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Wicca Sabbats


~*~ Samhain ~ October 31st ~*~

Samhain, pronounced sow-en and called Halloween today, is the ending of the Celtic year. The Celtic new year actually begins at sunset on October 31. This ritual is known as Ancestor Night or Feast of the Dead. Because the veil between the worlds is thinnest on this night, it was and is considered an excellent time for divinations. Feasts are made in remembrance of dead ancestors and as an affirmation of continuing life. A time for settling problems, throwing out old ideas and influences. This is either celebrated October 31, or the first Full Moon in Scorpio.

Also known as: Halloween, Ancestor Night, Feast of the Dead, All Hallows Eve, Hallowmass, Samana, Samhuinn, Samonios, The Feast of Sam-fuim, Geimhreadh, Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas or Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic)

Date: Generally October 31, but some traditions hold it on November 7, or on the first Full Moon in Scorpio
Symbols: Cauldron, Jack-o'-Lantern, Mask, Cauldron, Balefire, Besom

Deities: Crone Goddesses, Dying/Aging Gods, Sacrificial Gods, Death and Otherworld Deities
Colors: Orange and Black.
Herbs: heather, mullein, patchouli, and sage my be burned; acorns, apples, pumpkins, oak leaves, straw, broom, dittany, ferns, and flax may be decorations.

Samhain (SOW-in or SAV-ayn) marked the beginning of the old Celtic new year, and many Celtic Pagans still observe Samhain as the renewal of the Wheel of the Year.

This was the night that the old God died, returning to the Land of the Dead to await rebirth at Yule, and a time when the Crone Goddess would go into mourning for her lost son/consort, leaving her people in temporary darkness.

As in days long past, Celtic Pagans believe that the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead is at its thinnest on this night, and that the spirits of our departed loved ones walk the earth, visit family and friends, and join in the ritual celebrations. This makes Samhain a prime night for any type of spirit contact rituals.

The feeding of the dead is a widespread practice, even in modern Celtic lands. In Brittany and Ireland food is always left out for these spirit travelers, and candles are placed in windows to guide them along their way, and these were the origins of the modern Halloween customs of the jack-o'-lantern and trick-or-treat.

The following are a few suggestions for activities that can be incorporated into the Sabbat ritual or done during the course of the day (and night).

Drink apple cider warmed and spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead.

Do divinations for the next year.

Make a spirit candle. This is a white candle anointed with patchouli oil. Say:.

With this candle and by its light,
I welcome you spirits this Samhain night.

Place it inside the jack-o'-lantern. This may be included in the Ritual, or done separately.

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~*~ Yule The Winter Solstice ~ December 21st ~*~

Winter Solstice or Yule, occurs about December 21. This is the time of death and rebirth of the Sun God. The days are shortest, the Sun at its lowest point. The Full Moon after Yule is considered the most powerful of the whole year. This ritual is a light festival, with as many candles as possible on or near the altar in welcome of the Sun Child.

Also known as: Winter Solstice, Alban Arthan, Feill Fionnain, Yuletide, Midwinter, Sun Return, and Fionn's Day

Symbols: Evergreens, Wreath, Yule Log, Holly, Spinning Wheel

Deities: Newborn Gods; Triple Goddess; Virgin Goddesses

Herbs: Holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, and pine. Offerings can be apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons, pinecones, oak leaves, and/or whole cinnamon sticks.

Ancient Meaning: Yule is a time of the greatest darkness and is the shortest day of the year. Earlier peoples noticed such phenomena and supplicated the forces of nature to lengthen the days and shorten the nights. Wiccans sometimes celebrate Yule just before dawn, then watch the Sun rise as a fitting finale to their efforts.

How Ancient Pagans Celebrated: After the Norse brought Yule into prominence it nearly replaced Samhain as the date of the New Year, and many modern Celtic covens still honor Yule this way. The Nordic-influenced Celts celebrated Yule with many of the trappings we associate with modern Christmas observances; decorated evergreen trees, wreaths, holly, mistletoe, feasting, and dancing.
They also believed that on this night the Holly King, as the God of the waning year, would battle the Oak King, the God of the waxing year, and lose. Often Yule coven rituals have members reenact this fight."

