9 Important Imbolc Symbols to Boost Your Festivities


imbolc symbols illustrated snowdrops in the snow with snowflakes in the top right corner

Imbolc symbols are an important part of this magical festival. Here we tell you about the 9 most important symbols and explain how to use them in your

 Hi, my loves and welcome to WiccaNow. I’ve been covering one of my favourite Sabbats, Imbolc, recently. So far we’ve gone over the history and origins of Imbolc, my favourite Imbolc ritual, ideas for your Imbolc altar decorations and some delicious Imbolc recipes to cook at your celebratory dinner. Today I want to cover one more topic, Imbolc Symbols! 

Symbols are an important part of Wicca, using them can increase the potency of your spells and will help to increase the power of your magic. Read all about Wiccan symbols in our previous blog post if you’re interested in learning more. Using Imbolc symbols, whether this is in your altar decorations or in your Imbolc rituals, will not only pay tribute to the goddess of the sabbat but will also increase the potency of any rituals you perform. 

pentagram gif
The most famous of Wiccan symbols, the Pentagram. Did you know that this actually has nothing to do with the “devil” and actually represents the 3 aspects of the Triple Goddess joined together with the 2 aspects of the Horned God in their cyclical and eternal embrace?

So, how do you use these symbols? Well, as mentioned above, why not place a couple on your Imbolc altar? Don’t have an altar? No problem, find a nice candle, take a pin and inscribe a couple of symbols onto it before you burn it during your Imbolc celebration.

Don’t have time to have a celebration? Don’t worry! Being Wiccan means that there is a lot of flexibility in how you want to do things. If you can’t celebrate because you’re still not letting people know that you’re Wiccan (this is more common than you realise), why don’t you wear an Imbolc colour as a way of honouring the sabbat. No one will ever know why you wore that red hair clip or a yellow t-shirt yet you are honouring the Sabbat anyway!

My Top 8 Imbolc Symbols

Here are my 8 favourite Imbolc symbols, use as many or as few as you like in your celebrations and remember that being Wiccan means flexibility. If there is a symbol that speaks to you of spring and the Goddess Brigid, please don’t think you can’t use that instead of my suggestions!

Goddess Brigid gif
An interpretation of the Brigid, Goddess of Fire, Poetry, Wisdom, Fertility, Metalwork and my favourite Imbolc Deity.

Imbolc Symbol #1 Blackberry

Imbolc symbols #1 blackberry
Blackberries are not only delicious but also one of my Imbolc symbols and a favourite of the Goddess Brigid.

This is a plant that is sacred to the Goddess Brigid. The leaves and berries attract healing and prosperity, something that fits well to Imbolc. If you have a garden, you could plant out a blackberry cane (although to be honest it’s probably still too cold). Otherwise, why not bake a blackberry pie and add it to your altar? Then you get the pleasure of eating it on the evening (or day) of Imbolc!

Imbolc Symbol #2 Brigids Cross

This is one that we’ve mentioned before and might be one of the most well-known Imbolc symbols. It’s a traditional fire wheel symbol which is typically woven with rushes and has 4 equal length arms with a woven square into the middle. While a cross is typically seen as a Christian symbol, the origins of this particular cross pre-date Christianity. 

Making these crosses was often a group activity, and enough would be made to hang over every door and window of the home. This would provide the house with protection and keep the inhabitants safe from harm. Another common place to hang a Brigid’s cross was over the hearth. Brigid is the Goddess of the Hearth so hanging a cross over the hearth was considered a great way to honour her and also invoke her protection in preventing harmful fires. 

Fun fact: The Brigid’s Cross is a common symbol in Ireland, it’s as well known as a shamrock. It used to be the symbol of the department of health and is still the logo of “An Bord Altranais” which is the Irish Nursing Board.

Here is a tutorial so you can make your own Brigid’s Cross.

Imbolc Symbol #3 Brigid Doll

Imbolc Symbol #3 Brigid corn doll
A corn husk Brigid Doll. These can also be made with straw if you prefer or can’t find corn husks. Image from John Morgan.

The Goddess Brigid is often seen as a manifestation of the Triple Goddess. At Imbolc, she is seen in her Maiden aspect and is a symbol of good luck and fertility. A traditional Brigid Doll was made with corn husks and then placed on the Imbolc altar or near the hearth or kitchen. By having a Brigid Doll in the home you are inviting in fertility and abundance. Don’t worry, if you are currently in a fertility avoidance, i.e. birth control, phase of your life, think of the fertility she brings as a form of luck and plenty rather than fertility relating to pregnancy and children.

Make Your Own Brigid Doll

Supplies

  • Corn husks. Fresh corn might not be available at this time of year, so check in a craft shop or you could look for a place which sells Mexican ingredients and use corn husks meant for Tamales. If the husks are dried and brittle, soak them in water for a bit to soften them up and to make sure that they don’t crack when you bend them. If you can’t find corn husks, don’t worry because it’s also common to use straw to make these dolls. 
  • Ribbon or string
  • Cotton Balls
  • Decorations of your choice like beads or coloured ribbons etc

Method

  1. Take a strip of corn husk and fold it in ½. Take a couple of cotton balls and place them at the ½ way fold. Twist the husk and then tye it with ribbon or string to make the head. Leave the husks below the head there, they will make your torso. 
  2. Take a corn husk and make arms by folding the husk in ½ and then tying the ends of the husk into hands. 
  3. Place the arms underneath the head, making sure that they are equal in length and then tie them into place. You’ll be creating here torso here at the same time. If you would like your doll to be a little plumper, add a couple of cotton balls to her torso before you tie it with ribbon.
  4. Take a few corn husks and arrange them just above the doll’s waist. Overlap them so that there are no gaps as this will form her skirt. Tie them into place carefully. She’ll look like she’s had her skirt blown around her ears at this stage. 
  5. Fold the husks down so that they form a skirt and hide the yarn you’ve used to tie them into place. 
  6. Trim her skirt if you like, or leave it uneven for a more rustic doll. 
  7. Let the Brigid Doll dry out completely
  8. When the doll is dried, you can decorate her. Draw on a face if you like, make her a dress, give her a necklace. Decorating isn’t necessary but can be a fun activity if you have kids. 
  9. Congratulations, you’ve made your Brigid Doll!
For another step-by-step tutorial check out this video.

