celebrating imbolc

something i’ve been missing is a connection to nature. i’m from new jersey, and though you might not expect it, i grew up with lots of access to local parks and reservations. because we drive so much, as i got older i was able to spend more and more time seeking out green space. now, not so much. i live in new york, where all nature is enclosed and controlled. there are lots of things that i love about living in new york, but one thing that i absolutely do not love is the separation i feel from the earth.

lately i’ve been reading about pagan traditions, more specifically the wheel of the year. as a way of getting back in touch with spirituality, enchantment, nature, and so on, i’m (humbly, carefully) beginning to work out ways to celebrate the natural rhythms of the earth.

february 1st this year was imbolc, the halfway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. it’s one of the four gaelic seasonal festivals (the others are beltane, lughnasadh, and samhain — halloween!) and it’s meant to mark the beginning of spring (take that, ice/snow storm striking new york today!). imbolc is a feast day, a celebration of “hearth and home,” a day to honor the goddess Brigid. it’s a day to herald birth, new life. imbolc is a budding.

my celebration was simple. it was a friday, and when i got home from work, i settled into cleaning my room (spring cleaning came up as a way of sloughing off the old to prepare for the new). i picked out some clothes for donation, and dusted around the space. i watered my plants and made a makeshift alter of a small potted fern and a series of small candles. i lit them and put on some fairy lights and turned off the remaining lights in my room. in warm candlelight, i journaled and released regrets i had from the past year, and wrote my intentions for the coming year. i also ordered indian food (a fave) to consume spice for warmth and have a feast-for-one. it was a calming lovely time, and i came away feeling nourished for the spring and ready for the possibilities of the year, however corny that sounds.

more experienced practitioners might take issue with how i celebrated, but i enjoyed my imbolc and am excited to incorporate more earthly celebrations in the coming months. if anyone else celebrates, i’d love to hear how! ✨✨

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