When I was trying to conceive during infertility, I did a many lifestyle changes to really embrace the trying to conceive journey and integrate fertility into my everyday.
One of the many ways I integrated fertility into my everyday life was by staying aware of the seasons and how the earth was changing.
The Wheel of the Year and Fertility
Earth and sun worshiping cultures throughout time have always celebrated the turning of the seasons and their relation to the fertility of the earth. This was primarily because these people depended on the fertility of the land for their subsistence. Rituals and celebrations were built around the crop cycle.
Many modern holidays are based on these ancient holidays, for example, Christmas & the Winter Solstice and Halloween & Samhain. The beginning of February (Feb 1-3) marks three holidays- for the Celts it is Imbolc, for modern Christians it is Candlemas, and for Catholics it is also St. Brigid’s Day.
In this post I am going to talk primarily about Imbolc and its relation to fertility. For more information on the related Catholic feast day, see my post on Praying to St. Brigid for Fertility.
Imbolc as Fertility Celebration
Imbolc is a holiday of fire, fertility, and midwifery, and is celebrated on February 1st, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It a celebration of the lengthening of the days. Although we are not in full spring, we can see it coming.
The air may still feel cold, but the longer hours of sun are warming the earth. The seeds can feel the sun, and are starting to sprout under the dirt- even though it may be a while before they are brave enough to push up into the sunlight. In some areas the first lambs are starting to be born, a sure sign that spring will return. The word Imbolc literally means “in the belly” in reference to the pregnancy of the ewes- female sheep.
Take a moment to think about our bodies as the earth. Just as the earth was cold and dormant during the winter, we too take time in the winter to rest, heal, and recuperate. But the longer hours of sunlight wake our bodies just as they wake the seeds and the earth. Our wombs grow warmer, and our eggs grow stronger. The seed, the fire of fertility, lives within us and is ready for spring!
If you are trying to conceive, consider celebrating Imbolc/Candlemas/St. Brigid’s day. Take time to think about the seasons, and to feel the awakening of the fertility to the earth- and yourself!
In addition to listing some traditional Imbolc rituals, I’ve developed a Fertility Meditation for Imbolc below. I hope you enjoy it!
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Winter Fertility Rituals for Imbolc, or anytime
Early Spring Cleaning
Imbolc is a traditional time to do your spring cleaning. Get out the broom, the vacuum, your scrubbers, and wash away the dust of last year. Make room for the new. Be sure to clean house in a fertility safe way! Check out my favorite non-toxic products, or see my article on Cleaning House for Fertility.
Melt Some Snow
If you live in an area still covered with snow, gather some into a bowl. If you have a fireplace, light a fire and set the bowl near it. As the snow melts, imagine all your frustrations melting along with it. This is your chance to “melt” anything you want to leave behind. Imagine the sun and spring melting the snow, and warming up your own fertile energy.
Make a Brigid Doll
Take some straw and fashion it into a little girl. Dress her in white, decorate it with love, and bring her around the house, inviting a fertility blessing to your home. At night put her in a little makeshift cradle. Here’s a how-to DIY post I found online. I ordered one from Etsy this year.
Make a Brigid Cross
Take some straw and make a Brigid cross. Hang it on your door as a blessing. Or, alternatively, order one from Amazon like I did.
Make a fire in your fireplace. Light candles. Have a bonfire outside. Spend time making wishes as you watch the flames. One tradition suggests lighting a candle in each room at sunset. You could also just turn a light on in each room at sunset- less of a fire hazard! The heat and warmth awakens the seeds in the earth, and your own fertility.
Now is the time to MAKE something. Anything. Quilt. Paint. Scrapbook. Create something- whatever kind of crafting brings you pleasure. Tapping into your own creativity awaken the creation power of your womb. No kidding. There is a great book on this called The Way of the Fertile Soul by Randine Lewis.
Light some candles and plant some special seeds in a pot of dirt. Nurture the seeds, making sure they get plenty of sunlight and the right amount of water. Consider moving them to your garden later in the spring. You can watch the plants grow as symbols of your own blossoming fertility.
While many of the Imbolc feast foods- butter, bread, dairy, and champagne, are not terribly fertility friendly- a roast of lamb with rosemary would be fertility friendly and celebratory. Spicy curries also bring heat to a cold February night.
Preferably in front of a hearth fire with some candles lit. Happy Imbolc!
An Imbolc Meditation for Fertility
Sit outside for this if you can, if not, imagine yourself outdoors.
Breathe in for 4 counts, and out for 8 counts. Repeat 3 times.
Close your eyes.
Imagine you are walking to a field that has a beautiful view.
Sit in the middle of the field and look around you at the earth.
See the earth covered in frost.
See the sun shining strong and warm upon the earth.
See a seed buried under the earth, directly under where you sit.
See it warming, and starting to stir.
See the seed sprouting, and pushing up through the dirt towards the ground where you sit.
Feel the warmth coming from the earth and from the sun.
Place your hands over your womb.
Feel the warmth and love that surrounds your womb, your ovaries, and your fallopian tubes.
Feel the energy in your ovaries.
See the eggs in your ovaries start to stir, filled with the warmth and energy of the sun.
See a beautiful perfect egg grow on an ovary.
Breathe in for 4 counts, and out for 8 counts. Repeat 3 times.
Be sure to finish the visualization around ovulation time with the egg being released and meeting the sperm! 🙂
How do you celebrate the seasons? Do you incorporate fertility into your holidays? Leave a comment and share!