Episode 51: Imbolg and the Power of Springtime

Episode 51: Imbolg and the Power of Springtime

00:00 / 00:31:07

Welcome back to Round the Cauldron, where we talk theology, philosophy, and everyday life as a modern witch. Follow the show on social media, subscribe to the newsletter, and watch the show live on YouTube. If you like the show, please leave a review wherever you listen to help other witches find me. Don’t forget you can help support the show at patreon.com/roundthecauldron for as little as $1 a month and get patron-exclusive content. If you’re ready to hop into the show, grab some coffee, pull up a seat, and join me ’round the cauldron.

Before we hop into the topic today, which is sort of like a laid back chat and a description, I guess of what Imbolg is, how I celebrate it and how you can celebrate it, I have a couple of announcements. So the first announcement is that for the foreseeable future, I will no longer be doing live streams of the podcast.

This is mainly due to scheduling. It’s also due to the fact that my internet connection here where I live in this itty-bitty town is not the greatest and it, you know, it cuts in and out on a regular basis. So I don’t want to have that happen during a live stream. So I’ve just decided to go ahead – I’m still going to record the podcast episodes so that you can watch them on YouTube. You can watch the recording of the podcast and then you can also listen to the podcast later. Both the recording of the podcast – so both the video and the podcast will be coming out on the same day. They will still be coming out on Monday. The podcast will – that time will not change that goes live at midnight Monday morning. However the video, I don’t know if I’m going to do the video at midnight Monday morning my time.

I might do it more like 8:00 or 9:00 AM Pacific standard time. I’m not sure. If you have any suggestions about that, go ahead and leave them in the comments. Podcast listeners, you can send me a message on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or send me an email. And all of the links for all of my social media and everything is in the description and in the show notes. Podcast listeners, I know the show notes are typically attached to whatever podcast platform that you use, but you can also find more show notes roundthecauldron.com. So all of the links for everything will be in the description and in the show notes below. The next thing that I want to mention is that I am having a sale on my tarot readings. I recently gave away several free readings through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Mainly because, while I’ve been reading tarot for quite some time, I haven’t been doing it “professionally” for a while. So I needed to get some reviews under my belt. So, right now all of my tarot readings are on sale for 50% off. The year ahead tarot reading is, it’s a huge discount right now. It’s normally $75 because it’s an extensive reading. Right now, it’s on sale for $10. So if you want to help support the channel and you want to get something out of it go ahead and go to

roundthecauldron.com/shop. Roundthecauldron.com/shop. I’ll put it here somewhere. And you can purchase a tarot reading. Those are delivered through email with a PDF. You get pictures and a detailed description of your reading and what everything meant and what I saw and what I felt. You can also check out all of the items that I have on clearance right now. So if you didn’t know, I do crochet and I am moving into a more spiritual and environmentally friendly based product category, I guess you could say. So right now I have beanies and scarves and cup cozies – all kinds of things are on clearance right now. All 50% off. They will be there until they’re gone basically. So go check those out if you’re in the market for something like that. If you have any questions about the things that I make, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have a contact me page on my website, roundthecauldron.com. I take custom orders and things of that nature. And when you shop at roundthecauldron.com, you are actually helping to support a charity. So last year, for 2019, I was able to donate $50 to Johns Hopkins Sjogren’s Syndrome Center. And that was just the sales in the span of August to December because that’s when I really started to do that.

So this year for 2020, I have a goal of being able to donate $1,000 to Johns Hopkins Sjogren’s Syndrome Center. And the way that I do this is 15% of every purchase is set aside and donated at the end of the year. So 15% of every single purchase – sale items, clearance items, it doesn’t matter. There’s no restrictions. Whatever you buy, 15% is set aside for Johns Hopkins. If you want, I will leave a link in the description and in the show notes to their website and also to the section on my website that shows my receipt for my 2019 donation, so that you know I’m not just saying it to get you to shop. I’m actually donating and providing the receipts and the proof that I am doing so. So check out my shop roundthecauldron.com/shop for clearance items and tarot reading sales and let me know if you have any questions Patreon that as well.

