We sometimes refer to Yule as “midwinter” but Imbolc is actually the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. An oft-overlooked Sabbat, Imbolc is one of my favorites. It’s simplicity is appealing.
A reminder that spring is coming, Imbolc doesn’t have quite the effect in sunny (or drizzly) California that it does in the Midwest or the craggy hills of Scotland… but it’s still one of my favorites for being a celebration of the simple. Samhain, Yule and Beltane are showy and grand in their embrace of nature but Imbolc quietly ushers in the first signs of the showiest season of all.
Decorating your home or altar for Imbolc need not be a showy affair either. Start with a deep cleaning and then incorporate elements such as snowflakes, crocuses and white candles.
How to Prepare for Imbolc
- Discard candles burnt too far down to light.
- Clean wax off various surfaces.
- Discard any indoor or outdoor plants that haven’t survived the winter.
- Put away any lingering decorations from Yule.
- Vacuum, dust and wash the windows.
- Start fresh!
Once the house is fresh and clean, you can decorate for Imbolc. Scatter white candles along any surfaces where it is safe to do so. Plant winter and early spring flowers, as well as greenery like succulents and spider plants. As a finishing touch, make a winter wreath to greet you each time you arrive home to your personal sanctuary!
How to Make an Imbolc Winter Wreath
This wreath is filled with a combination of winter and spring elements, all in white in celebration of Imbolc. Flocked branches represent the ice and snow of winter, still present but lessening as the days grow longer, while white flowers such as roses and pussy willows represent the oncoming spring.
You Will Need:
- Grapevine wreath
- Flocked faux pine branches
- 3-5 types of white silk flowers
- Bells, pinecones, ribbon or other decoration
- Wire cutters
- Wreath hanger or nail
- Start with the grapevine wreath flat on the table. Decide if you will be covering part or all of the wreath with foliage and flowers. I prefer to do the bottom third or half so that some of the grapevine shows along the top.
- Cut the faux pine branches into pieces and tuck them securely into the wreath so that they form a frame.
- Cut the silk flowers apart, leaving three or four inches of plastic stem below each blossom. Tuck these securely into the wreath on top of the branches.
- Tie bells, pinecones or other decoration into the wreath.
- Hang from a nail or wreath hanger on your door or gate!