*Imbolc Candle Ritual

Even though February is still cold, Imbolc (or Candlemas) is a celebration that Spring is on the Horizon. It is a time to reclaim the intentions we have put into our craft and remember the reasons we follow this path. The end of Winter is coming, so we embrace the rebirth coming.

Depending on where you live, Imbolc is celebrated on February 1st or 2nd. If you are like me in the Western Hemisphere, we celebrate on February 2nd. On this evening, when the sun has set once more, call it back by lighting the seven candles of this ritual.

The seven candles in this ritual represent various aspects of both the seasons and the human existence. Several symbolize the light that emerges as winter finally comes to an end, and another represents the purifying warmth of the hearth fires. One candle is symbolic of the barrier between the positive and negative in your life; a boundary of sorts between our world and the next. Another stands in for the magic of wisdom and inspiration, and for the light that comes into our lives when we experience love.

If you're a solitary practitioner, don't worry! This is a ritual you can perform all by yourself. Although this ceremony is written for one, it can easily be adapted for a small group by assigning each participant their own candle, or candles, to light and take charge of.

First, set up your altar in a way that makes you happy, and brings to mind the themes of Imbolc – rebirth and renewal, purification and cleansing.

Colors: Red, green and white

Items: Plants, herbs, statues and crystals that make you think of Spring. Spring flowers like crocus, Lillies or daffodils in pots. 

Some other ways to honour Imbolc include smoke cleansing your space/home, Spring Cleaning your home, opening Windows and allowing the negative and stale air to escape, and planning your Garden/starting some seeds for the Spring. 

Prior to beginning your ritual, take a warm, cleansing bath. While soaking, meditate on the concept of purification. If a bath is not available to you, a shower is just as powerful - imagine the water as streams of bright light washing away all negativity and anything weighing you down.

Now, you can begin the ritual.

IMBOLC Candle Ritual

Complete after Sundown Feb 1st-2nd

You'll need:

- Cleansing Tools of your choice (Smudge with Sage, Palo Santo, or use my Grounding Spray)

- A small bell

- Seven candles, in red and white (tealights are perfect for this)

- Something to light your candles with

- A large bowl or cauldron big enough to hold the candles ( I use a large dutch oven)

- Sand or salt to fill the bottom of the bowl/cauldron

* If your practice includes casting a circle, do so now

Begin by cleansing yourself and your space using your cleansing tools. Make sure to have a window open to let negative energy out. As you cleanse your space, tools and yourself feel free to say the following:

"Like the coming of Spring and the rebirth it brings, allow this smoke to cleanse me and my surroundings. Only positive, bright light surrounds me, Negative energy leave me. Thank you, thank you, thank you"

When you have finished, ring your bell in all corners of your space and over the candles.

Pour the sand or salt into the bowl or cauldron. Place the seven candles into the sand so they won't slide around. Light the first candle. As you do so, say:

Although it is now dark, I come seeking light.
In the chill of winter, I come seeking life.

Light the second candle, saying:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the third candle. Say:

This light is a boundary, between positive and negative.
That which is outside, shall stay without.
That which is inside, shall stay within.

Light the fourth candle. Say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the fifth candle, saying:

Like fire, light and love will always grow.
Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.

Light the sixth candle, and say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Finally, light the last candle. As you do so, visualize the seven flames coming together as one. As the light builds, see the energy growing in a purifying glow.

Fire of the hearth, blaze of the sun,
cover me in your shining light.
I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am
made pure.

Take a few moments and meditate on the light of your candles. Think about this time of healing and inspiration and purification. Do you have something damaged that needs to be healed? Are you feeling stagnant, for lack of inspiration? Is there some part of your life that feels toxic or tainted? Visualize the light as a warm, enveloping energy that wraps itself around you, healing your ailments, igniting the spark of creativity, and purifying that which is damaged. If you feel called, take a few minutes to journal about what you are feeling, either free-flow or by answering the above questions.

When you are ready, end the ritual. If you can, leave the candles to burn out on their own, but never leave burning candles unattended. If you need to extinguish them, either snuff or blow them out, speaking out loud an intention or wish for the coming Spring as you put each one out. 

Blessed Be and Happy Imbolc!

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