When a new moon coincides with the celebration of Imbolc, perform this ritual for new beginnings.
This year, on February 1st and 2nd, a new moon coincides with Imbolc, a traditional Gaelic celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice (the darkest point of the year) and the spring equinox, when the wheel of the year turns toward the summer solstice. This date is related to the Christian Candlemas celebration welcoming the light and also with Groundhog Day, which many have come to think of as the herald of early spring.
The Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, will also fall on this date, as it generally coincides with the second new moon after the winter solstice. From all of these perspectives, this date means the beginning of the return of the light. We’re not in spring yet, and in many places it may still feel very much like wintertime. But the days have begun to stretch, and there’s a feeling that the end of winter is in sight.
New Beginnings for an Imbolc New Moon
While the winter solstice and a new year may be appropriate times to set intentions and think about what we want in the coming year, it’s not really time to do anything about those intentions.
[Read: “The Liminal Joy of Deep Winter: Nestling Into ‘Not Yet.’”]
Energetically, we’re not supported with much heat or light coming from the natural world; it’s really more a time for rest and dreaming. Around the time of Imbolc, something shifts, as if we are waking up from our winter slumber. This is the time to begin to put our plans into action.
Ritual for the Imbolc New Moon
Here is a ritual you can practice on this Imbolc new moon to align yourself with the energies and intentions of this time of year.
- A candle
- A journal and pen
- A fireproof bowl with some water in it
- A jar
1. Begin by setting yourself a circle of protection. You can do this with salt, chalk, or your imagination. Settle into a comfortable position and close your eyes.
2. Take a moment to honor and acknowledge the land you are living on and your relationship with it. Name the traditional peoples of this land if you can. Invite the elements: earth, air, fire, water, and any other energies you want to welcome into the circle.
3. Take some time to feel into your body, noticing the ways it may be feeling the return of the light. Do you feel some new energy in your body already brewing? Or do you need to call this energy into you?
4. What are your goals for the coming year? What do you want? Write down your wishes, goals, and intentions. If you did a ritual for solstice this year or had some New Year’s resolutions, you may refer to those.
What are you going to do now to move towards those goals? What actions do you commit to taking as the light waxes toward the summer solstice? Write these down as well.
5. On a small piece of paper, distill your commitment into a few words or a couple of sentences. Do this again on a second piece of paper.
6. When you feel ready, carefully burn the small piece of paper over the bowl, allowing it to fall into the water. Keep the second piece of paper somewhere close where you can refer to it often.
7. Place this water and paper remnants in a jar. When you are ready to close your ritual, blow out the candle. Thank the land, the elements, and any other energies you brought with you into the circle for their witnessing and protection.
8. Sometime around the new moon (if you can, between the first and second day of February), go outside and find a place that speaks to you. Ask permission first, then pour out the water into the earth as an offering and a statement of commitment to your plan of action.
Good luck with your new intentions and happy Imbolc new moon!
Still a little in the dark? Discover how to tap into your light.