Click on the links below to see the complete documents. Each includes historical data about Candlemas / Imbolg / Imbolc...
2018 Ritual Candlemas History: "Welcome to Imbolc, (ee-molc). Imbolc is an ancient Gaelic word that means "In the Belly". It is a time when it is still cold, but there is the promise of the earth awakening and life force stirring, of renewal and hidden potential. All is pregnant with and expectant..."
2017 Ritual-Candlemas History: "Candlemas or Imbolc marks the opening out of the natural world, ovulation, and eventually emerging into the pure light of spring. Candlemas is when we come spiraling out again from the darkness. The spiral is the matriarchal symbol handed down frm mother to daughter..."
Imbolc Festival- A short history of Gaelic celebrations dating back to 10,200 BC. This information was collated for our 2016 ritual with excerpts from 2 different websites. There is a brief overview of Imbolc as well as a discussion of wells and springs and their connection to Bridget as entrances into the Otherworld. "Imbolc, or Saint Brigid's day, is one of the oldest celebrations marking the beginning of spring, and has a rich history in Ireland, Schotland and the Isle of Man..."
Imbolc by Sig Lonegren (from Isle of Avalon Knowledge Bank): Seeds, spring, Brigid as a sun goddess, and the connection between Imbolc and Groundhog's Day ("...shadows and light play an important role in any sacred space..." are all discussed in this article. There is also a wonderful little invocation that begins, "Dear Saint bridget of the Kine, Bless these little fields of mine; The pastures and the shady trees, Bless the butter and the cheese..."
A Trip to Ireland- "A Promise of Spring": This is an excellent site that describes the origins of the word Imbolc as well as traditions, the importance of Imbolc to the Irish people and Brigid/Bríg. At the bottom of the site is another link to more informatin about Bridget. "The mid-point of winter having been passed at the winter solstice (Dec 21), the days are now slowly growing brighter. Imbolc is often called the “rekindling of the solar hearth” and celebrates the returning sun, the promise of spring, and the steadily improving weather. It’s a very important time for farmers, who depend upon the whims of the weather..."
Remembering Imbolc by Beltane Fire society: Customs for February 1st on the outer Hebrides in the later 18th century...descriptions of traditions from two different areas of the country.
Imbolg : This site gives more information on Bridget, an alternate meaning of Imbolg, and some information on themes for ritual. "Imbolg, (also known as Candlemas, Oimelc, Lady Day, and Bridemas) falls on February 1 or 2. At this time winter starts to lose its grip (unless you live in Winnipeg) and, in warmer climes, symbolizes the quickening of the earth. This is a fire festival, with the emphasis on light rather than heat..."