Imbolic - The Esoteric Beginning of Spring
Imbolc is the ancient Celtic name for the Solar Fire Celebration that marks the hidden start of Spring. It is one of the main Sabbats, or seasonal celebrations, that make up The Wheel of the Year, which is essentially a map of the Earth’s journey through the changing seasons throughout the course of a year.
The Wheel of the Year divides one calendar year into eight
segments. These segments track the earth's progression through the seasons, and the symbolic cycle of death, rebirth, growth, life, and decline. Imbolc is the start of one of these Segments.
On or around February 1st every year, Imbolc is observed. Imbolc is the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. This year the exact astronomical cross- quarter date is on February 4th.
Regardless of the exact date, Imbolc marks the esoteric or hidden start of Spring. It is a time during which Winter still has its hold, but the forces of light, growth and warmth are stirring within the Earth. The forces of change are strong within the Earth, yet the outer manifestation of this change may or may not be seen.
This is a time when we are continuing to experience the cold and darkness of winter, as well as the period of introspection and looking inward this time brings. At the same time, there are small signs and hints as to the increasing light, and the approach of Spring.