The two witches stood in the snow. It was cold, but as the Sun rose, the Earth began to warm and a single drop of melted water slid down an icicle and fell to the ground. The warming had begun, and the witches could feel the Earth, deep and slow, start to wake up. Winter was half over and signs of Spring, however faint, were starting to show up. It was almost Imbolc.
Imbolc, February 2nd, is called by a lot of names; Saint Brigid’s Day (Brigidmas), Oimelc, Imbolg, Candlemas, Feimbolc, Feast of Ormelc, Feast of Pan, Festival of Milk, Festival of Waxing Light, Groundhog’s Day, but they all have the same focus, we’ve made it this far, can Spring be far away? Magickally this is the moment when the God and Goddess return to their youth, becoming the Maiden and the Godling, for a while.
There are a lot of traditions around this celebration, and they are all great, but I thought I’d focus on candle magick. Every year I keep the drippings off my candles and then on Imbolc Eve I melt them down and make a new candle to burn throughout Imbolc. It’s a way to start the new with the lessons of the old, like sour dough bread, a starter.
If you practice any kind of spiritual path, then the use of candles is just part of the package. There are a multitude of guides out there to tell you what color to use for what purpose, and that’s certainly helpful. The only thing I’ll add is this, if your instinct says something other than the standard color, go with your gut. You want to draw abundance into your life, green is the standard color you would go for to pull money in, but every time you reach for the green candle, you pull out a blue candle. Maybe it’s not money you need to draw, but success and joy in the pursuit of abundance. The guides are just that, guides, not rules. Sometimes you just need to listen to that higher voice that is picking what you actually need to burn.
And a final statement about Imbolc, it is also the time to remember the youth inside yourself. That youthful spirit will remind you of your dreams, and your energy. Go out and play.
When I was young I was told
I was too fat,
I was too smart,
I should not wear bright colors
And then a co-worker looked at me one day and said, ”You are so not a beige person. You should wear bright colors.” Since then, I’ve worn what I pleased.
Now that I am old I am told
Don’t dye your hair
Don’t wear too much make-up
Wear sensible shoes and clothes
Be age appropriate
And then one day I asked my sister if what we were doing was age appropriate. Her response was, “F**k age appropriate.” That has been my response to critics ever since.