The Awakening of Spring

By Jo Jayson

Imbolc is a Gaelic pagan festival, marking the beginning of the birth of spring, half way between the winter solstice and spring equinox.

Imbolc means “full belly”, or in the belly or sometimes in different translations can mean Ewes Milk. It is a festival of fire or light and it symbolizes not only the birth of spring but the birth of the sun. In winter it was believed the sun went underground into death and reemerged born again in spring. Imbolc is the birth of this sun, and it holds in its celebration, that which is of hope and that which is born of miracles. New life in fauna and flora, awakens from its slumber of the winter and emerges on the land. The ancient celtic Goddess Brighid is celebrated and honored during Imbolc in Ireland and the British Isles, called upon to bless and protect the home and hearth, animals and the land. St Briget’s day and Candlemass are celebrated at the same time as their stories and origins are intertwined with this ancient pagen festival.

Brighid – Mother Goddess of Ireland

(Brid, Bride, Brigid) is the Triple Goddess of Ireland but her influence could be found in Scotland as Bride, England as Brigantia and around western Europe. The Romans named her Minerva, Athena in Greek. Her realms were many, she was known and loved as the Goddess of Fertility and Midwifery., bringing in the ‘birthing” of Spring, new life of fauna and flora and cattle. She is a Sun and Fire Goddess similar to the Greek Vesta, bringing warmth and safety to the home and hearth, and purification and healing through the fire element similar to Pele. As well as a Sun Goddess, she also rules the Moon, the magical realms of inspiration and poetry and all kinds of crafts including smith work and weaving. Her connection so closely to the cycles and energy of nature, made her the perfect Goddess of healing and plant medicine. The Triple essence of this Goddess denotes the Maid, the Mother and the Wise One.

When Christianity moved its way into the pagan Ireland and Celtic region, loyalty for Brighid was so strong and present in daily life and culture, that the Church chose a Saint that would hold her name, essence and realm, to satisfy the people. The stories of the Saint and the Goddess were so inextricably interwoven that it is hard to disconnect them. Where once it was believed that 19 Priestesses tended to Brighid’s Eternal Flame, now in present time, 19 nuns of St Brigit tend again to the Eternal Flame at Brighid’s Healing Well in Kildare, Ireland. Brighid is believed to be the female counterpart of Lugh The Ildana, and also Archangel Michael, with her warrior and protective energy. Imbolc (meaning ‘in the belly’) or St Brigit’s day, is celebrated (Feb 1st) as a welcoming of new life and homecoming of the sun after the long winter days. Brighid can be called upon to ignite the Eternal Spark of New Life, Inspiration, Healing and Protection.

An internationally  intuitive artist and spiritual teacher, Jo Jayson helps women all over the world find empowerment, healing, and inspiration. Her paintings, prints, meditation kits and CD’S for physical and emotional wellness and empowerment are sought after and respected by her large following here in the US, Europe and around the world. Connect with Jo at and on the social networks.