Imbolc Symbol #4 The Flame

Imbolc symbol #4 The Flame gif
The flame is a great Imbolc symbol. Use a candle or for double the impact draw a flame symbol on a candle you plan on using.

Brigid the Goddess of fire. Imbolc is a fire festival. A flame is a natural Imbolc symbol! Add candles to your altar or light a fire if you are lucky enough to have a fire-place. The hearth (or fireplace) is another one of the more common Imbolc symbols, but most people don’t have one these days so using a candle is a wonderful substitute.

Imbolc Symbol #5 The Sheep

Imbolc Symbol #5 the sheep GIF
So. Many, Sheep. Draw a picture of a sheep, eat some sheep cheese, wear a woolly jumper. To honour the sheep you can appreciate any form of this creature that you like.

Because Imbolc happens at around the same time that the first sheep start lambing, ewes and lambs are another one of the important Imbolc symbols. They represent fertility and the beginning of spring. The first lambs show us that spring has well and truly arrived. They symbolise abundance and good fortune. Ewes having lambs meant that the long winter without fresh food was finally over as now there would be sheep’s milk available.

Imbolc Symbol #6 The Sun

Imbolc Symbol #6 the sun GIF
This majestic symbol is what keeps us all alive. Isn’t it magical?

Because Imbolc is a sabbat which celebrates the coming spring, it’s important to acknowledge the important part that the sun plays in our lives. Without the warming of the sun, everything would stay frozen and we wouldn’t have spring let alone summer. The sun is a powerful symbol. It chases away the wintery darkness and we honour the spring by honouring the sun which provides us with warmth and longer days.

Imbolc Symbol #7 The Snowdrop

Imbolc Symbol #7 The snowdrop in the snow
Isn’t this just the prettiest scene? No wonder people love these and often use them as Imbolc symbols, the strength they must have to flourish when there is still snow on the ground is astounding and magickal.

This sweet flower is the first flower which heralds the spring. It manages to pop is head up through the snow and is a sign that the days are getting longer and the sun is warming up. Having these flowers on your Imbolc altar is a really pretty addition and also has a lot of meaning too it. Because they are a symbol of Imbolc they will also help to increase the potency of your rituals. Carve the shape onto a candle when performing Imbolc Candle magic for extra strength. Some people even celebrate Imbolc when the first snowdrops come out rather than on a particular date.

Imbolc Symbol #8 The Serpent

Imbolc Symbol #8 the serpent
There is a Norse Myth about the World Serpent in constant flux, ever-growing while eating its own tail.

According to ancient Celtic mythology, the hibernating serpent of the world would emerge from its lair at Imbolc. Brigid is closely associated with serpents in her role as a Goddess of poetry and wisdom as the serpent is a symbol of creativity and inspiration. While you obviously don’t have to have an actual snake on your altar, why not carve one into a candle? The snake of the world which eats its own tail while continually growing longer represents the eternal cycle of life and death and is an ancient Norse myth. For my this is one of the more powerful Imbolc symbols.

Imbolc Symbol #9 The Triple Goddess

Imbolc Symbol #9 the triple goddess
This is the symbol of the Triple Goddess. The 3 moons represent the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone.

Another wonderful Imbolc symbol is the sign of the Triple Goddess. I will often make this symbol on my Imbolc altar with tealights. Brigid is an embodiment of the Triple Goddess so any tribute to the Triple Goddess is fitting for this spring Sabbat.

So, my loves, I hope this provides you with some inspiration for which Imbolc symbols you could use in your festivities! I tend to use a mix of multiple symbols by carving some into candles, adding one or 2 to my altar (I have suns embroidered onto my altar cloth at the moment) and using some representations of these symbols in the foods I make such a baked sheep’s cheese or a blackberry pie. 

Until next time,

Blessed Be,

Amaria xoxo

Shop Our Favourite Supplies for Imbolc Symbols

Disclaimer: We recommend products we love and use ourselves, but please note that if you purchase any of these products, Amazon may pay us a small commission.

gold pyrite crystal
Did you know that gold pyrite, or fools gold, is a sun crystal? Add it to your Imbolc decorations as a representation of the power of the sun. Click here to shop https://amzn.to/2vZ3CMn
brigid cross gold
Isn’t this the prettiest? This 14K gold pendant isn’t cheap, but sometimes we’ve just gotta treat ourselves. Click here to check it out https://amzn.to/2SXHQ4V

the green wtich book cover
This book is great if you are going down a green witch path. This is a particularly good book to read just before spring because it’ll inspire you to get into the garden and flex your green fingers! Click here to buy https://amzn.to/2wJC3XR
brigid cross
A kit to make your own Brigid’s Crosses. This set makes around 50 crosses so might be a fun activity with friends. Click here to buy https://amzn.to/39XEvs0

Amaria Pollux

Amaria is a herb and nature-loving magical explorer who always tries to look on the bright side. If she's not cooking up a storm, you'll find her snuggled up on the couch with her self-satisfied cat and a magical book learning everything she can about Wicca.

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