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thinking about: IMBOLC, Ireland and manifesting abundance

In January of 2020, just before the world and my life got flip turned upside down, Adam and I made our first holiday together about experiences and took the most amazing trip to Ireland.

In a lot of ways, that trip set the tone for many things in our relationship I feel, but that’s a philosophizing for another day. ANYWHO

I had dreamed of visiting Ireland my entire life, and of course I had some things on my list that were must-dos. One thing that I just really did not want to miss out on, and thankfully we were able to make work during our road trip around the country, was visiting St Brigid’s Holy Well in Kildare.

You see, Brigid is the ancient Celtic goddess of fire, unity, childbirth, the hearth, unity and healing. She was also associated heavily with nature, the mountains and greenery, and was a daughter of the High King of the Tuatha De Danaan (kind of like the OG Irish gods).

Her well in Kildare is one of a few in Ireland dedicated to her. This one is so unique, though; so ancient feeling, so much like you’re stepping back in time or being welcomed in to a very personal space. And, you know, it is in a lot of ways.

The well is fed with an underground spring, with fresh and cold water that allowed me to wash my hands in its healing magic. Beside the well is a rag tree- people bring strips of clothing from ill loved ones, or from those who are having some kind of issue, and dip them in the water and then tie them onto the tree. As the cloth deteriorates, so does the illness. I am blessed with the knowledge that I was able to pray with a hand on that tree for healing for my papaw. What a special memory!!!

Ok ok ok so Alanna, why the heck are you telling us about ancient Celtic history? We aren’t all mythology nerds like you.

First of all, sucks for you if you’re not. Second of all, BECAUSE this week many celebrate Imbolc- a pagan Sabbat and ancient Gaelic festival of Brigid.

Beginning at sundown on February 1st- aka this Tuesday in 2022- and ending at sundown on February 2nd, pagans, Gaels, and Christians around the world will celebrate their versions of Imbolc. Pronounced with a hard kuh sound or with a “g” on the end (both are valid), Imbolc is old Irish for “in the belly”, which is pretty self explanatory once you know more. Like I said earlier, Brigid was a goddess associated with fertility and nature, so Imbolc/Brigid’s Festival represents the beginnings of spring and new life being brought into the world.

Interestingly, the Chinese Lunar New Year also begins the night of January 31st- an interesting happenstance that these two holidays correlate this year. Hopefully a good sign.

Christians celebrate this as Candlemas or St. Brigid’s Day- if you remember our Christmas around the world episode in December, many Spanish influenced Catholics extend holiday-season celebrations all the way to Candlemas! We love continuity between episodes lol.

Imbolc occurs around the time of year that the lengthening days starts becoming noticeable, and that nature starts to awaken. The intentions that have been set for the new year can begin to grow, and the hope that was celebrated at Samhain and Yule is coming to fruition. We’re starting to see the end of the darkness that is winter, and literal light at the end of the tunnel comes into focus.

I really struggle with maintaining an abundance mindset; I think that being raised in Appalachia, in a food desert and heavily influenced by grandparents who survived the Great Depression and War on Poverty era through frugality has really affected my mindset in many ways. I was not raised wanting for anything, just to be clear. But that mindset of saving things just in case they can be used, of waste not want not, of always clawing for the next tier- it’s hard to shake. And there is some very important cultural wisdom that’s been passed down within that- but there’s also a scarcity mindset, and that’s not helpful to manifesting abundance. In fact, it’s in direct opposition to abundance. That’s why this Imbolc is very important for me as I grow in my own mental and spiritual journeys.

I encourage all of y’all to consider honoring this holiday and harness this incredibly powerful and special time of year. Imbolc carries with it a gentle, soft power; more delicate than the permeating crispness of Samhain. Imbolc is the strength that it takes for a sprout to break through the frozen soil to reach for the sunlight- grab hold of that strength, the determination, and apply it to yourself.

Use this time of year to clear space (spring clean a bit) so that you can grow. So that your intentions and goals have the space to thrive. Grab hold of that strength of a sprout reaching for the Sun, confident that we will be imbued with his rays; use that delicate and underestimated power to manifest the abundance of a Spring morning. Claim the power that comes with this time of year- meditate on it, speak it into existence. We are thriving like Easter morning daffodils, having broken through the darkness and soaking in the light.


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