Lastly, I wanted to let you know I’m having a membership drive on my Patreon. So if you go to patreon.com/roundthecauldron – what it is is there are different tiers set up for support. So it’s essentially like a subscription. You can do a $1 a month, $5, $10, $15, $20, and $50 I think. I think that’s how I have it set up. I don’t remember. But the link will be in the description and in the show notes. I’m having a membership drive. Anyone that joins me on Patreon through February 20th, 2020 will receive a free reading of their choice. You have to join me on Patreon at the exclusive level, so $5 and up, in order to get this free reading. But the reading is your choice. So you can pick whatever reading you want. If I don’t have it listed on my shop, let me know.

But I – one of my goals for 2020 is to be able to stop taking mundane clients for writing and transcription and different purposes like that, so that I can focus solely on my content creation, my own website, my own content, my videos, my podcast. But in order to do that, I need to make money somehow, right? So I have my shop, but I also have Patreon for anybody that wants to help support the show, the website. And if you enjoy my content, anybody that joins me on Patreon, whatever tier, you actually get patron exclusive perks. So for example, join me for a dollar a month. You get access to all of my content, my podcasts, and my videos before they go live. So you get to see it first. Every tier gets the previous tier plus something else. So go ahead and go to roundthecauldron…not roundthecauldron.com!

Go to patreon.com/roundthecauldron. And check that out. Let me know if you have any questions about that. Yes, so I’m having the membership drive because big things are in the works for my family and I’m not going to go into too much detail right now. I will eventually, but things are changing and I need to figure out a way to bring more income into my life so that we can save for this. But I also don’t want to ask for it for free. I want to give something in return. So Patreon. My own shop. Yeah, those are some ways that you can help support the show and the website. There’s also a way that you can support through Anchor who is my podcast hosts. So anchor.fm/round-the-cauldron I believe is the web address for that. And there should be a section for support. And I believe the way Anchor has it set up is 99 cents, $4.99 And $9.99 a month. I believe that’s what those are. I haven’t looked too much into that because I have a Patreon. But if you want to support me on anchor, let me know and we can work something out so that you’re not getting nothing out of it. Okay. So now that those announcements are out of the way, and that was a super long introduction. Let’s move into the topic.

So today I’m going to be talking about Imbolg. Imbolg is coming. So in the, if I could get words out of my mouth properly, this would all go so much smoother. Imbolg is coming here in the Northern hemisphere, it is on February 2nd. In the Southern hemisphere, it’s on August 2nd. So when we are celebrating Imbolg here in the Northern hemisphere, in the Southern hemisphere, they are celebrating Lughnasadh. Now, I got dressed today with the intention – I intentionally got dressed today. I know podcast listeners, you can’t see it, but I am wearing a pink like flowy shirt that’s got flowers all over it. I like to wear this shirt in the springtime because it just brings me spring feelings and I figured, you know, what better shirt to wear for a video about Imbolg and the coming of spring than my favorite springtime shirt, you know. So moving forward into the spring and with Imbolg, it’s one of my favorite times of the year and it’s because I really feel in my bones the need to cleanse myself, cleanse my home, physically clean my home and really sort of, out with the old in with the new sort of thing. And it, sometimes it weighs really heavy on my chest until I actually start the process. But once I complete the process, then I just, I feel so much better.

So, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I don’t know what else I can say about that. But I wanted to have a chat too about where I want to take my channel, especially going into Imbolg and this seasonal transition because Imbolg is a time of new beginnings. It is a time of starting fresh. It is often the time when we set goals because of the budding of spring. And this is the time, you know, when the new agricultural season would’ve started historically. I’m not sure about now because I am not a farmer and I don’t, you know, I grow my own things. But in Central Oregon, February last year, we got five feet of snow dumped on us. So that’s not really when I start physically planting my seeds. But it is time when I take stock of my own goals and my mental and emotional wellbeing, my physical wellbeing, and this all involves what I do here with my YouTube channel, with my podcast. Because Round the Cauldron started out as a podcast and I was able to branch out and reach more people. But I want to move it forward. I want to reach as many people as I can that will benefit from the things that I have to say. Now, I know I started this podcasts out – I started this whole Round the Cauldron thing out with the premise of being very Wiccan-centric. However, you guys have witnessed my spiritual growth over the past year and have seen me go from being Wiccan to questioning my Theisms to embracing Irish paganism and it’s been an interesting time.

It’s been rough at certain points in time because I really suffer from the impostor syndrome and thinking that, you know, what I have to say is not going to matter. That I don’t know what I’m talking about, and that I have no business being here and giving my opinion and teaching people how to do new things. But with Imbolg, I am trying to embrace that side of me that wants to get out and do all of the things, meet the people, talk to people and teach what I have to say and bring a new perspective. But I’m not here just to teach. I’m also here to learn. There’s so many people on YouTube and other podcasts that I’ve listened to I’ve learned so much from and I want to embrace that part of me that really tries to stay hidden because I’m afraid. Because I’m anxious about what might happen. So Imbolg for me, that’s what it’s going to be about this year, mainly.

Starting fresh and really focusing on my goals. So in the mundane world, I am a freelancer. I do freelance transcription, I do freelance writing, I do freelance editing, I record audio books through ACX and Audible. Those are all great and I mostly enjoy the work that I do sometimes. Sometimes not so much, but that’s, you know, that comes with the territory of being a freelancer. But I want to move my own business forward. I want to develop myself and work on myself and my podcast and my channel and my website and my shop. And I want to be able to stop taking on those mundane clients because my business is doing well. And that’s going to be a huge goal for me. So I’m not going to be able to stop taking on mundane clients. I’m not going to be able to stop doing any of that until I get my things, you know, up and running. I mean, they have been for a while, but I’m going to be honest with you, I suck at keeping up with social media. I ended up getting stuck scrolling through Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, which I don’t like. I don’t like to use Facebook very much, but I need to amp up my social media presence a little bit, I guess. I don’t know. This episode is really going in a completely different direction than I had planned, but I want to be honest with you. You know, and Imbolg for me is that new beginnings and the season of freshness and planting your seeds and helping them grow.

And in the spirit of honesty and transparency, this is what I’m trying to do. I’m almost to my goal of a hundred subscribers on YouTube. That would be amazing. And you know, I’ve got several people signed up to my mailing list on my website so that I can reach those people. And I’ve got all of you guys that listen on my podcast. You know, I’m so appreciative of every single one of you.

And I’m glad that you’re here. And I am just trying to reach further. That’s what I’m trying to do is reach further. So now that I’m done talking about myself, I want to go into a little bit about the history of Imbolg because, you know, I still want this episode to be educational and not just me talking about myself.

I want to talk to you about Imbolg, what Imbolg means, where it comes from, and how it can be celebrated. There are several ways of Imbolg, but I’m going to put the one up here on the screen for those watching on YouTube. Podcast listeners, it will be in the show notes, but this is where the word comes from. It comes from old Irish “i mBolg”, which means in the belly and Imbolg is one of the four Celtic fire festivals that are still celebrated to this day in places like Ireland and Scotland and Wales and Brittany. I think it’s celebrated there. I’m not sure about that part of it, but historically it was a celebration of the new agricultural season. At this point in time, the tides are changing. So it sort of reminds me of, you know, winter solstice. So the year has been getting darker and darker and darker.

