Imbolc | The Astrological Significance Of Imbolc… & The Midpoint Of Aquarius Season!
Can Cleaning Be Astrological? Purification At The Right Time Of Year...
Also known as ‘Brigid’s Day’, Imbolc (or Imbolg) is traditionally celebrated every year on February 1st.
It is one of the four Lunar Fire Festivals and marks the very beginning of spring.
It occurs at the beginning of February, on the first day of the month but of course in astrology, a date is never just a date it’s a degree of the Zodiac, in this case, it’s 9º Aquarius.
When the sun is around this degree of any of the Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), we take into account its positioning between the equinoxes and solstices…
The astrological significance of Imbolc is that it’s the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. In terms of timing, it can also be celebrated at the astronomical midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox (or on the closest full moon).
You can read more about the bigger picture, here, but essentially, these are known as cross-quarter days, and the Four Lunar Fire Festivals.
- Beltane (May Eve) – 9º Taurus – May 1st
- Lughnasadh (Lammas) – 9º Leo – August 1st
- Samhain (Hallowe’en) – 9º Scorpio – October 31st-November 2nd
- Imbolc (Candlemas) – 13º Aquarius – February 2nd-7th.
Throughout the Christian world Imbolc is known as Candlemas, or observed as the feast day of Saint Brigid.
In pagan ritual, Imbolc is dedicated to Brigid, Goddess of the Eternal Flame.
In the US, February 1st is Groundhog Day, a cold, rainy, snowy time of darkness, and a time to begin to awaken from the long winter.
The original word Imbolg means ‘in the belly’, and in the seasonal calendar this is the beginning of lambing season – all is pregnant and expectant!
- The First Stirrings Of Spring; the anticipation of the sun’s imminent warm return in spring.
- Purification (especially through fire and smoke); February’s name can be traced in Latin as Februare, meaning purification.
- Spring Cleaning in anticipation of new life! Purifying oneself and honoring light.
So what are some of the traditional customs associated with this time?
Rituals For Imbolc…
- Spring Clean!
- Make Restitution – And Wash Away The Dirt
- Hang Brigid’s Cross Or A Corn Doll
- Open The Windows
- Put Snowdrops In A Vase
- Light A Sacred Ceremonial Fire.
Saint Brigid may well remind you of the Roman Goddess and asteroid Vesta, the Goddess of the Hearth – the hearth’s flame personified. She protected the home and family unit, and tended to the fire.
Brigid, as well as other figures – Belisama and Sul – are associated with feminine craft, domesticity and the cult of fire, like the Greco-Roman Hestia and Vesta. However, they are not one and the same.
Vestalia was a Roman religious festival in honor of Vesta, held from 7th to the 15th June, with continual burning of the sacred fire of Rome.
Foods In Season in the UK in August…
Time To Feast…
According to eattheseasons the vegetables that are good to eat at this time are:
brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, chicory, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, salsify, shallots, swede, and turnips.
Get creative in the kitchen and create a masterpiece!