Gods and Goddesses of Imbolc

Merry Imbolc everyone!  I know today is usually the day of the Weekly Deity post, but I thought I would do something special for Imbolc.  This week’s Weekly Deity is a short collection of the popular deities honored primarily on Imbolc.  Most of the deities so honored on this Sabbat are those whose primary domains are fertility, love, protection, and/or the hearth and fire.  Enjoy!

Brigid: Irish goddess.  On Imbolc she is considered the bride of the young Sun god.  Represents fertility, protection, health and healing, inspiration, and guardian of children.  Her Imbolc festival was renamed St. Bridget’s Day by the Catholic Church.

Venus: Roman goddess of love.  Her sacred flower, the crocus, is also the first flower of spring, which is how Venus is worked into Imbolc celebrations.

Aphrodite: Greek goddess of love.  Goddesses of love and emotion tend to be honored at Imbolc not only because of the proximity to Valentine’s Day, but because Imbolc is the signifier of coming fertility–and love, in any form, brings life.

Hestia: Greek goddess of the hearth.  Protector goddess and guardian of the homes of mortals who honored her as well as the hearth fire of Olympus.  Imbolc, like all Sabbats, is based on the sun’s movements and changing of the seasons.  So gods and goddesses associated with fire come into some measure of prominence at these times, even if the main celebration of the holiday isn’t on the sun.

Vesta: Roman goddess of the hearth and home.  Protector goddess and guardian of the sacred fire.

Bast (Bastet): Egyptian goddess of the hearth and fierce protector of mothers and children.

Eros: Greek god of love.  Seen as a sign of fertility at this time of year, as well as love.

Inanna: Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, sexuality, and warfare.

Gaia: Greek goddess of the earth.  Since spring is on its way at this time of year, the fertility of the earth and Her goodwill is not to be ignored.  Gaia doesn’t play a huge role in Imbolc, but it’s good to keep Her in mind.

Athena: Greek goddess of wisdom and warcraft.  Roman counterpart–Minerva.  As a virgin goddess, she could be honored at Imbolc.  Virgin goddesses play a part because the Goddess is a virgin at this time of year–she has not yet been impregnated with the God, but she has already given birth to the new God.

Artemis: Greek goddess of the hunt and virgins.  Roman counterpart–Diana.

To learn more about Imbolc itself, check out my post on the Sabbat– Imbolc: Luring Back the Sun

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4 responses to “Gods and Goddesses of Imbolc

  1. Don’t forget that in Afro/Caribbean traditions Oya and Maman Brigitte are considered coequals with Brigid/Bridget on Candlemas (as they call Imbolc.)

  2. I see this time of the year as when she throws off the mourning robes and starts to get down and dirty.

  3. Personally , I’d add Demeter to this group as the lady of growing things who, according to myth, started the whole winter thing by throwing a hissy because her daughter got a husband and a kingdom far, far away. 🙂

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