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Happy Candlemas and Imbolc...!

Happy Candlemas and Imbolc...!

Imbolc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar, celebrated among Gaelic peoples and some other Celtic cultures, either at the beginning of February or at the first local signs of Spring. Most commonly it is celebrated on February 2, which falls halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere. Originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid, in the Christian period it was adopted as St Brigid's Day. In Scotland the festival is also known as Là Fhèill Brìghde, in Ireland as Lá Fhéile Bríde, and in Wales as Gŵyl Fair.

Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:

Thig an nathair as an toll
La donn Bride,
Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an t-sneachd
Air leachd an lair.
"The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground."

Fire and purification are an important aspect of this festival. Brigid (also known as Brighid, Bríde, Brigit, Brìd) is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. As both goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames, and healing. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.
Imbolc by Susa E. Black:
Brigit, the Healer

Brigit is the patroness of healers, using the elements of fire and water to heal. She taught the properties of herbs, and blessed many springs and wells across the land, that are still venerated today. Her girdle and mantle had healing properties, which she shared with others. A drop of water from her mantle created a healing lake.

As a solar deity, she also taught that sunlight and water could be used for healing, especially the eyes. She advised sufferers to find a clean, clear spring, or fast moving body of fresh water, sparkling with sunlight, and lathe it on sore eyes for a restorative cure. In Catholic tradition, they pray to Saint Brigit for eye maladies.

In folk tradition, a girdle (belt) is woven of straw at Imbolc, wide enough for people to step through three times in a healing ritual. Stips of cloth or ribbon are also left out to be blessed by the Saint on Imbolc, imparting the healing properties of her own cloak to them.
Imbolc by Susa E. Black:
The Raven

Raven is associated with Imbolc, the Feast of Saint Brigit, because it is the first bird to nest in the Highlands, around the beginning of February. “Cuirear fitheach chon na nide”, (The raven goes to prepare his nest.)


~Muninn's Kiss
Imbolc by Susa E. Black:
Raven is associated with Imbolc, the Feast of Saint Brigit, because it is the first bird to nest in the Highlands, around the beginning of February. “Cuirear fitheach chon na nide”, (The raven goes to prepare his nest.)

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