And then you hit winter solstice and then the year gets lighter and lighter and lighter. So it’s kind of like that for Imbolg except with the seasons. So we know, it’s like you’ve got winter and it’s freezing cold or whatever winter is like where you are. And then you hit Imbolg and from Imbolg, the season slowly starts to shift and we can see the the signs of spring coming and the land getting more fertile and ready for things to start growing. Here in my area in central Oregon, I have seen crocuses pop up around Imbolg. Now I’m not sure if they’re native to this area or if whoever lived in this house before, we did planted them and they just keep coming back. I’m not sure, but the crocuses would pop up even in the middle of all of the snow that we had on the ground in February of last year.

So even though the weather might still suck and you know, it might be cold and rainy and it might seem like you’re smack in the middle of winter wherever you are for Imbolg,, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere it’s really a turning point for our planet and for the earth at that point. You know, we are going from winter and moving through that transition, getting closer and closer to springtime when the agricultural season will really start to kick off. And you can see the world around you growing and blooming and flowers and trees and animals and babies. And that’s basically what Imbolg is all about. Yeah, so a lot of people also celebrate Imbolg as Brigid’s day or St. Brigid’s day. And Brigid is very heavily associated with Imbolg and I honestly, I can’t find a lot of resources and flip through the Irish lore.

I’m working on it, but it’s difficult. But we know the two are closely associated because we have Imbolg and then we have St. Brigid’s day. And we aren’t 100% for sure that St. Brigid And the Goddess Brigid are one in the same. However it is very likely that they are, because St. Brigid Has a lot of the same aspects as Goddess Brigid. And we can assume that when Christianity swept through the land of Ireland and Scotland, that the church saw the importance of Brigid to the people and adopted her as a Saint. So on Imbolg, Brigid is heavily celebrated. She is a Celtic fire goddess. Essentially. She is a goddess of inspiration and like creativity and poetry and smithcrafting. She’s heavily associated with all three planes of existence in Irish, paganism – land, sea, and sky. And she is a protector of women and children and the whole process of childbirth. She is heavily associated with midwifery and it is said that you lay out a bed for Brigid on Imbolg and she comes and she will bless your home and offer protection for the rest of the year. There is also a legend of Brigid’s mantle.

Now this comes from Saint Brigid of Kildare, but a lot of though – but a lot of us that practice Irish paganism or who are doing research, we tend to assume that the legend of Brigid’s mantle has significance in Irish paganism because the story had to come from somewhere, right? So in the legend of Brigid’s mantle, what happens is she goes to a King and she asks the King for land to build an Abby, because at this time she is St. Brigid of Kildare. So it’s in a Christian perspective. So she goes to the King and asks for land to build her Abby. The King basically laughs at her and says that he will give her as much land as her cloak can cover, but her cloak is magical and her cloak spreads and covers all of the land that she needs. And the King has no choice but to say, okay, you know, I made a promise to you that you can have as much land as your cloak will cover and this is what happened. So she got her land. So it said that on Imbolg you can lay out a strip of cloth or a scarf or a Coke of some sort and Brigid will come and bless it with healing properties and that will be in the morning dew. And it’s something that I’ve never done before, but I’m actually going to be doing it this year.

I’m actually making my own shawl to use for this. So whenever that’s done, I will post pictures on Instagram. But I’m making my own shawl to leave out for Brigid on Imbolg and I’m really excited for that. There is also something that is done called smooring the fire and there’s information written about this in the Carmina Gadelica. I’m probably not saying that right, but this was written by Alexander Carmichael and it is a collection of myths and lores in Irish paganism, I believe. I haven’t worked my way all the way through it, but I will leave a link in the description and in the show notes for the smooring of the fire. And essentially it is a ritualistic way of putting out the fire on Imbolg and there is a chant that goes along with it. And, like I said, the links for that will be in the show notes and in the description. Lastly, I want to talk about some traditions for Imbolg. I’m not going to go into too much detail with them because they’re fairly basic and straight forward.

These are some things that you can do on Imbolg to celebrate besides doing a ritual. So the first thing that I would say is to light some candles for Brigid. She is considered the keeper of the sacred flame. And in fact in Kildare with the Abbey, they tend to to a fire all year long in Brigid’s name. And this is something that I do on a regular basis because I happen to worship and revere Brigid as a Goddess herself. So I have a different sort of relationship with Her than your average person, I guess you would say. Then obviously because we are pagans, we like our feasts and our celebrations. So for Imbolg, definitely have a feast to celebrate the new agricultural season. Eat fruits and vegetables that are possibly in season in your area. I don’t know the agricultural landscape of wherever you are. But take advantage of the feeling of newness and excitement and celebration that comes along with Imbolg and the spring season.

And along with that you can also do a ritual. Obviously your ritual framework will be different depending on your tradition and your path. But make sure that you keep the idea of Imbolg in mind and the correspondences, and the meaning behind this Holy day with your ritual. So this is going to consist of like new beginnings and planting seeds and ideas and goals and doing what you can to help those come to fruition. Now they call it spring cleaning for a reason. Most of us get that itch to clean our house and get rid of all of the things that no longer serve us in this timeframe. And I’m of the opinion that it has a lot to do with Imbolg, the changing of the seasons and our connection to the land around us. So Imbolg, go ahead and start your spring cleaning process.

Get rid of things that no longer serve you. This can be physically or mentally. Give your home a deep clean and a deep cleanse and really take advantage of this energy that is coming into our world, into our hearts and homes and our hearth at this time of year. And then you can do like me, I am going to be leaving a crocheted shawl out on Imbolg for Brigid to bless with healing and protection properties and I will keep that around my house. I will honestly probably let my mother use it because of her Sjogren’s Syndrome and I want to wrap her in the healing energy of Brigid. So that’s what that’s going to be for. So follow in my footsteps, follow in the footsteps of thousands of other people that have done this in the past and leave out a scarf or a piece of cloth or a shawl or a cloak or something for Brigid to bless on Imbolg with the coming of spring. And lastly, you can go ahead and make a Brigid’s cross. I have never made one myself because I’ve never had the materials or the desire. That’s some shadow work stuff that I need to work on with the idea of crosses. But I will leave a link in the description and in the show notes for instructions on how to make a bridge. It’s cross because they are very popular at this time of year. And I believe I read somewhere that if you hang a Brigid’s cross above your door, your home will be protected from fire and lightning in the coming seasons. Don’t quote me on that. I will try to find a source for that information, but it makes a lot of sense if it is bridges cross because Brigid is a protector of hearth and home. So that is that. And yeah, I hope you all have a wonderful Imbolg. I hope you take advantage of the energy of this time of year and do your spring cleaning and start something new. Make sure that you set goals for yourself and you do what you can to help those goals grow. So I will talk at you later. Bye for now.


I make every attempt to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you would prefer to download a PDF copy of this transcript, click here.

Imbolg (or Imbolc) is a time of celebration for the coming of Spring. Imbolg is one of the original Celtic Fire Festivals and holds a special place in the hearts of many. With the sacred fires, planting of seeds, and honoring of Brigid, Imbolg is a time of growth and new beginnings.


o Irish Gods: https://loraobrien.ie/irish-gods-pagan-celtic-mythology/
o Irish Pagan Holidays: https://loraobrien.ie/irish-pagan-holidays/
o Smooring the Fire: https://sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg1/cg1092.htm
o Legend of Brigid’s Mantle: https://www.yourirish.com/folklore/magic-cloak-st-brigid
o Johns Hopkins Sjogren’s Syndrom Center: https://www.hopkinssjogrens.org/
o Donation Receipts: http://www.roundthecauldron.com/donations/
o Support me on Anchor! https://anchor.fm/round-the-cauldron
o Lora O’Brien – Irish Pagan Priestess: https://www.loraobrien.ie
o How to Make a Brigid’s Cross: https://irisharoundtheworld.com/st-brigids-cross/


o Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
o Get it on Paperback: https://amzn.to/34wM1XT
o Get it on Audible: https://amzn.to/2S2NH8V


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