Modern Meaning: Yule is the remnant of early rituals celebrated to hurry the end of winter and the bounty of spring, when food was once again readily available. To cotemporary Wiccans it is a reminder that the ultimate product of death is rebirth.
How Modern Pagans Celebrate: Since the God is also the Sun, this marks the point of the year when the Sun is reborn as well, Thus, the Wicca light fires or candles to welcome the Sun's returning light. The Goddess, slumbering through the winter of Her labor, rests after Her delivery.

For modern Witches, Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon 'Yula', meaning 'wheel' of the year) is usually celebrated on the actual Winter Solstice, which may vary by a few days, though it usually occurs on or around December 21st. It is a Lesser Sabbat or Lower Holiday in the modern Pagan calendar, one of the four quarter-days of the year, but a very important one. Pagan customs are still enthusiastically followed. Once, the Yule log had been the center of the celebration. It was lighted on the eve of the solstice (it should light on the first try) and must be kept burning for twelve hours, for good luck. It should be made of ash. Later, the Yule log was replaced by the Yule tree but, instead of burning it, burning candles were placed on it.

Along with the evergreen, the holly and the ivy and the mistletoe were important plants of the season, all symbolizing fertility and everlasting life. Mistletoe was especially venerated by the Celtic Druids, who cut it with a golden sickle on the sixth night of the moon, and believed it to be an aphrodisiac. (Magically -- not medicinally! It's highly toxic!) But aphrodisiacs must have been the smallest part of the Yuletide menu in ancient times, as contemporary reports indicate that the tables fairly creaked under the strain of every type of good food. And drink! The most popular of which was the 'wassail cup' deriving its name from the Anglo-Saxon term 'waes hael' (be whole or hale).

Remembering that most Christmas customs are ultimately based upon older Pagan customs, it only remains for modern Pagans to reclaim their lost traditions. In doing so, we can share many common customs with our Christian friends, albeit with a slightly different interpretation. And thus we all share in the beauty of this most magical of seasons, when the Mother Goddess once again gives birth to the baby Sun-God and sets the wheel in motion again.

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~*~ Imbolc ~ February 2nd ~*~

Imbolc, the first Full Moon in Aquarius, is a time of cleansing and newborn lambs. The name, Imbolc, comes from the word 'oimelc' or sheep's milk. It is a festival of the Maiden in preparation for growing and renewal.

Also known as: Candlemas, Imbolg, Bride's Day, Oimelc, and Brid's Day

Symbols: Candles, Brides, Grain Dolly, Burrowing Animals, Ewes

Deities: Virgin or Child Goddesses, Gods as Young Men or Boys

Herbs: Basil, Bay, Benzoin, and celandine may be burned; Angelica, myrrh, yellow and white flowers may be used as altar decorations.

Imbolc is THE Sabbat which honors the Goddess as the waiting bride of the returning sun God. Before the Nordic influence, it was also the Sabbat in which the Celts saw the sun as being born anew. In Ireland it was, and still is, a special day to honor the Goddess Brid in her guise of bride. The modern Irish know this as St. Briget's Day, St. Briget being a vaguely disguise and Christianized version of the Pagan Goddess.

Celts would often dress grain dollies, representations made from dried sheaves from the previous harvest, as brides, and set them in a place of honor within their homes. They were usually placed in cradles called Bride's Beds, and nuts, symbols of male fertility, were tossed in with them.

This is also a Sabbat where candles are lit in profusion, often within a wreath, another symbol of the Wheel of the Year. These are symbolic of the heat and light of the returning sun.

At Imbolc the deities are still youthful and not yet joined as one through sacred marriage. They are innocent and fun-loving, and are waiting just as anxiously for spring as we are.

