How to create a no spend Imbolc Altar
Imbolc is that very special time of year when we can start to see the end of the winter darkness. The days are just beginning to get longer, and the earth is starting sprout its very first flowers of the year. There are many ways witches choose to mark this special time during the 1st – 2 of February such as, baking bread, connecting with nature or having ritual fires. One simple way witches choose to connect with this sabbat is through crating an Imbolc altar.
To create this altar you do not need any highly specialist witches tools or unique items you have never heard of. Many of the decorations can be created using items you already own or can easily make. Let me take you through a few I use each year.
When choosing your Imbolc candles try and go for light colours, the colour you will most likely already own is white. This is perfect for Imbolc as it is one of the colours of the sabbat and represents purity.
Twine or string
Bay leaves or lavender sprigs.
To make these candles simply take your twine and wrap it around the bottom of the candle. As you do this add in the herbs you have selected such as bay leaves or lavender. We have recommended these 2 herbs as bay leaves have been traditionally used as offerings to the sun gods at this time of year and lavender because it smells amazing. You can also use any other herbs or botanicals you have to hand.
Warning: Never leave these candles unattended and blow them out before the reach the twine.
Vase of dried flowers
Dried flowers tend to be a common decoration for Imbolc, with lavender often being the preferred option. This is due to the fact it is easily accessible for most, often growing in our own gardens. Dried flowers are often chosen over fresh due to the fact they can be left without having to be replaced for far longer than fresh. Lavender is a great choice as it has strong Love, protection, sleep, purification, happiness, and peace powers.
If you do not have a vase take a normal drinking glass and fill it with crystals (my favourite Imbolc crystals are Citrine and Amethyst) to hold the sprigs in place. You can use which ever crystals you have to hand but the most common Imbolc crystals are: Amethyst, Peridot, moss agate, onyx, selenite, moonstone and sunstone.
Imbolc offering bowl
This offering bowl can be as complex or as simple as you like. If you do not have a little bowl, you can do what I have done here and use the mortar from the mortar and pestle set. If possible, try and choose one in a light colour. In my bowl I have added a base of chamomile with bay leaves (these can be used to write on your manifestations or goals) and a cinnamon tealight (you could use any form of cinnamon this is just what I had to hand).
In this bowl you could add:
Chamomile – Love
Lavender – purity
Bay leaves – manifestation
Cinnamon – protection
Sea salt – cleansing / rebirth
White flowers – purity
Basil – prosperity
Imbolc is also known by some as Saint Brigids day, each of the witches sabbats tends to honour one god/goddess and Imbolc is Brigid. Brigid is the Celtic goddess of learning, healing, the smitharts/craftsman, and fertility. Therefore, you may want to represent her on some way on your altar. Many choose to do this by making the brigids cross from soft rushes or lavender stalks.
However, the materials to this cross are not easy for everyone to come by. Other ways to represent Brigid on your altar can be :
- Displaying an Brigid oracle card. This can either be one you have or one you can make yourself.
- A small loaf of bread or bottle of milk
- Carve the cross into a candle and light it.
The simplest decoration for Imbolc is a house plant. As this is a sabbat all about looking toward the spring bringing any representation of the earth on to your altar is perfect. Choose the plant you have that thrives best in any conditions such as a spider plant, cactus, succulent or a mother in laws tongue.
Have a blessed Imbolc!