5 Ways to Celebrate Imbolc Without Spending a Dime

I am SO excited for Imbolc this year! If 2016 taught me anything, it's that new starts are a beautiful thing. And while time is a human conception, isn't the thought of sloughing off the old and starting with a fresh slate a pretty inspiring thing?

Imbolc, celebrated on February 2nd, is a time of purification, cleansing, and purging after time spent reflecting during the Yuletide. It's a time to shake off that dust, lift your chin up, take a deep breath of fresh air, and take charge of your life. Life is cyclical; all things end but are met with new beginnings. Like many Sabbats, Imbolc embraces that ever-present energy that moves us forward, that reminds us every stage of life is temporary.

Symbolically, Imbolc is the Goddess's respite after giving birth to the God (Sun) on the Winter Solstice. It's a time of renewal and renewed strength, which we see in the sun as it slowly gains momentum and dominance over the nighttime hours. The earth is preparing for germination and fertility in the spring, collecting its energies and regaining power.

Many celebrate Imbolc as the Festival of Fire. Bonfires and candles are therefore appropriate for celebration, as are the colors seen in a fire—white, yellow, and orange. Light green can also be used if you're honoring the lead-up to spring. 

Spicy foods are the perfect way to represent the growing warmth of the earth as nature begins to shed the heavy chill of winter.

Of course, having grown up in New England, I know it can appear as though winter is only beginning its icy fury in February. But fret not, I have you snow-bound Pagans covered! ;)

How to celebrate without spending a dime:

Smudge your home
If Imbolc is a time of renewal and cleansing, then now is the time to smoke out any funky energy left over from the holidays. That fight Uncle Earl started over the last piece of pumpkin pie? Your drunk sister deciding New Year's Eve was the time for a vodka-fueled emotional breakdown? That can all be washed away with a little sage and some fire.

Because who doesn't like to play with fire?

If you're not familiar with smudging, you can learn more about it here

Burn your Yule tree
Every year my husband and I save our Yule tree and burn it on Imbolc. Being in the desert, that bad boy dries out quickly and burns FAST. So PLEASE make sure to exercise caution! Keep a water hose nearby, and burn your tree in small batches. Because trust me, you'll understand why firefighters warn people about dry trees once you see O Tannenbaum turn to ash in 30 seconds flat. 

Having a camp or bonfire is quite traditional for Imbolc, but using your Yule tree feels extra special. It symbolizes the ever-turning Wheel of Life, and also uses what you have. Why push your poor evergreen to the curb if you can use him a few weeks later?

Yes, him. You didn't know evergreens are predominately male? Don't Google that fact. Just trust me....Evergreens are boys. Cats are girls. Dogs are also boys. And all ships are female. It's just what is. Ask any six-year-old.

Make snow spells
For you snow-bound folks, don't feel left out quite yet! If it's too cold or snowy to have a fire outside, use all that powder to your advantage! Write words or symbols in the snow for your desires in the coming year, and know that as they melt away their energies are drifting off into the Universe, helping to manifest your desires. 

Just don't use yellow snow. Though that just may be an excellent option if you're looking to banish something. ;)

Burn your worries
I talk about burning your anxiety here. Being a time of release, use Imbolc to LET THAT SHIT GO. If you can't control it (which generally you can't, hence the anxiety), burn that bitch! Release your worries to the Universe. Ground yourself. Take a deep breath. Wipe the tears from your cheeks. And trust that it will work out. Things usually have a way of doing just that. You made it this far in life, my friend. You're doing well. Don't let anxiety ruin your day. I speak from experience. It does nothing except cost you time. And in the words of one of my favorite Hanson songs, "Time is a price you can't afford." 

Have a Fiesta
Living in the Southwest, I've come to adore Mexican food. So flavorful. So spicy. So cheesy. If you're suffering from the winter blues and are looking for a pick-me-up, plan an Imbolc fiesta night! The spicy food will not only honor the sun, but will release endorphins in your body that will aid in lifting your spirits. Plus who doesn't love having a party? Even if it's just a small party with you and your significant other. Take the time to make it festive. Any excuse is a good excuse to celebrate.

Bonus points if you turn on the Mariachi station on Pandora. Am I the only person who craves chips and salsa when I hear Mexican music?

*whispers* I could live off chips and salsa forever.....

What's your favorite way to celebrate Imbolc?

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NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.