What is the Spiritual Meaning of Imbolc?

This week we reach the midpoint of winter, marked by the cross-quarter day of Imbolc. Traditionally, Imbolc begins at sundown on February 1st & continues through February 2nd.

Imbolc is an ancient Celtic holiday celebrating the very first stirrings of new life–the earliest breaths of spring. Even though there may still be snow on the ground where you are, even if it’s freezing cold outside, we are beginning to feel the very earliest hints of spring rising in our spirits.

After months of turning inward, of hibernation & of rest, life is beginning to stir again.

Depending on where you are, you may be seeing the first spring flowers beginning to show signs of life. Here in Seattle I’ve been spying crocuses & daffodils rising up through the earth.

Spiritually, this is a time of new life coming into manifestation. We may only be seeing the tiniest hints of life above the surface but things are really beginning to stir in the darkness.

Just like nature is beginning to awaken after its dormant period, we are also reawakening with new dreams & exciting new plans.

This time of year our spirits are beginning to strrrrrretch & to shake off the doldrums of winter. And with this awakening comes a much needed cleansing.

When those new flowers begin to poke their heads up through the dirt, it stirs a desire to clear the ground of dead growth. I definitely feel like I need to get outside & rake up the wet, dirty old leaves I never got to in autumn; there’s a few perennials I never cut back. I need to get outside now & clear those things away before new growth starts sprouting amongst the dead, twisted old branches.

Imbolc brings this final cleansing for our spirits as well. This is the time to clear out the dirty old clutter, and the things that died within us during winter, in order to prepare for the exciting new growth to come.

These last few months of turning inward & descending into darkness, were all about identifying the things within us that we’re ready to let go of; those twisted old branches & dead leaves that we’re finally ready to clear away. This is the time to really let those things go once and for all.

Often that means Imbolc is a time of real transition & change.

This is a time of leaving what is safe & comfortable in order to grow more fully into yourself.

Imbolc Blessing for the Pagan Sabbat ImbolcWe talk about growth & change & letting go of the things that no longer serve us with anticipation & excitement. But the reality is, change is really frickin’ hard.

We are creatures of habit. We like things that are familiar & comfortable. But, real change requires us to let go of all that. We have to set aside what we know & step into a new way of being. And that can be really uncomfortable.

Imbolc is a time of facing these challenges. It’s a time of being tested. Do you have the strength required to make real, lasting change? Can you leave what is safe, comfortable & familiar in order to grow more fully into yourself? (I think, yes!) 

Because this is also the time when your winter dreams are beginning to stir with new life.

These last couple months you’ve been dreaming up new visions, plans & ideas for your life in the year ahead. These dreams are hopeful & exciting, and they’ve lit the fires of creativity & inspiration within you. This fire will give you the strength to walk through this challenging time of being tested by change.

Like the groundhog that makes headlines this time of year, we’re also beginning to poke our heads out from our own inner worlds. This is the time to begin to bring your own inner work, those dreams & changes you’ve been dreaming about, out into the world.

And in the beautiful, divine brilliance of nature, the growing energy of the season is supporting you in that powerful work.

I hope you are able to embrace this time of new beginnings & of change, because this is how your spirit grows & evolves–even when it’s really uncomfortable. (Especially when its uncomfortable!)

Below are a few journal prompts to help you tap into the energy of Imbolc & reflect on what’s happening spiritually at this time of year.

And click here for 2 lovely rituals/ceremonies to help you honor this sacred seasonal day & tap into its transformational power.

Brightest Imbolc blessings to you, my friends! I hope this all your winter dreams come to life & this new year takes you to exciting, powerful places.

Sending you so much love on your journey.
love, erin



The Seasonal Soul * Solstice, Equinox

Journal Prompts for Imbolc

1. While you’ve been cooped up over the winter, what has been growing & stirring within you?

2. What tiny buds of new life are beginning to appear from those winter dreams? What new beginning are you experiencing?

3. What are the projects & plans you’d like to bring to life over the next few months?

4. Are there changes currently taking place in your life, or transitions you are experiencing that are making you feel out of balance or uncomfortable?

The Seasonal Soul swooshes. http://www.TheSeasonalSoul.com


24 responses to “What is the Spiritual Meaning of Imbolc?”

  1. Casey Avatar

    Thank you! I adore you too! From start to end, I felt wrapped in a warm glowing light that coaxed me saying it is time to spread your wings, time to transform and become the beautiful butterfly you are. The whole time I was warned with self Love and a feeling of peace. 💚💜

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Casey!! 💜💜💜 What a beautiful message. Thank you so much! I am so touched that this was your feeling as you read this post. And yes, it is INDEED time for you to transform & spread those wings. This is absolutely your moment. I am so thankful you are here. Blessing to you, my friend! xo

  2. Kathy Avatar

    Just came across your post. I wanted to say that l really enjoyed reading about Imbolc

  3. Audre Avatar

    Thank you!

  4. Anni Cree Avatar

    Beautiful thank u so much

  5. Ann Avatar

    Please sign me up to your newsletter
    Thank you

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Thank you Ann. I have added you!

  6. Nancy Avatar

    Please sign me up for your soul letter, sounds like fun 😊

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Wonderful Nancy. I’ve added you. Welcome!

  7. Lisa Avatar

    That’s a beautiful ritual. I’ve been researching Bridgit and have discovered Imbolc. I’m interested in receiving your newsletter

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Will do, Lisa! I have you added! Thank you.

  8. Vicky Avatar

    I really enjoyed the information about symbolic. Thank you.

  9. Peony Avatar

    Lovely! Thank you so much 😊

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      You’re so welcome, Peony 💗

  10. Shari Joly Avatar
    Shari Joly

    I love your newsletters and blogs! Thank and Blessed be!

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Thank you Shari. I really appreciate you reading! xo

  11. Natalie Avatar

    Thank you for this post. It was just what I was looking for and resonates with me 🙂 blessings xx Natalie

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      You’re so welcome, Natalie. Thank you for reading!!

  12. Jennifer Srok Avatar
    Jennifer Srok

    This is the first article of yours that I have read and I can see I’ll be returning time and time again to research, learn and grow right here! Thank You. Blessed Be and happy Imbolc.
    PS I’m fairly new on this path of nature based spirituality and have only recently (just over a year ago) decided to actually let go of my old belief systems that have been rolling around in my head, but not in my heart, for most of my life. I have never felt more centered, grounded and certain ever before! I’m happily unaffiliated and a solitary of the green witch/home & hearth sort ♡.

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Jennifer, thank you so much for your kind words. Welcome! And I look forward to having you back here often. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions on your path. Sending you so much love!!

  13. Carol Rahn Avatar
    Carol Rahn

    So excited to discover your post just in time for Imbolc. I am gradually learning a new way to live the year and this will be a valuable site on my journey. I am now a crone, but feel such a sizzling of new birth. Thank you.

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      This is really beautiful, Carol. I am so glad I could be a small part of your journey. Thank you so much for reading. Sending love, xo erin

  14. Anna Avatar

    This was an amazing article . I followed it and now I’m going to bed and starting my best self tomorrow. Thanks for this!

    1. Erin Bruce Avatar

      Wonderful, Anne. Thank you so much for reading!! xo

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I’m so glad you’ve made your way here! Please don’t leave without downloading my free gift to you.💕

This year-long journal includes insightful reflections for every season AND this beautiful Wheel of the Year to follow all the seasonal holidays.

xo ♡ erin