all within

Blessed Bridget come into thy bed
With a gem at thy heart and a crown on thy head
Awaken the fire within our souls
Awaken the fire that makes us whole

Blessed Bridget, queen of the fire
Help us to manifest our desire
May we bring forth all that’s good and fine
May we give birth to our dreams in time

Blessed Bridget comest thou in
Bless this house and all of our kin
From the source of Infinite Light
Kindle the flame of our spirits tonight

“Imbolc” is the 3rd track of Lisa Thiel’s CD “Circle of the Seasons”.

Lisa Thiel’s homepage is [

(A version of this was originally posted on 02/01/2011 at BPI Campus)



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