Imbolc (February 1) celebrates the return of light, new beginnings, and fire. It is the time between Winter and Spring when the darkness begins receding and the days are growing longer; it signals the ending of the difficult part of the year, the harsh cold and hunger and bringing hope for the return of abundance... warmth, and food (crops), sunshine, and the beauty and colors that comes with the awakening of the Earth.
When celebrating this Sabbat your decor and altar should represent the season.The traditional colors of Imbolc are red, green, and white.. red for the returning sun, white for Brigid, and green for the new growth and life... plants/herbs, candles, and because it is also in honor of a Celtic goddess a Celtic symbol like knotwork, and/or a picture/statue of Brigid would be appropriate as this sabbat is connected to Her. Some people choose to include Brigid's Cross or a Celtic Cross. Another popular item for Imbolc is a corn dolly.
How do I celebrate? Well, I personally like to keep things simple; it is easiest for me with my lifestyle, my spontaneity. I don't keep a permanent altar set up, instead I choose to set one up at the time that I actually do a simple ritual just because of our feisty troublesome Mina; she the youngest of our two cats, black and beautiful, with an attitude! We love her dearly but she is always in trouble and into everything, and keeping an altar set up with her around... well it's chancy LOL usually something ends up dismantled, broken, lost, or chewed on! I have to even keep my kitchen cabinets locked with childproof locks to keep her out LOL
My rituals usually take place in my bedroom or if the weather/temperature permits, in the backyard, usually at night (1) to ensure I have privacy and quiet (2) because I work during the day. I favor candles and candle magick, as well as simplicity, so my rituals are short and sweet; they involve a candle(s), incense, a flower or some greenery (or herb), a stone(s) or crystal(s), and a prayer and a thank you in acknowledgment of the Season and blessings in my life. My offering is at least one of the following: bread/cookie, fruit, a flower... sometimes a poem.
My temporary alter is usually a rectangle board (about the size of a tray) or a dresser top. I often prefer to sit on the floor so in most cases I prefer the wooden board, unless I am outside, in which case my altar is a cluster of tree stumps in the backyard... perfect for an altar!
The photo below is an example for my tree stump altar... this was when I was in the process of designing it, and I sketched what I wanted it to look like. The stone is a thick triangular chunk of flagstone that was left laying in the yard by a previous tenant, and if you look at it closely you can make out a figure... this represents deity :)
A potted plant represents Earth; the wind chime Air, a large candle in a red dish is Fire, a bird bath is Water. The bird bath ended up being a hanging bird bath on a shepherd hook like the wind chime.
The nights are pretty cold this time of year, so I will most likely be celebrating indoors. My altar will include:
* A piece of fabric (Green)
* A Pentacle
* White Candles
* White and/or Red Flowers (for decoration and offering)
My other correspondences will include: