Happy Imbolc witches!
This is one of my personal favorite holidays in the wheel of the year. Imbolc marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, typically beginning at sundown on February 1st and lasting through the 2nd. While Yule and Ostara tend to be bigger, more exciting holidays, if you’ve been around The Traveling Witch for any length of time you’ll know I’m all about introspection, inward focus, and personal transformation.
Imbolc is directs us to focus on transformation and gives us witches the perfect opportunity to do a little spring cleaning in our lives and our crafts to make room for all of the growth and abundance the coming seasons will provide.
This transformation from winter into spring, from quiet fallow times to bold, active seasons guides our personal energy into a state of renewal. At this point of the year, the seasons leave us primed for beginning anew, shedding all of the things from the previous year that didn’t serve us and planting the seeds of all those things we wish to cultivate in our lives over the next year.
How To Celebrate Imbolc
There are so many beautiful ways to celebrate Imbolc! I like to celebrate in a few different ways, making sure to take time for myself as well as spending time with my family and community. Here’s how I’m going to be spending my holiday!
Lemon Thyme Shortbread
When I think holidays, I think food which means this shortbread recipe is a yearly tradition for me. I adore the combination of citrus and woody herbs and paired with the subtle sweetness of shortbread it’s absolutely divine. Magically, lemon holds cleansing and purifying properties. It helps to remove blockages, clear negativity and promote spiritual and personal growth. Thyme, on the other hand, is an attracting herb. It’s used to attract all manner of good things into your life, such as money, affection, courage, and good health.
You Will Need:
- ½ cup butter softened
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and thyme and mix again. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, wrap it and chill the dough for 15 to 30 minutes until firm but still pliable.
3. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until about ¼“ thick. Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Keep any extra cut-out cookies in the fridge until ready to bake.
4. Remove your cookies from the oven and transfer them to wire racks to cool.
I love taking time to journal on holidays, it helps me focus on myself and how the changing energy of the seasons affects my life. These are a few ideas and prompts to get you thinking about how you want your life to transform this season. Feel free to choose a single question that sparks your interest or write about all of them to really dig deep into how this holiday impacts you.
- How do you feel about the idea of change and transformation?
- Is there anything in your life or in yourself that is no longer serving you and needs to be cleared away before new growth can begin?
- What new ideas, habits, and life changes are you going to begin this spring? What kind of new beginning are you seeking?
- Write down one small actionable step you could take toward each of those new goals. It doesn’t have to be big! This is the time for baby steps, give yourself the room to start this new growth slowly.
- Take a moment to write out what abundance would look like in your life. Don’t limit yourself only to material abundance! This word can mean many things, don’t forget to consider abundance in love, friends, knowledge, your garden, whatever you want to be abundant in the next year. This will help to prime you to grow your abundance as the year progresses!
Planting The Seeds Of New Beginnings
Imbolc falls right around the time when seed starting begins for spring gardens. With this in mind, a seed planting ritual is perfect for this holiday! We will use this time to plant the seeds of change and bring all of those new projects, relationships, and dreams into our lives.
Note: If you have a black thumb this may not be the best spell for you. Killing the plant that energetically holds your dreams and wishes may not end so happily. If you’re still driven to try it, go for something that will be easy to keep alive like aloe or spider plants. If you’re not confident in your ability to work with seeds you can also start with very young plants, the spell will need slight modification but it will still work!
You Will Need:
- Seeds (I like sunflowers, Sweet Peas, and Marigolds but whatever you like will work)
- Gardening soil
- A pot
- Bay leaves (one for each thing you would like to manifest)
- A pen (felt tip will work best)
Before you begin: Check to see what the plants you’ve chosen will need. Do they need to be soaked before planting? Will they need lots of water? Lots of sun? Make sure you can give the plant what it needs to thrive!
This is a very simple spell but it can lead to powerful results. Set up your ritual space however you like, with candles, music, a full altar, or a simple writing space. Whatever you prefer will work.
Sit with your bay leaves and pen and write down what you wish to grow in your life. Focus on the positives! Remember, this is about what you want to GROW. If you want to get out of debt, for example, focus on attracting wealth, not on getting rid of debt. You don’t want to be growing your debt!
Each intention will require its own bay leaf, pot, and seed so make sure you have enough supplies for everything you want to grow. Feel free to get detailed with what you want but try to focus on the end result instead of how you’d like to get what you want. This will allow the magic to choose the easiest path to accomplish your goal!
When you’ve finished, allow the ink to dry and stash the leaves under your pillow for the night.
In the morning, it’s time to plant! Take your leaves, seeds, soil, and pots and set up your planting materials somewhere you can easily sweep up after. Your seeds should already be prepared accordingly (some will need to be soaked, scored, etc.). For each pot, fill it about 1/3 full of soil, hold a bay leaf and focus on the corresponding intention momentarily then place the leaf in the pot, cover it with dirt and finish by planting a seed on top of it. Do this for every bay leaf.
When you’re finished, give all of your newly planted hopes and dreams a thorough watering and put them somewhere they can get appropriate sunlight.
These little seedlings will draw strength from your intentions and help to hold these intentions for you as they grow, serving as a living beacon of magic to help bring your wishes into reality this Imbolc!