Activities: Here are a few suggestions for Imbolc activities, some of which can be incorporated into the Sabbat celebration or simply as something to make the day more special, especially for children.

Burn the Yule greens to send winter on its way.

Make the Bride's Bed using the Corn or Wheat Doll made the previous Lughnasadh. Dress the doll in white or blue with a necklace that represents the seasons. Lay it in a long basket adorned with ribbons; light white candles on either side of the basket, and say:

"Welcome the bride both maiden and mother;
rest and prepare for the time of the seed;
cleansed and refreshed from labors behind her;
with the promise of spring she lays before me."

Next morning, remove the dress and scatter the wheat outdoors (or if you use corn, hang it up in a tree for the squirrels and birds). this can be seen in terms of the Lady's recovery from the birthing bed and readiness to begin the turning of the seasons anew.

The Imbolc Corn Doll represents the mother nurturing her son, who will grow and become her husband. This is the earth and the sun, which is still weak but gaining in strength.
On Imbolc Eve, leave buttered bread in a bowl indoors for the faeries who travel with the Lady of Greenwood. Next day, dispose of it as the "essence" will have been removed.

Place three ears of corn on the door as a symbol of the Triple Goddess and leave until Ostara.

Light a white candle and burn sandalwood incense.

Cleanse the area where you do card readings or scrying with a censor burning rosemary or vervain, and say:

"By the power of this smoke I wash away the negative
influences that this place be cleansed for the Lady and her babe."

Cleanse the altar and equipment, do a self-purification rite with the elemental tools representing earth (salt) for body, air (incense) for thoughts; fire (candle flame) for will; and water (water) for emotions.

Make dream pillows for everyone in the family.

Create a Solar Cross from palm fronds, make enough to place one in each room of the house. Place a red pillar-style candle center to the front door; with palm crosses in hand, light the candle and open the door and say:

"We welcome in the Goddess and seek the turning
of the wheel away from winter and into spring."

Close door; take up the candle and go to each room of the house and say:

"Great Lady enter with the sun and watch over this room!"

Leave a Solar Cross in the room and proceed thusly throughout the house. This is great for the kids as you can divide up the tasks for each to do - one can hold the palms, another can open doors, another can carry the candle, and so forth. The last room should be the kitchen and here you say:

"Mother of the earth and sun,
Keep us safe and keep us warm,
As over our home you extend your blessings."

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~*~ Ostara The Spring Equinox ~ March 21st ~*~

Spring Equinox or Ostara, around March 21, is when light and darkness are in balance but the light is growing stronger. Ostara was not originally a part of the Celtic year, and all of its associations were given to Beltaine until recent times. Because it was named for the Teutonic Goddess of Spring and New Life, Eostre, it is assumed that it was brought to prominence in the Celtic world by the Saxons.

Symbols: Egg, Rabbit, Equilateral Cross, Butterfly

Colors: Pastels

Herbs: celandine, cinquefoil, jasmine, rue, tansy, and violets may be burned; acorn, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, honeysuckle, iris, lily, and strawberry may be decorations.

Modern Celtic Pagan practice has adopted Ostara whole-heartedly, and different Celtic traditions have different ways of observing this Sabbat. Primarily it is a night of balance in which night and day are equal, with the forces of light gaining power over the darkness. One tradition honors the God in his guise as a warrior on this date, while another views it as a time of the courtship between the God and Goddess, a relationship to be consummated at Beltaine.

Another Ostara custom of uncertain origin which has gained popularity in Celtic circles is that of awakening Mother Earth. The youngest person present is often asked to take a stick or wand and walk to the far northern point of the circle, the coldest compass point in the northern hemisphere, the place where the sun never travels, and tap on the ground three times. The youngest then entreats Mother Earth to "wake up". In keeping with the Celtic beliefs about the sacredness of three times three, this gesture is repeated twice more. After this is done you may wish to evoke or invoke the Earth Mother and make her the center of your Ostara festivities, celebrating her presence as the embodiment of Spring.

