These DIY Imbolc ritual candles are a lovely, cozy way to celebrate Candlemas indoors and out of the cold.
Strongly associated with the newly waxing sun, Imbolc is a celebration of the return of light and joy. It is traditional to light many candles on this holiday (thus the alternate name, Candlemas).
This emphasis on candlelight makes it the perfect time to indulge in a little ritual candlemaking.
Imbolc Ritual Candles & The Meaning of Light at Candlemas
Imbolc, a Celtic festival marking the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, is intimately associated with candles for symbolic and practical reasons. Celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, Imbolc heralds the first signs of spring, a time when the days grow longer and the earth begins to stir with the promise of renewal. The association with candles is deeply rooted in both the elemental and spiritual dimensions of this ancient festival.
Candles, with their warm and flickering flames, represent the returning light and the triumph of life over winter’s darkness.
Lighting candles during Imbolc rituals symbolizes the awakening of the earth from its dormant state and the emergence of new possibilities. The illumination serves as a beacon of hope, guiding individuals through the last throes of winter toward the light-filled days of spring.
Practically, candles played a crucial role in ancient Imbolc rituals when communities gathered to bless seeds and initiate the preparation of fields for planting. (Or to bless seeds for your magical garden!)
The candlelight not only facilitated these communal activities but also served as a ritualistic means of invoking the sun’s strengthening presence, inviting its energy to infuse the land with fertility.
In essence, the association of candles with Imbolc is a beautiful fusion of practical agricultural traditions and profound symbolism, illuminating the path from winter’s slumber to the burgeoning vitality of spring.
This is a super simple project! You only need five items to make these DIY Imbolc ritual candles:
*white candles (any size)
*dried evergreens (I used rosemary)
*wintery essential oil (try eucalyptus & mint!)
*scrap candle wax
*a small, heat-safe, or microwave-safe dish
Melt the scrap wax. You can do this (slowly, gently) in the microwave on a low power setting, or you can boil water in a saucepan and place your heat-safe dish in the boiling water. I chose the second method and used a mini casserole dish that worked well.
It’s hard to see in this picture, but there is a thin layer of melted wax now.
Spread the dried evergreens on a piece of parchment paper. Break them up with your fingers if they are in large pieces—the smaller the pieces, the easier Step 4 will be!
Roll the candles in the hot wax, being extremely careful not to burn yourself. You can use small tongs and grip the wick if you’re shy about hot wax. Personally, I just use my bare hands, but I don’t necessarily recommend it.
Roll the candles in the dried herbs. You can repeat Step 3 to build up layers if you want a thicker coating of herbs, but I like to keep it on the lighter side.
Aannnnd you’re done! Enjoy!