Imbolc 2023

The time between February 1st and 2nd is Imbolc (also known as Candlemas, Imbolg, and Brigid’s Day), which marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, and signifies the transition from winter into the first stirrings of spring. This holiday is about life renewing, but in the hidden darkness of cold months and dark earth. Deep in the darkness seeds stir and roots begin to feel the warming of the earth as the days grow longer and nights shorter. Life awakens, invisible in its infancy.


Like with new moons and full moons, I usually do a spread to check in with myself and give myself some direction for the next couple of months for each solstice, equinox, and other Sabbats. This spread is an adaptation of my Self Care Saturday spread, so there are sure to be  some similarities in how it is read. The focus of this spread, though, is not about Self Care, but rather about progress and my path. The time period is also longer, reaching through the next handful of weeks until the celebration of the upcoming Spring Equinox at the end of March.

Imbolc Tarot Reading with the Sabbat Themed Art Card, Pagan Underworlds Tarot, Compendium Of Witches Oracle, and Healing Herbal Cards Vol 1 & 2

Theme of the Season – Imbolc, Waxing Gibbous, Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

In order to begin, we must prepare, and Imbolc is all about that time of preparation. Rebirth is coming soon with spring on the horizon, and this time of year is all about preparation for what is to come. Whether this is prepping the land with the first plow, cleaning the home, or allowing yourself a little extra care and cleansing… now’s the time to begin preparing, setting intentions, and getting all your ducks in a row.

Like the theme of Imbolc itself, the Waxing Gibbous moon is a time of preparation for rebirth.  Soon, the full moon will be upon us, and its power at its peak.  During this time, power is building and condensing, and we must be active in planning what we are going to do with that power when it reaches its peak in another few days. Do we want to siphon off of that growing power a little at a time? Or do we want to let it build into something bigger and greater that we can utilize all at once?

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a common herb that is often used in cooking. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties, and has long been used to help in healing minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes. It also has been shown in studies to increase blood flow, and reduce blood sugar and blood pressure. In metaphysical circles, it is often used in spellwork that has to do with courage, building up one’s strength, and happiness, as well as healthy sleep and preventing nightmares.

When looking at these three cards together, the message I see here is a reminder that preparations made are not meant to control outcomes, but to pave the way towards what we seek to succeed at. Yes, being prepared can influence outcomes, but so can so many other things in life. Instead, they are meant to make things easier for you moving forward, often by clearing away obstacles that might otherwise end up in your path down the road.

EarthThree of Pentacles – Collaboration with others is something that it took you a long time to get a handle on and learn to accept. You have done really good with it through the past few months, and need to make sure that you continue on with that theme going forward. The busy season is not the only time when you need a helping hand. Let others around you carry a bit more of the load.

AirJudgement – Working on keeping negative self talk in check is extremely important. All that negativity has a tendency to pull you off track and keep you off center.  Don’t allow yourself to get to the end of your life and look back and think “Damn, I wasted so much time and energy on being a dick to myself that I missed out on all I could have become.”

Water – Page of Cups Rx atop Six of Cups – Experiences from your past are weighing heavily on you right now. Stop trying to push these feelings away or they will impact your creativity. Deal with them instead.

Fire – Eight of Wands Rx – You may be moving slowly at the moment, but still moving forward. Take things one step at a time so that you don’t allow slow movement to turn into stillness and stagnancy.

Waning – The Soothsayer and Standing Stone – Step aside for a bit concerning your explorations in mediumship. Just as you can’t be “on” all the time with your work and responsibilities, neither can you allow yourself to be “on” all the time in this journey. Down time is needed so that you can stay strong..

Waxing – The Dusk Child and Moon – Help yourself to better navigate the encroaching darkness instead of ignoring its approach.

Take Away – There is an impressive amount of prominently phallic symbols in this reading, speaking of your renewed vigor and encouraging you to enjoy it to its fullest.


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