Imbolc, aka False Spring

Imbolc, aka False Spring January 30, 2015

Imbolc has grown on me over the years. Like the growing light of the days, finally discernible after the long dark of winter nights, Imbolc makes its presence quietly known. I’ve never had a strong connected with Brigit, Bríd, or any of the patron saints and gods of this holiday. I admit that the lore only finally made sense to me after living in Wales, across from a sheep field.

What I’ve noticed here in Washington is that Imbolc is the False Spring. Yes, there’s more light. Yes, some buds are sticking their bright heads out, testing the air. But it isn’t truly spring yet. Earlier this week we had several bright, sunny days. One day was in the low 60s. I saw some bees out. Little bugs flitting over the grass. One tree in my neighborhood put out its bright pink blossoms. Crocuses are popping up purple and blue heads.

Crocuses. By Thesupermat, via Wikimedia Commons
Crocuses. By Thesupermat, via Wikimedia Commons

But it’s not spring. This morning was cold and foggy. Actually, it’s after noon and it’s still foggy and the air continues to have a sharp bite. We could get another week of bright sun in February; we could also get ten days of freezing tempteratures. So hard to say! And then there are rains of the more “authentic” spring to come. I rather like this False Spring. I like not knowing what we’ll get in February.

I have no personal lore connected to this season. My Craft tradition has a lovely liturgy for the turning of this portion of the Wheel, but I have a hard time getting to the rituals. Instead, I’m slowly building up my relationship with this “holiday” based on my experiences here.

Blessings to you as the Wheel turns, where ever you are!

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Living in northern Ontario, I’d settle for a false spring over “it’s-still-winter.” We’ve still got a lot of snow on the ground, and February is usually our snowiest month. False spring doesn’t show up until the end of March or the middle of April for us, lol

  • Even in Eastern Washington, Ostara is false spring. There will still be snow on the ground and the only hint of coming warm (other than lengthening days) is that some trees begin to bud. As Brighid is a patroness, Imbolc does have meaning. Ostara is the tough one for me.