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Back to Basics: Imbolc

Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 1st. 2015
Times Viewed: 3,436

Imbolc is here! The Witch’s Wheel has turned another notch and we welcome the opportunity to turn the heat up, step into the warmth of home and hearth and connect more deeply to those growing fires that are preparing the way for the seeding of Spring’s growth at the next turn.

This year I have decided to go back to the basics in my series of writings for the Sabbats of the Great Wheel. Sometimes the most powerful revelations can be found in the joy of seeing the celebratory act in its unembellished form. I will also be including a simple ritual for each that may be celebrated as a Solitary or added to as a group celebration.

Imbolc is a Fire festival and aligned agriculturally with the first stirrings of the hope of growing light, slowly warming weather and fields that would at mid-summer’s point be lush with flower, fruit and animal life. Imbolc celebrates the new life that has yet to push through the frost-covered ground, yet remains as a strong image of the quickening potential. We revel in the excitement of spying a single shoot of greenery and the first signs of Spring even though snow may still cover the ground. The vitality we feel as the cold winds blow are sure signs that we are alive and vibrant. And this life and vibrancy holds the promise of returning to the warmth of home and interaction with friends and family.

At the time of Imbolc we celebrate the calving season as new life emerges from mother’s womb. Milk flows freely for those young animals that will provide sustenance in the coming months ahead and we anticipate the healing that this new life will bring to the land as hungry mouths graze on lush green fields that will emerge in the months ahead. We celebrate with cheese, and milk and products that contain this protein rich elixir.

We celebrate the gaining strength of the Goddess having given birth at the Solstice to the child of Light and now bathed in the fires of revitalization seen as she begins the transition into the Maiden of Ostara. This is the affirmation of the continued cycle of life and the transformative nature of Deity as source of inspiration for their much love children of the earth in all of our forms.

The Goddess Brighid is often honored at this Sabbat. Brighid, the Goddess of the Triple Flame is invoked as a patroness of Creativity, Mistress of the Purifying Forge and the Healing Mother. She is the simple of the accumulated Hope and Promise that the next few weeks will bring. These are but a few of the gifts attributed to Brighid and at this time of the year, her energies are most aptly felt as the Fires required as both light and heat that mirror the strengthening of the sun’s light that will quicken the seeding of the earth and the sustaining of the life that inhabits it.

And, so at this time of Imbolc I offer a ritual that calls upon the energy of the Goddess, Brighid and the space for communion with her eternal flames. The following is a very simple ritual that empowers candles to be used throughout the year as needed. The gifts of Brighid are called into a large pillar and can be used as a tool of contemplative connection with the Goddess in all of her aspects. The three additional pillars are attuned to her gifts of Creativity, Healing and Purification. These can be lit and used in future ritual and meditation when you wish to bolster or catalyze endeavors making use of these supports.

Note: I could have given you more information about Brighid, but that is part of the basic approach and the beauty of entering into communion with Deity open to the possibilities of what will be revealed.

The Flames of the Goddess

You will need:
1 Tall White Pillar candle and holder
3 Smaller White Pillars and holders for each
White cloth to place on whatever surface you have chosen and your altar space

The color White is the symbol of purity, clarity and the brilliance of all colors lit from within.

Arrange the candles on a flat surface (altar space) on top of the white cloth. Place the tall pillar candle behind a row of the 3/smaller pillars placed in front. Leave a small 3” of space between each of the three

Create Sacred Space in accord with your spiritual path and when your space is readied, come to stand before your altar set with the candles. Pick up the Large Pillar and hold it at your heart center.

Breathe deeply and acknowledge the heat that flows in through nostril and mouth and fills your lungs. Take another deep breath, expanding on this feeling of fullness, light and warmth. Take a third deep breath, and as you exhale offer the intention of this inner heat, the stoked fires within and release its energy into the white candle of the Goddess. This is your breath of inspiration that will invoke the Goddess Brighid. Continue to hold the candle and open to the sensation of this energy filling and connecting to it. Envision this candle as the conduit between Brighid’s Fires and the space of the Goddess and her flames within.

Approach your altar, replace the candle on its holder and invoke the Goddess Brighid:

I invoke Brighid, Goddess of the Triple Flame
She whose flame burns brightest in the work of creation.

I invoke Brighid, mistress of the Forge and transformer
Who purifies and prepares what seeks remaking.

I invoke Brighid, healer and holder of the inner light
That burns away discomfort and dis-ease.

I invoke Brighid, the Fiery Arrow, warrior and patroness
Who brings Will to action and whose sword of Truth
Pierces the veil of illusion.

I invoke Brighid to be with me in this rite of Imbolc
As I seek the flames of creativity, truth and healing.


Take a deep breath, and when you sense the energy of the Goddess is present, make statement: Hail and Welcome!

Turn your focus towards the Large White Pillar. And, as you light it make declaration:

May this candle serve as the life giving flame of Brighid.
May this candle serve as the embodiment of the Goddess in this rite.
May the flame rise in honor of the Fiery One as it lights the way
For the work of this Sabbat of Imbolc.


