Brighid’s Celebration: Looking Toward Spring

Brighid’s Celebration: Looking Toward Spring January 15, 2024

Brighid’s celebration of Imbolc is the time I look toward renewal. Years ago, I began my witchcraft journey as a devotee of Brighid. She is the first goddess I interacted with twenty-three years ago during a meditation. I had no particular agenda that day or intention of connecting with a deity but Brighid had other ideas. Daughter of the Dagda, she is the ancient Celtic goddess of Spring, fire, healing, poetry, fertility, protection, animals, hearth, and the forge.

She has two sisters of the same name, and it is thought perhaps Brighid is a Triple Goddess. When Christianity replaced paganism in Ireland, she became Saint Brigid, with many of the same attributes and “miracles” as were attributed to the goddess. Candalmas is a Christian celebration of the presentation of Baby Jesus at the temple. Candles symbolize him as “Light of the World.”  February 2nd marks the day for Candlemas and Imbolc, connecting Brighid to both.

Brighid doll made for me by a 3PaaC listener. Photo taken by author.

Brighid’s Celebration: Imbolc

Imbolc is a fire festival that is part of the Modern Pagan Wheel of the Year, marking the return of the sun between Mid-Winter and Spring. During this time, Pagan and Witchcraft practitioners focus on rebirth, renewal, light, and purification. Brighid is welcomed into the home through images such as a doll or Brighid’s Cross hanging over the doorway.

Other Pagan observances include a meal that may feature milk, cheese, bread, Colcannon, and blackberries (setting out a portion for the goddess). Spring cleaning can become a part of a ritual or laying a cloth out to be blessed for healing. Brighid is a goddess of Spring, fire, and the forge, so candles and bonfires play a part in the holiday. Imbolc reminds us that Spring is on the way and can be very encouraging for those of us living in frozen climes in Winter.

As with all holidays, it is up to the individual practitioner, family, or group to decide if Imbolc is to be part of their holiday or ritual year. And don’t think for a minute this festival has to be solely dedicated to Brighid. Traditionally, it is her sacred day but in my experience, the themes of the day can be utilized for those who do not work with Brighid or any deity at all.  Don’t forget, that Ground Hog’s Day is observed on February 2nd as well.

Photo taken by the author.

Brighid’s Celebration: Renewal and Spring

Over the years, my relationship with Brighid has been unique. She does not require my attention all that much throughout the year. However, I always feel drawn toward her as we move into February. Therefore, I’m going to clean my house, make and light candles, perform divination for what to focus on for the rest of the year, and plan what I’ll grow as the weather warms.  I’ll honor Brighid with a meal, remembering that the renewal of mind, body, and spirit is always possible.

For me, Spring is a time of hope. So, that is what I will be focusing on this coming February 2nd. The days are getting longer. Frigid Winter air may bite for now but in a short while the crocuses will begin poking their heads through the melting snow —blooming in the cold light. Sunna is returning and for me, Imbolc will always remind me that warmth is on the way.

Brighid has always been a guide to personal growth for me. Always patient, never pushing. Simply reminding me that I am not frozen within my circumstances. There have been times, especially in the last couple of years, that I have forgotten her lessons. Renewal, rebirth, healing– all of these are possible–for after the darkest of days, the light will always return.

About Gwyn
Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is an Eclectic Green Witch and Clairsentient Medium. She loves working with herbs, essential oils and plants. In the past, she has been a teacher, musician and published writer. Now, she just wants to be a free spirit and talk about life. You can read more about the author here.
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