Though Imbolc is considered the beginning of spring, in many places there is little life to be seen just yet. We begin to listen for the first bird singing its tune to herald in the springtime as other animals begin to wake from hibernation. And we too, as part of nature, begin to feel our inner fire return.
Imbolc marks the point on the Wheel of the Year when we can look forward to the first fresh flowers and produce poking their way through the snow and thawing ground. Soon, farmers’ markets will open with the first early spring greens and gardens begin to burst with life.
An often-forgotten practice of the green witch is eating seasonally. Mother Earth is intelligent, giving us the nutrients we need in the different phases of the year. The space between Imbolc and the Spring Equinox is our transition from hearty, warming foods into an abundance of fiber and enzyme-containing food that provides us with the nutrients we need and connects us to the wisdom of nature.
Pay attention to what is growing naturally where you live. Are you being led to move into lighter foods or nourish your body with heavier meals? As Imbolc opens the door to spring, you will notice many of the plants that correspond with Imbolc represent purification, healing, and new beginnings. Maybe you feel it’s time to push the reset button on your mind and body.
Plants that Correspond with Imbolc
Angelica: protection, uncrossing, healing
Basil: love, prosperity, protection
Bay: purification, protection, healing
Blackberry: healing, protection, prosperity
Camellia: divination, intuition, prosperity
Celandine: eliminate stagnancy, remove obstacles, increase happiness
Chamomile: prosperity, love, purification
Cinnamon: healing, success, protection
Coltsfoot: increase wealth and success
Lavender: love, protection, purification, happiness
Mugwort: protection, healing, intuition
Rosemary: love, purification, protection, healing
Snowdrops: rebirth, new beginnings
How to Work with Your Herbs
It is important to know that some of the plants that correspond with Imbolc are toxic if ingested. Make sure to do your research before working with a plant and show respect for its role in nature. Humans have a tendency to want to “use” everything for our own benefit but remember that plants can also be our teachers. Adopting the language of “working with” plants helps us stay within the mindset of their importance in the symbiotic relationships of nature. These are just a few ways you can unlock the powerful energies of these plants.
Imbolc Herbal Tea Recipe
The thorny blackberry brambles make a great choice for protection magick, but the leaves are magically and medicinally used for removing stagnancy from the mind and body. This tea helps to awaken your mind and body from the frozen winter, stimulating digestion to prepare you for the fibrous spring bounty ahead. The peppermint adds sweetness to the bitter herbs and is also great for digestion.
- 2 tsp blackberry leaves
- 1 tsp peppermint leaves
- 1 tsp chamomile flowers
- ½ tsp angelica root
Add mixture to one or two strainers and insert into one large mug or two teacups. Boil 2 cups of water and divide the water between the two cups or pour into the mug for a large serving. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes before enjoying.
Imbolc Loose Incense Blend
Incense is ideal for Imbolc, the “spring cleaning” sabbat. If you have a cleaning ritual you observe every year on Imbolc, consider adding some energy clearing like smoke cleansing to your routine on a day when it is warm enough to throw the windows open and air out your home. The scent of cinnamon brings a warming and grounding energy to the rest of the otherwise transcending blend. Frankincense, myrrh, and mugwort are classics for meditation and divination, making it a great blend to burn while you are in a meditative state to receive divine messages.
- 1 part frankincense resin
- 1 part myrrh resin
- 1 part cinnamon bark chips
- 1 part mugwort
Spoon blend onto a lit charcoal disc in a heat-safe container, allowing the smoke and fragrance to drive out stagnant winter energy and draw in the light energy of spring.
Imbolc Essential Oil Blend
I call this blend “herbal bouquet” and I love putting it in my diffuser when I’m waiting on spring. It smells like coming back from a garden harvest or farmers’ market, after I bring fresh herbs into my home and their aroma wafts through the room. Rosemary and basil also stimulate memory and focus, making this a wonderful blend for dreaming up plans for the year ahead.
- 4 drops Rosemary
- 4 drops Lavender
- 2 drops Basil
Fill your diffuser with water per the instructions, adjusting the amount of oils to the size of your diffuser. Turn on and let the aroma carry you to memories and dreams of springtime.
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