What is Imbolc?
Traditionally celebrated on August 1st here in the Southern Hemisphere, Imbolc is an ancient tradition that occurs midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. As a Celtic Fire Festival with roots predating Christianity, it was originally dedicated to the Goddess Brighid (who later became St Brigid).
Imbolc is the birth of beginnings, a time of joy, rebirth and awakening. Though we still feel the coldness of Winter, and can’t yet see visual signs of the Spring, deep down in the Earth below the energy has shifted and the seeds are slowly starting to germinate and make their way towards the growing light.
As new life is stirring, this is a powerful time to harness the wisdom of the cycles and dream into being what seeds you are desiring to plant for the coming year...
Setting intentions for all you wish to call in will be amplified by weaving in the potency of Cacao. So here’s a beautiful Imbolc ritual to magnify your visions, adapted from a ritual by Patti Wigington to include a simple cacao ceremony.
Things you will need for the ritual:
Ceremonial Cacao already prepared
- 4 white candles (tealights are perfect)
- Journal + pen
Prepare your cacao and then start by creating a simple altar to honour this turning of the Wheel and the theme of new beginnings. It may be as simple as a single candle, or you may like to incorporate things from nature that have the energy of new life, like flower bulbs, or an egg.
Create sacred space in a way that feels good for you, and then take your cacao and allow your senses to be awakened as you bring your mug close, taking a deep inhale and breathing in its intoxicating aroma.
Now take a sip of your cacao and light the first candle, saying aloud or silently to yourself – Here in the darkness of Winter I acknowledge that new life is stirring.
Take another sip of your cacao, lighting the second candle and say – I call in the power of the fire and sun to awaken the spark of light and new life, within and without.
Take another sip of your cacao, lighting the third candle and say - Like fire, light and love will always grow. Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.
Finally, drink the last of your cacao, lighting the fourth candle and visualising all 4 flames coming together now as the energy builds and say – I call upon the sacred fire to purify and cleanse all that no longer serves so that new life may flourish and come into easeful manifestation. I call upon the shining sun to light my way.
Take some time in silent contemplation now, allowing the cacao to work its medicine and the light of the candles combined to offer inspiration to your dreams.
Feel into what you are truly longing to bring into your life, what seeds you desire to nurture and plant at this time.
Journal your ideas and then pause again, taking some time to get clear on the ‘seeds’ you will choose to nourish, and which can fall away allowing their life force to feed the remaining seeds.
If you wish, you can enhance this by creating a vision / dream board for yourself. Simply cutting out, collecting and then collaging images of all your dream seeds. As you gather and select the images, notice the images that you are drawn to and those that you are not. Once you have finished securing the images to your board or paper, look upon your vision board and drink in those dreams!
To complete, reconnect to the light of the candles. Then close your eyes and visualise the light from the candles enveloping you and your seeds, trusting the divine timing of all things. Blow out the candles, giving thanks and closing the ritual.
Artwork: Jennifer Hawkyard