New Moon in Aquarius January 21 @ 20:53 UTC, 12:53 pm PST, 3:53 pm pm EST, January 22 @ 9:53 am NZDT Imbolg Can be celebrated on February 1st, 3rd and/or 5th!
Celebrate the New Moon in Aquarius with a candle blessing for the Celtic goddess Brighid or Saint Brigid, a lovely way to honour the new moon and a new journey, especially as we approach the fire festival of Imbolg on February 1st.
This ritual could also be used on Imbolg and/or on February 2nd, celebrated in Christian traditions as Candlemas. That holiday is celebrated with the lighting of candles, honouring Christ’s presentation at the temple. Imbolg, Brighid and Saint Brigid are all celebrated with fire.
I first learned this lovely little blessing and candle magic for Brighid so long ago that I no longer remember when or from whom. But I do it each year, in the Waxing Moon energies leading up to Imbolg, asking for Brighid’s support in nurturing my dreams for the coming year.
For me, this ritual also brings together the energies of both Imbolg (the initiation, the seeding) and Lúnasa (the completion, the harvest, celebrated August 1st in the northern hemisphere and February 1st in the Southern hemisphere). At Lúnasa we gather what we carefully sowed at Imbolg, and nurtured between the two festivals.
There is an interesting legend, shared by Kevin Danaher in his book The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs, about the Imbolg-Candlemas-Brighid-Brigid connection, which builds on the lore of Saint Brigid (known to some as “Mary of the Gaels”) and her connection with the Virgin Mary:
“A popular legend to explain why Candlemas fell immediately after St. Brighid’s Day. Because of Our Lady’s diffidence in bringing the Infant Jesus to the crowded Temple, St Brighid promised to help her by distracting the attention of the multitude. This she did by appearing with a headdress bearing many lighted candles, and Mary, in gratitude, decreed that St Brighid’s festival should be celebrated on the day before that of the Purification and the Candles.”
It is an interesting piece of lore (perhaps from a scholarly perspective), conflating the goddess Brighid with the Saint, Brigid of Kildare who lived c. 451 – 525, who clearly could not have been at the temple with Mary!
Candle Magic Ritual for Brighid
If you have practices associated with your rituals, begin with those before beginning the next steps. That could include creating sacred space, cleansing the area, setting intention, and calling on your guides and allies (especially the goddess Brighid or Saint Brigid).
Fill a small clay pot or planter with earth.
Insert a small white candle or tea light into the pot, saying this (or something similar in your own words):
“Goddess Brighid, I ask you to nurture my dreams. May they grow with your blessed light.”
Light the candle and gaze into the flame. Feel the flame draw power from the Waxing energies of Grandmother Moon and Father Sun. Meditate on your dreams, on what you are sowing, and visualize the outcome you wish to see.
Thank the goddess, and any other allies you have called upon, when you sense the ritua is complete.
The next day, plant a new seed or small plant into the pot (a flower or herb) in thanks, and watch your plant grow as you nurture and manifest your dream(s).