Imbolc is a wonderful time to look forward to what is to come, planning and preparing, purifying, and ensuring safety, health and happiness for the year to come. You’re soon to be seeing the first flowers peeping from the snow, signifying the rebirth of the land. At Imbolc we are celebrating the reawakening of the earth, the return of the sun and the season of growth and renewal. At this time, we call to mind the Maiden, full of life and hope, soon to spill from brimming. There are a number of sources the name purportedly comes from: I mbolc in old Irish meaning “in the belly”, oimelic meaning “ewe’s milk”, and many other speculative sources as well, this indicates again the ideas of rebirth and new life. A couple goddesses you may be drawn towards at this time are Brigid and Gaia. Imbolc is the perfect time for wishing or divining for the year ahead, planting and planning, beginning anew, purifying, healing, transformation, inspiration, and fertility.
A wonderful option at Imbolc is to pursue your Spring cleaning, not only is the energy there, but it can be beneficial and enhanced too, by using oils in cleaning, herbs in potpourri, or making arrangements of flowers, herbs, and branches you can use throughout your home, not to mention this is the prime time to purify: smudging your home to bless it and dispel any negative energies hanging around from the past year.
Herbs (general term) come in all shapes, sizes, forms,and so on, many with overlapping uses. I am no doctor, nor am I a professional witch. These are correspondences which I have noticed along with others and we each will have our own ideas and thoughts behind them and their usage. These are just a few herbs I thought to highlight for the celebration of Imbolc and all that it entails; planning for and welcoming back the fire goddess for the new year, cleansing and purifying your home a well as looking out for the peace, happiness and protection of it, planting the seeds of growth and renewal, encouraging fertility, health, prosperity and good fortune. Remember, always ask for permission to take a branch or flower, it is in respect for the tree and plants themselves as well as the power of your charm, Not to mention some plants are held sacred by the Fae or Gods and Goddesses. Imbolc is the time of new life coming into being, so it is not really the time to harvest.
To begin: Pretty much all yellow and white flowers are wonderful to use around this time, they impart the feeling of the season, especially snowdrops. Often seen peeping from a layer of snow late January . There are also daffodils, iris, crocus,violets, tulips and pansies you can work with as far as flowers go. They represent the return of the sun and reawakening of the earth. Purity, youth, and life.
There are however a variety of evergreens that really pack a wallop as far as use and properties that I feel are often overlooked. Most carry properties good for cleansing, actual antibacterial stuff we are talking! As well as spiritual, metaphysical purification, they bring positive energy, protection, peace, cooperation, healing, health, and blessings to the home. Evergreen represent immortality, reincarnation, and youth. Look into: Cypress, sage, pine, heather, And bay.
Some of my favorites:
Blackberry- a plant of fire. Encourages protection, fertility, prosperity, and healing.
Blackthorn- sacred to the Fae. Properties focus on fertility, purification, creating a wand, wishes, and divination.
Cypress- purifying, healing, protection,health, home blessing, réincarnation cycle, youth, strength, and immortality.
Basil-wards Off harmful spells and entities from the home. Keep away pests, protection, attracting love, luck for your journeys, peacekeeping, and prosperity.
Bay is also good for cleaning and purifying, positive energy , and healing dreams.
Celandine- works well to create happiness, healing, pleasant dreams, a peaceful atmosphere, protection, insight, clarification, healing, and protection. It is believed to be a natural anti depressant