If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter will not come again.
On 2 of February we have a celebration in the Wheel of the Year that is widely recognised as both Christian and Pagan. Christians know this day as Candlemas and Pagans know it is Imbolc (pronounced ih-mulk). There is a near total overlap between the Christian and Pagan influences in Celtic Christian tradition since this is the Saint’s day of Brigid who was revered as a Celtic Goddess before she was made a Christian saint.
What we celebrate on this day (in both traditions) is the return of the light after a time of darkness, rest and purification. It is traditional to have a good early spring clean and clear-out of old unwanted/unused items before the celebration begins.
Brigid is the Goddess of the hearth, healing, poetry and smith craft. She brings the fire of fertility and blesses the households who honour her with abundance in the year ahead. One traditional way to honour her is to prepare a meal for her and set it aside when the family gathers to celebrate with a special Imbolc meal. Traditionally, dairy features heavily at Imbolc but for those of us who are vegan and/or dairy intolerant there are plenty of valid substitutes in the form of plant milks.
Candlemas is the Christian celebration of the Virgin Mary bringing baby Jesus to the Temple. It takes place 40 days after the birth of Christ since women were considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth, just as they were considered unclean during their moon time. Entering the Temple while ‘unclean’ was strictly prohibited. Other names for this feast day are ‘Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary’ and ‘Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus.’
In some Christian denominations, the members of the congregation bring their candles to the church to be blessed on this day. There is nothing to say that you can’t do a candle blessing ritual yourself on Candlemas!
St Brigid’s Cross – A Tarot Spread
- What it is being birthed in your life, with the return of the light
- How you can help give birth to what wants to come (an action to take)
- What is being purified/purged now from your life
- What you need to bless now, to drive away any lingering darkness
- What you should hope for this spring
SAMPLE READING WITH THE FRIDEBORG TAROT
- What it is being birthed in your life – 6 of Swords. Diplomacy and an ability to solve problems in a more detached manner.
- How you can help give birth to what wants to come – Queen of Wands. I feel the Queen of Wands here is telling me to connect with my divine feminine fire, in imitation of St Brigid.
- What is being purified/purged now from your life – 7 of Cups. Confusion about my path and purpose.
- What you need to bless now – The Tower. Martian energy. My inner warrior, so that she fights on the side of the light and is not easily lead astray. I feel the warrior energy relates to Athena and the 3-eyed owl that appeared to me in a dream recently. It is more important than ever to see clearly, both the bigger picture and what is happening under the surface.
- What you should hope for this spring – The Devil. The ability to resist temptation and stay on the straight and narrow.
Brightest Imbolc/Candlemas Blessings!