Imbolc is an introspective time of year. Many "I" words come to mind for me: introverted, inside, inquire. If you do not already opt for a solitary ritual on Brighid's special day and would like to mix things up a bit, I would keep the numbers small. An intimate gathering with a few close pals is in order.
If you don't have access to a fireplace to build a cozy one in your home, I am a big fan of lighting many white candles in the main area that you will be entertaining. Line a mantlepiece with several small votives and use a larger candle for the table centerpiece. Keep the lights low and make use of your dimmer switches in other rooms.
It’s December first…. The symbolic beginning of the winter season, at least in terms of our modern calendar. It is, above all else, the beginning of a season of light.
But why light, we may ask? Why thoughts of light right now, when the days are so short and the nights long and cold? Why thoughts of light at a time of year when the land is muddy and skeletal, when cold rains fall and winds gust and one must bundle against the ice and snow?
Imagine yourself as a Stone Age person living more than two millennia ago. You would have spent your life living subsistence fashion, and when winter came, you and the tribe would have taken to a nearby cave to huddle against the cold, working by firelight and living off the provisions you’d managed to gather and store during the kinder summer months. You’d nourish yourself with soups and teas, sharing stories around the fire at night as way to gather your courage against the dark and cold, even as storms wailed outside. You’d do your best to be brave, ignoring the wee inner voice that wondered if the winter might never end.