Festival of Imbolc

by Jenny Chapman Diary

Traditionally at Imbolc, a female image or ‘Bride’ was fashioned from a sheaf of wheat, taken from house to house to gather offerings - shells, crystals or flowers - then to the men for them to pay homage, before being placed in a bed or cradle along with a wand made of a sacred feminine wood.

Bride or Brigit, was according to Irish legend, one of three daughters born to the Dagda[1] or Chief of the Tuatha de Danaan, the ancient fairy race of Ireland. Each daughter was called Brigit and attributed a different power - healing, smithcraft or poetry. As one she ruled the fires of inspiration including the fires of the forge and of the hearth. As the wife of King Bres she was said to have mediated a peace between two ancient warring tribes (the Formorians her husband’s clan and the Tuatha de Danaan, her father’s).

Bride’s work is alchemical  - it allows communication between our internal Maiden or unconscious with the Sun King, or outer consciousness. This brings growth and new life and our consciousness awakens. Bride and Imbolc relate to the element of salt[2] - for protection against harmful spirits. It also helps us develop clairgustance (clear tasting or the ability to taste the essence of a substance) and clairsalience (clear smelling or when insights come through the perception of smell without using our physical nose).

[1] Male god associated with fertility, agriculture, manliness, strength and appetite, as well as magic, druidry and wisdom.

[2] The North East of the medicine wheel