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Take a moment for yourself this Imbolc, Mama. Imbolc is a cross-quarter festival, marking the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox.  It’s a threshold time.  A time between time.  And in this way Imbolc can remind us...
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Imbolc is a cross-quarter festival, marking the midpoint between the Solstice and the Equinox.  It’s a threshold time.  A time between time.  Where we feel the Earth stirring, the pull of Spring but we are still in the hands of Winter for a while longer.

In this way Imbolc can remind us of other times in our life when we are no longer fully in one place but not quite in the next.  Still wintering but gathering for the emergence to come.  Feeling done with the current season of your life and awaiting the birth of the next.

It can be a good time to explore our relationship with those liminal in-between times.  To what extent can we let ourselves be in the metaphorical Winter? Gathering what there is to gather here, in preparation for the Spring that will come in time, if only we can hold on and trust. 

Imbolc seems to bring with it hope.  With it’s snowdrops and shoots, it’s growing light and birdsong.  It can feel like we’re waking up from a good sleep.  Something for sure to be celebrated.

Some sources have the name Imbolc derived from ‘ewe’s milk’.  Acknowledging this turning point for our ancestors when flocks would began to lamb and milk became available to sustain through this hungry gap.  An exhale in those times perhaps.

Other sources suggest it’s named for the Old Irish ‘i mbolc’ meaning ‘in the belly’ referring to this pregnant time of the year.  We might say we're in the belly of the year waiting for rebirth in the spring.

Imbolc is a fire festival, celebrated with the lighting of flames and watched over by the flame-haired Goddess Brigid.  A busy deity who is said to be Goddess of Spring, of Fire (both the hearth fire and creative fire), of Fertility and Midwifery and therefore Mothers, of Poets and Inspiration, of Healing, of sacred waterways and wells, of Blacksmiths and the Forge.

A folktale sees the Goddess Brigid take on each of these roles, believing she has more to give and doing a wonderful job of honouring them all>. But then she speaks with a wise bear who finds her looking exhausted whilst still looking for more places she can give of herself.  Wise Bear reminds her that whilst she is Goddess of fire and burns brightly her fire will burn out if she doesn’t feed and stoke her own fire.  He asks her to find what sustains her and that’s when she turns to creativity which helps her to continue burning.

What a metaphor for us as Mothers!

We explored these themes in my Imbolc workshop – part journaling workshop, part mama-circle – last weekend and it felt so nourishing to ground our very human experience in this very relevant time.

My next workshop has just quietly opened for booking if you want to join me for some Ostara magic – you can grab your place here before I start telling everyone about it

How I celebrate

I’ll be heading off for an early walk with two friends this morning for Imbolc.  It’s a lovely to time to think about what else we need in the way of wintry rest and replenishment while turning our thoughts to the seeds we want to plant for the year ahead – both metaphorical and actual seeds.  No doubt we’ll cover all of that as we walk.

3 invitations

If you’ve followed these posts for a while you’ll know I love to use these festivals as a way to take a moment for ourselves.  To connect in with where we are, how we’re feeling and what we need.

With that in mind I have my usual three invitations for you.  See what speaks to you and mould them into something nourishing and supportive for you…

1. Fireside-dreaming

Goddess of fire, Brigid, is associated with Imbolc and fire is used at this time both to honour her & celebrate the returning light.

Try this:

Imbolc is great time for dreaming into the year from your cosy hibernation cave. Indulge in some fireside dreaming - what will you invite in as the Earth stirs?

2. Stirring the seeds

Nature begins to waken. Deep within the Earth seeds put out first shoots, just as we begin to look ahead to what we’ll bring forth this year.

Try this:

Literally or metaphorically, what do you want to sow? You could sow some 'seeds' today. On slips of paper write your intentions, roll them into ‘seeds’ which you can plant in the soil too.

3. Let go the old

Traditionally, Imbolc is a time for visiting the water to clear away the old and make way for what’s new to sprout & grow.

Try this:

Take yourself on a walk to a nearby river, stream, holy well or the sea. Consider offering to the water anything you want to be free of in the year ahead.


Allow whatever you do with these invitations to feel easeful. Kids and life don’t pay any attention to these festivals and you might not read this until days after the event.  These invitations are still available to you. No urgency or expiry dates.

Imbolc blessings, dear one x


If you’re in a threshold time and have been considering working with a coach to support you to move through, you might like to know I've opened up 2 more coaches places this month.

I work with women who want to bring their hopes and dreams for themselves to life, whilst navigating inevitable trip hazards like self-doubt, confusion, mum guilt and feeling lost. Take a look at my coaching packages here and if this support might be just what you need, I’d love you to book in for a (free) chat here.

© 2024 Lisa Mabberley
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