Deriving from Celtic origins, this pagan holiday falls between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, illuminating a rebirth and cleansing period. Historically, Imbolic celebrates the Celtic goddess Brigid. In Pagan literature, she represents the safety of the home and hearth. Common rituals honoring Brigid include making bread, candle lighting, and cleansing rituals. Interestingly enough, the term “spring cleaning” is said to have derived from her influence.
Herbs also help with celebrating the sacredness of Imbolc. Typically, the ones used in rituals represent purification, rejuvenation, feminine energy, and cleaning.
If you’re looking to incorporate herbs into your celebration this year, take a look at some of the best ones to use outlined below. As you work with them, you’ll be more in tune -- and enchanted -- during Imbolc.
Angelica is a gentle herb used for divine guidance and intuitive support. This comes as no surprise, considering its botanical name, Angelica archangelica, is associated with the angelic realm. This herb is also a symbol of romance and feminine energy, which is vital for enhancing the intimacy of your current relationship.
To use angelica in a ritual, sprinkle it around the dining room table to evoke positivity during meal time. If you want to use it in a solo ritual, it’s recommended to use angelica in a bath for cleansing purposes.
What’s more, if attracting good fortune is on your mind, place the herbs’ leaves in a small bag with your favorite healing crystals. This will serve as an added blessing throughout the holiday.
Basil is an aromatic herb incorporated into a variety of earth-based recipes. Basil represents new life, making it the perfect herb to use on Imbolc. By incorporating basil into different dishes, its properties work to soothe tension with every bite!
For an easy fix, add crushed basil leaves into your homemade bread, salads, or sauces. Its delicious taste will uplift everyone in the kitchen.
The brightness of chamomile reminds us to connect with the sun’s energy. More specifically, it holds purification power for the upcoming spring season. Similar to angelica, chamomile is a representation of feminine energy. The tenderness of this herb cultivates relaxation for women looking to deepen their meditative practice during the spring months.
During Imbolc, use chamomile in herbal teas after meals for a calm evening. It’s also advised to lay chamomile on the table for comforting energy.
This lively purple flower is viewed as a symbol of everlasting beauty. In Ireland and Scotland, it’s used metaphorically to “carve” the path of a new journey. Heather is a great herb for those looking for a fresh start or entering a new transitional period of life.
One of the best ways to use this magical herb is to burn it alongside fern. By doing this, the combined power welcomes the new season with ease and grace. Heather is also a lucky herb, and can be used alongside chamomile to attract good fortune.
Consider using heather’s leaves as a part of your Imbolc centerpiece. Even better, use its branches to “sweep” the old energy out of your home and welcome a fresh start.
Iris serves as a symbol of duality between winter and spring. Alongside its radiant color, iris is symbolic of new beginnings. It’s the perfect flower to use for guidance towards a career change, romantic relationship, or new adventure.
To welcome the energy of iris, press its leaves into the areas of your home you wish to cleanse. This will bring vibrant energy into your designated rooms. Fortunately, the petals of iris also represent wisdom and faith; another good touch for your indoor space!
Imbolc is a wonderful time to appreciate the emergence of new life. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate it. Take time to experiment with different herbs, and see which ones fit in with your ritual. Don’t forget to journal your thoughts, feelings, and emotions throughout the day!