Pagan sabbats: Imbolc, Disting, and Gromnica

For Wiccans, Druids, and many others, this sabbat is called Imbolc. For Asatru folks, it is Disting, the Assembly of the Goddesses and the Charming of the Plow. For Slavic Native Faith or Rodnovery, it is Gromnica. There are some distinctions between the customs, but the energy and nature of this sabbat remain the same throughout many different pagan paths. We celebrate the first signs of early spring and recognize the divine feminine in the form of Mother Earth that is slowly awakening. Traditionally, Imbolc falls on February 2nd, while the astrological date is when the Sun is at 15 degrees of Aquarius. For more about sabbats in general and to read about the pagan Wheel of the Year, check out Pagan Sabbats.

Gromnica

The word "Gromnica" comes from the word "grom" which means thunder. Perun, the thunder God, begins showing his force.

The word “Gromnica” comes from the word “grom” which means thunder. Perun, the thunder God, begins showing his force because from this day forward we expect to see more and more thunder. It is a very good sign if you hear thunder and see lighting around this time. The Goddess Mokosh rejoices in this fertilization of her lands and begins showing signs of the spring that will soon come. Traditionally, people light a thunder candle dedicated to Perun as a symbol of the light visibly starting to conquer darkness. They cleanse the house with that light.

Disting

Disting. We honor the disir – female gods, land spirits, and ancestors.

In honoring the coming spring, we celebrate Frey and Nerthus. We thank them for the gifts and ask for their blessing. We honor the disir – female gods, land spirits, and ancestors. This is the time when laws are made, grievances adjudicated, and contracts sealed. It is also the time when women plow the borders of the land to ward off sickness and anoint the plow with herbs and oils. Some areas are unplowed so that our landvaettir (spirits of the land) have an undisturbed place to inhabit.

Imbolc

Imbolc. Traditionally, this is a great festival that honors the goddess Brigid, the goddess of agriculture, dawn, and fertility, the female sage, and the protector of poets.

Traditionally, this is a great festival that honors the goddess Brigid, the goddess of agriculture, dawn, and fertility, the female sage, and the protector of poets. At this peak of winter, we banish the cold and move from hibernation energy to survival. It is a time of hope and anticipation. Translated, Imbolc means “in the belly.” It is a promise of rebirth and the return of the light. Underneath the ground, seeds are breaking apart and transforming into something new. Imbolc is a festival of awakening, dedication, and rededication, a perfect time for various initiations.

Energy and meaning

Imbolc marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox as a cross-quarter day on the pagan wheel of the year. Animals, plants, and humans have been in one way or the other hibernating and staying calm during the winter, which is still the season we are in. Not only is the winter still lasting, but it is also at its peak. This, however, means that it will now slowly begin to fade and give its place to spring.

The breaking point, the shit, the change, and the awakening.

The intentions that were set at Yule now need to be turned into action because the growth cycle is soon to begin. It is time to declutter the physical and spiritual space. We clean not only our houses but our minds and personal energies too, and we light a candle as a form of sympathetic magick to lure the sun back. You will notice how there is a certain stirring happening all around you and how creative juices are beginning to flow. Looking at the Triple Goddess, She is now transformed from her Crone form into Maiden and brings gifts of inspiration and songs.

Table of correspondences

SymbolismInitiation, insight, creativity, inspiration, rebirth, renewal, patience, pureness, shifting, youth, cleansing
ColorsWhite, green, yellow, brown
GodsPerun, young Sun gods, Cernunnos, Pan, Frey, Nerthus
GoddessesBrigid, Aradia, Venus, Diana, Mokosh
Herbs and incenseBasil, angelica, yellow flowers
AnimalsBear, lamb, deer, all hibernating animals
CrystalsGold, silver, amethyst, garnet, onyx
Food and drinkDairy products, raisins, seeds, pancakes
DecorationsBrigid’s cross, candles, lanterns, acorns, fire, sun wheels, soil, seeds
CustomsCleaning, lighting candles, finding signs of spring, collecting stones, creating Brigid’s cross, house and temple blessings, initiations, fertility magic, self-discovery rituals
NamesImbolc, Gromnica, Disting

Personal journey

It seems like this winter is lasting forever, and it was a weird winter indeed, gray. I was looking forward to snow, longing for it actually, but it didn’t come, and it doesn’t seem like it will. There is something magical and calming when everything is covered in millions and millions of tinny little crystals. The world slows down and gives place to silence.

I’ve been in the “Imbolc mood” for days now and feeling the change of energy, feeling the shift. Yule decorations are still everywhere in the apartment looking at me as if they want to say they don’t belong here anymore. I know they don’t. The plan is to take them down today and do some serious cleaning. My windows need to be washed. How am I to look into the world and see all of its beauty through dirty windows? The world seems dirty if you are looking at it from a dirty standpoint, doesn’t it?

