imbolc, also known as candlemas or brigid’s day, will be upon us on the first of february. like yule, this time of year is a celebration and acknowledgement of the sun’s return and lengthening days. it is a time to focus on home and hearth, to plan our spring gardens, to remind ourselves that the sun’s warmth is right around the corner even as winter lingers.
tarot is the main tool i use in my spiritual practice, and i love having a specific spread for each of the seasonal holidays – particularly these smaller festivals, which i find to be more personal and focused inward. while there are a number of imbolc tarot spreads available, i felt inspired to make my own.
this particular spread mirrors the shape of brigid’s cross, a symbol of protection and security, and at its center you should place the card in your deck that represents the sun to act as brigid’s flame. she is a goddess of fire and flame, in the sense of hearth, smithwork, or inspiration. placing her flame at the center of this spread brings light and positivity to the cards you pull for this reading.
the first placement is all about cleansing, or spring cleaning. ask what in your life needs some cleaning up. what needs your attention again so that it does not fall into disrepair? you may also feel that what is represented by this card needs to be thrown from your life altogether, at it is useless clutter that is no longer serving you and only taking up space – burdening you and preventing you from bringing in something you actually need.
the second placement is about fire and warmth. ask what in your life needs to be illuminated. this can become a source of inspiration and internal fire for you, or it can bring to light a message from your subconscious – what has been motivating you that you may not have been directly aware of. acting on the message of this placement can bring you warmth in the lingering cold of winter, until the sun’s warmth truly returns.
the third placement is about planting fertile seeds. ask what in your life is ready to be planted and allowed to grow. this placement is not an active one; it is about bringing something back into the fertile darkness so that it can pull nutrients from the soil and reach for the sun. perhaps you have been doing some foundational work, and now is the time to integrate – to bury it and give it the freedom to grow. this could be a message to set something down and trust that it will sprout in its own time, when conditions are right.
the fourth and final placement is about rebirth. ask what in your life you need to return to. perhaps, long ago, you set this down and for various reasons had not returned to it in quite some time. now is the time to pick it back up and remember the joy it gave you, how it enriched your life. this placement can also speak to gaining new perspectives, or repurposing something in your life to give it new meaning and presence.
as you interpret this reading, think about the bright, warm, positivity of the sun enhances or changes the meanings of your cards. look for synchronicities.
what is the larger message of this year’s imbolc for you?