Blessed Imbolc! "Imbolc" is the name that many modern Neo Pagans use for the cross-quarter solar celebration that occurs around February 1st of our Calendar year. For those in the Northern Hemisphere it is the Mid-Winter Festival; about six weeks after Winter Solstice (beginning of Winter) and about six weeks before the Spring Equinox.
Wheel of The Year; Quarters and Cross-Quarters - The Basics
The word Imbolc is Gaelic in origin and means "In the Belly" or "In the womb" - relating to the final period of gestation before the season of birth that occurs with the Spring Equinox.
It is a time for us to think about our goals and desires for the year ahead as seeds that are planted under the soil. They are not quite sprouting - but these goals still need our care and protection while they gather strength and nutrients in the soil so they can grow.
In our modern calendar year, we celebrate Imbolc on February 1st. Astrologically, Imbolc - or the mid-winter point that is half way between Yule and Beltane - is when the sun is at 15° Aquarius. This year - Astrological Imbolc is on February 3, 2022
No matter what day you celebrate, it is a great time for Goal Setting. I prefer this as the best time for "New Year's Resolutions". This year we also have the Aquarius New Moon (Lunar New Year) at the same time as Imbolc, so there is extra energy supporting this as a great time to set your intentions and resolutions for the year ahead.
The Fool's Journey Begins; Aquarius and Imbolc
With my Pagan Temple (The Aquarian Tabernacle Church), we often take an Astrological approach to a Goal-Setting Ritual at Imbolc. We set the Sacred Space and then write down a total of 12 goals or wishes for the coming year; one for each House of the Zodiac Wheel. The Houses relate to different areas of Life - you can read more about the Houses HERE.
We write each goal in the form of an Affirmation that is positive and present tense, and then bless or charge each goal in the manner of our choosing; one could bless each goal with incense or oils, or by candle light, song, chant, prayer, etc. You may wish to put your affirmations somewhere that you will see them often, or even turn them into part of your daily prayer or affirmation practice for the year.
Additionally, if you are going to grow a garden this year - you could plant 12 seeds at this time - one for each of your goals. Then as you nurture and nourish the seedling, you are also energetically nurturing your goal or wish - and have a daily reminder to work toward your goal.
However you choose to set your goals and intentions for this year; remember to treat yourself with loving kindness. You are not a failure if your goal does not come to fruition - it just means that the circumstances of your life were not yet ideal for the growth of that seed. YOU still have value and worth no matter what seeds grow in your garden of life.
You have made it half way through another Winter, Spring is approaching and you can now decide who you want to be, what you want to focus on, and what kind of energy you are going to bring with you into the next year.