Yesterday was “give plants food and water” day. I have a lot of plants that hibernate and only need water and food once a month during winter. I’m similar when it comes to social activity during winter and spend much less time with family and friends than I do during the warmer months. As I was giving my plants some food, more soil, water, and trimming them a bit, a small spark was lit in my mind. And from that spark, a fire grew. I began planning to make a balcony garden with cherry tomatoes and strawberries. I began planning to create a birdhouse for those nightingale birds that sing so beautifully every morning. I began planning to cook meals for friends and family, laughing with them, and enjoying their company. The energy of Imbolc created a breaking point, as it always does. I am awake.

I am awake. Poem by Towint.

I am awake

The shift is here.

Oh, Imbolc spark,

carry me away from where I’ve been.

.

The journey begins

with cleaning the outside

and cleaning from within.

.

I am awake.

Oh, long-forgotten Sun,

I allow you to come in.

Towint

And so the wheel has turned once again. The promise of spring seemed like an empty one for so long, but hope strengthens the patience, and it is much easier to look forward and anticipate what is to come with a smile than with a frown.

Activities

This is a perfect time to enjoy the process of cleaning. Clean the outside, and clean from within. Clean and charge your crystals, and cleanse your house with sage. Have a bubble bath to clean your physical body, meditate to clean your mind, and sing to clean your soul. Prepare yourself and everything around you for the spring that is soon to come. Gently shift your focus from stagnation to planning and doing. Celebrate the deities whom you find dear, and go for a walk in nature to look for early signs of spring.

  • Clean and organize your home
  • Clean and charge your crystals
  • Have a ritual bath
  • Honor the deities
  • Meditate
  • Sing
  • Make Brigid’s crosses
  • Look for early signs of spring in nature
  • Light a candle to invite the Sun
  • Cook meals with dairy products and seeds
  • Perform an initiation or a reinitiation ritual

Enjoy the music from some of my favorite pagan artists Damh The Bard, Lisa Thiel, S. J. Tucker, and Kellianna. May they inspire you and bring you joy on this sabbat.


Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again my dear pagan soul. Rejoice in life, and life will rejoice in you. May God and Goddess bless you in everything you do and spirit guides follow you wherever you go.

Pagan life, pagan blog, blog o paganizmu

In love and light,
Towint

23 thoughts on “Pagan sabbats: Imbolc, Disting, and Gromnica

  1. A very interesting post. The only one of the musicians I knew was Damh The Bard, who I think has a warm, welcoming feel to his voice. The others were all lovely, and I’ll seek out more from them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He sure does. It is always such a pleasure to listen to him. You should check out the ladies too. I like all of them, but there is something special in the voice of S. J. Tucker.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing these interesting meanings.

    Today I woke up with the Imbolc Song by S. J. Tucker playing in my mind. I remembered that I had briefly listened to it when I first saw your post here. Today, I had to go back and listen again. So very beautiful. I even looked up the lyrics. Maybe they contain a message for me today? Or maybe the beautiful song was meant to brighten my day. Thanks for sharing these music videos.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, it was definitely meant to brighten your day. There is no doubt about that. How much you take from the words is, however, up to you. Sometimes, just the melody itself is enough to move us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. I’m currently reading about Buddhism but think my home is closer to being Pagan. Tell me, what are SABBATS? I am learning but want to know more. Love the Lisa Thiel track! I like your poem very much. I also write short verses, within season, but as I am no longer blogging (for now) they will not be heard. Nevertheless, Imbolc or Brigid’s day is for me the best celebration of new beginnings 🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In short, sabbats are pagan holidays. There are eight of them, and they mark what is going on in nature and in ourselves. My plan is to add a page that will have a bit more info about them with every sabbat explained. But since Imbolc came, I wrote about it. Sometime next week there will be a page up there at the top of the website named sabbats, I promise. 💚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. have been trying to figure out how to calculate the four fire festivals astrologically. But so far I have failed. Now I know that an astrological Imbolc would be 15 degrees of Aquarius. I wondered if you might help me to figure out the others? It’s sort of a personal project for me.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No problem.
        So when it comes to sabbats, you have 4 lesser Sabbats or quarter holidays (two solstices and two equinoxes), right? They fall when the Sun is at 0° of Aries (Vernal Equinox), 0° of Cancer (Summer Solstice), 0° of Libra (Autumn Equinox), and 0° of Capricorn (Winter Solstice).
        The 4 cross-quarter days fall right in the middle between the quarter days. Sun is at 15° Taurus (Beltane), at 15° Leo (Lammas), at 15° Scorpio (Samhain), and at 15° Aquarius (Imbolc).
        I hope this helped. There are many astro pages online where you can find dates when Sun is at those positions for a specific year. I was planning to write about it this week, but I think it will have to be moved to the next one due to work I have to do.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. This is so great thank you! You put it so well and made it simple enough to understand. Everytime I researched it never seems anyone gives a straight answer. Thanks for this!

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s