I generally do not celebrate the neopagan wheel of the year outside of large, non-specific community gatherings. However Imbolc is an exception. I adore this time of year because spring is just around the corner (bringing with it warmth, new growth and food that isn’t root vegetables) and I can say goodbye to the fug of winter. From mid January onwards I scour screen spaces for a hint of a snowdrop or crocus flower because I know what is soon to follow when I see one!
On the eve of Imbolc I had a strange, transformational dream which I only remember small pieces of. There was some kind of ‘changing of the guard’ occurring, and I was taking on new responsibility and embodying something to do with the coming year. I feel it was significant and will spend a lot of time contemplating it over the next few weeks.
Just like last year, I created a large beef stew with seasonal winter vegetables for our evening meal. This year I also wished to incorporate a whole purification dimension to the day, as I was in desperate need of some.
I ate a very small bowl of porridge made with milk for breakfast and then fasted for the rest of the day until the stew. This was my first time ever attempting some kind of fast for spiritual purposes and it is something that I am interested in exploring further. I also cleansed my living space and shrines in the usual manner and then took a purifying bath. In the evening I lit candles and dedicated myself to some goals I wish to achieve in the coming year.
The whole day was informal and non-ritualised, but I feel better already!