Spend some time envisioning the gifts of the Goddess flowing in and through this candle. Gaze into the heart of the flame and envision the fires of creative action moving in its light. Gaze into the heart of the flame and envision the fires that heal and cauterize even the deepest of wounds. Gaze into the heart of the flame and envision the fires of purification that reveal the greater truths.

When you feel the fullness of these energies present within this candle, turn your focus to the smaller white pillars.

The Light of Creativity

Firmly holding the first pillar in your hand, bring it up to the space of your heart. As you hold this pillar, pour the intention of opening to your Creative Fires. Envision this in whatever way is strongest for you. It may be seeing the completion of a project you have been contemplating. It may present as the burgeoning of a new idea. Make sure the image is strong and clear in its intent.

Take a deep breath of inhalation and as you exhale push the energy of this intention through the heart center, through your hands and into the body of the white pillar. Take two more deep breaths of inhalation, each exhalation pouring more and more of this energy into the pillar. Lift the pillar to your Brighid Candle and light it from the Flame of the Goddess.

As you hold the newly lit candle of Brighid’s Creativity, acknowledge the power and energy flowing through it. Gaze into the heat of its flame envisioning all that this flame of Creativity holds as potential. Open to the exchange of its energy moving into your physical form, enlivening and quickening the whole of your being and when you are ready place this Pillar of Creativity back on its holder.

The Light of Healing

Firmly holding the second pillar in your hand, bring it up to the space of your heart. As you hold this pillar, pour the intention of opening to your Healing Fires. Envision this in whatever way is strongest for you. It may be seeing yourself completing your physical tasks with energy and strength. It may be seeing yourself as whole, healthy and filled with vitality. Make sure the image is strong and clear in its intent.

Take a deep breath of inhalation and as you exhale push the energy of this intention through the heart center, through your hands and into the body of the white pillar. Take two more deep breaths of inhalation, each exhalation pouring more and more of this energy into the pillar. Lift the pillar to your Brighid Candle and light it from the Flame of the Goddess.

As you hold the newly lit candle of Brighid’s Healing, acknowledge the power and energy flowing through it. Gaze into the heat of its flame envisioning all that this flame of Healing holds as potential. Open to the exchange of its energy moving into your physical form, enlivening and quickening the whole of your being and when you are ready place this Pillar of Healing back on its holder.

The Light of Purification

Gently holding the third pillar in your hand, bring it up to the space of your heart. As you hold this pillar, pour the intention of opening to your Fires of Purification. Envision this in whatever way is strongest for you. It may be seeing the release of what holds you inert and does not serve. It may be seeing yourself through the eyes of your Higher Self and the purification of untrue beliefs you hold about yourself. Make sure the image is strong and clear in its intent.

Take a deep breath of inhalation and as you exhale push the energy of this intention through the heart center, through your hands and into the body of the white pillar. Take two more deep breaths of inhalation, each exhalation pouring more and more of this energy into the pillar. Lift the pillar to your Brighid Candle and light it from the Flame of the Goddess.

As you hold the newly lit candle of Brighid’s Purification, acknowledge the power and energy flowing through it. Gaze into the heat of its flame envisioning all that this flame of Purification holds as potential. Open to the exchange of its energy moving into your physical form, enlivening and quickening the whole of your being and when you are ready place this Pillar of Purification back on its holder.

Let your gaze move from one candle to the next and the beauty of the Triple flames of the Goddess, each strong and centered as energies that may be accessed individually or as a whole. Spend as much time as you wish, sensing the energy flowing between each and the resonance of these flames within your own being.

When you are ready, offer this intention to those seen and unseen:

Before me is the Flame of Brighid
Whole and complete in its energy

Before me are the Triple Flames
All part of me as child of the Divine

Creativity burns brightly in
All of my endeavors as the
Goddess weaves her magick
Of quickening new life

Healing flows with heat and
Strength as I stand full and
Whole in the reflection of
The Goddess’ healing light

Purification sets ablaze that
Which no longer serves and
What remains is the fertile
Space of my Divine Self

Before me is the Flame of Brighid
One shall become three and
Three seek the return to one
Whole and complete in its
Power to Transform


So Mote It Be!

Let the candles continue to burn as you thank the Goddess for her presence and her gifts. Allow the words of gratitude to flow as they will in sincerity and truth. When you have ended this thanks, make declaration of: Hail and Farewell!

Allow the candles to remain burning as you release Sacred Space in accord with your spiritual path. And, as the last action, gently pinch the flames; beginning with the three pillars to extinguish. Extinguish the Brighid candle, last.

The reason for not extinguishing the candles before Sacred Space has been released is the intent that you are bringing the magick and energy of these candles into the manifest and mundane world with you. Any of these candles may be burnt whenever you feel the need for Creativity, Healing, Purification or connection to the Goddess in all of her forms.

May the blessings of the Goddess be ever with you

Please enjoy the accompanying poem in the WitchVox poetry section:
Flames of Imbolc





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