“Candlemas takes its name from the blessing of candles on this day for use in church throughout the coming year…Christians used to light candles for the baby Jesus and Mother Mary and perhaps that is why in some areas today the snowdrops which are very much in evidence at this season are known as Candelmas Bells or Mary’s tapers.
“If Candelmas Day be fair and bright’…Winter will take another flight…If Candelmas Day be cloud and rain…Winter is gone and will not come again”.
If the weather in February is mild the blackthorn or wild plum may also blossom. The white flowers appear before the leaves on the black branches, which is why it is called blackthorn. The cold spell which often follows is known as the “blackthorn winter”.
“Candelmas Day stick beans in the clay…Throw candle and candlestick away”.
It was felt by the housewife of long ago that by 2nd February she shouldn’t need to get up by candlelight. In the evening the family would have supper by firelight and go to bed early”. – Festivals Family & Food – Diana Carey & Jody Large
Candlemas Day is the first of the three fertility festivals (Imbolc, Ostara and Bealtane). The first of the four Celtic Fire festivals (Imbolc, Bealtane, Lughnassadh and Samhain). It stands for new growth and new beginnings. The spark of Yule becomes the seed of Imbolc.
Ritual tools, particularly metal ones are cleaned and re-consecrated. Thorough house cleaning done, particularly of the hearth and areas where the fire is built. It is also a time to purify your body and soul. Take a bath in lavender, white sage, rosemary and hyssop for example.
Spells are done for the gathering of inspiration, to release the old so that the new can enter, to create and/or increase love and warmth in a household / relationship /family, to create prosperity and to welcome personal growth. It is a time for inner reflection, meditation, divination, and/or journaling. Candlemas Day, or Imbolc, is a time to reflect and evaluate your life and to plan how you can achieve your dreams.
Originally celebrated from Aquarius New Moon to the Full Moon, but was later fixed from Feb. 1 to Feb. 14. Candlemas Day, or Imbolc, began by enacting the rising of Dionysos from the underworld where he spent the cold months of the year as the aged Hades/Plouton. He then begins his growth from a boy into the god of wine, sex, dance and all ecstatic experiences. His rites climaxed on the day that doves were seen to mate for life, Feb. 14. Greeks also held a celebration for the return of Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, from the Underworld. Persephone brings along the Goddess Hekate and the spirits of the dead chosen to reincarnate with her.
Candelmas is a wonderful time to make new candles for the coming year. Along with feeling the joy of creation concentrate on what you wish to bring into reality in the coming year. You may prepare candles for general ritual work. You may also create candles for special needs which may arise as the year progresses, such as healing, protection and love candles. Having created them yourself they will have far more power than candles that are purchased.