Here are a few suggestions for activities that may be part of the Sabbat celebration or something to do during the day:

Make Hot Cross Buns to honor the union of the Earth and Sun for spring. Slash the 'X' with your boline and bless the bread.

Have a traditional breakfast of buns, ham, and eggs. Save the eggshells and after breakfast, throw the crushed eggshells into the garden and say:

For fairy for flowers, for herbs in the bowers,
The shells pass fertility with springtime showers.

Wear green clothing.

Bless seeds planted in the garden.

Color hard-boiled eggs and add the symbols for the Fertility God, the Goddess, the Sun God, unity, fire, water, agriculture, prosperity and growth, strength and wisdom, spring, love and affection, and protection.

Consecrate the eggs by saying:

In the name of the Goddess of spring (name),
And the ever-returning God of the sun, (name),
By the powers of the four elements - earth, air, fire, and water,
I do consecrate these eggs of Ostara.

Point your athame at the eggs, make the sign of the pentagram, and see the energy flow through the blade into the eggs, and say:

New life watching as new life shall enter the soil.
Let those who see this life find it and consume it,
for all life feeds on life.

The eggs may be hidden and the Ostara Egg Hunt commences.
On Ostara Eve, light a purple or violet candle and burn patchouli incense. Carry them both through the house, saying:

Farewell to wintry spirits and friends;
On morrow we greet the spirits of spring;
Our blessings to thee as your way you wend;
And merry we'll meet next winter again.

Blow out the candle and say:

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!

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~*~ Beltane ~ May 1st ~*~

Beltane, is May 1, or the first Full Moon in Taurus. Other names for it are May Day or Lady Day. It is primarily a fertility festival with nature enchantments and offerings to wildlings and Elementals. The powers of elves and faeries are growing and will reach their height at Summer Solstice. A time of great magic, it is good for all divinations and for establishing a woodland or garden shrine. The house guardians should be honored at this time.

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana

Symbols: May Pole, Egg, Baskets, Flowers, Butterchurn

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt

Colors: Red and White

Herbs: almond, ash, cinquefoil, frankincense, marigold, meadowsweet, and woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations.

The first of May has been celebrated in song and verse for longer than human history has recorded the date. It is a time to celebrate new life in all its forms, and the time when the Goddess and the God are united in sacred marriage, their relationship consummated, an act which symbolically fertilizes the animals and crops for the coming year.

The most common ritual act which celebrates this union is known as the Great Rite. It is the symbolic union of the male and female principles of creation, the union of the two halves of the All-Power which unite to bring all things into being. The Great Rite is usually performed by ritually placing a male ritual tool, usually the athame, into a female ritual tool representing the cosmic womb. A chalice or small cauldron is usually chosen for this purpose. Couples working together will often invoke the deities into themselves and perform the Great Rite de facto, which is also acceptable.

The dancing of the May Pole is another May Day Celtic custom practiced both within and outside of Paganism. The weaving of the red and white ribbons around the pole, like the Great Rite, symbolized the union of Goddess and God.

Here are some Beltaine activities that could be included at the Sabbat or during the day:

Make a wish as you jump over a bonfire, (or campfire, May Day is a good time to go camping).

Make Beltaine bread. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and combine:

4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 cups sugar
1 tube almond paste
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon 5 eggs

When dough is worked to medium soft, shape into flattened balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool, ice with a white Solar Cross. You could try this as a single loaf.

~*~ Litha The Summer Solstice ~ June 21st ~*~

Summer Solstice or Litha, about June 21, is when the hours of daylight are longest. The Sun is at the highest before beginning its slide into darkness. Traditionally, herbs gathered on this day are said to be extremely powerful. On this night elves and fairies abound in great numbers.

Also known as: Alban Heruin (Druid), Alban Hefin (Caledonii), Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Midsummer Night, Midsummer Night's Eve, Gathering Day, and Feil-Sheathain (Pecti-Wita ~ July 5)

Date: Summer Solstice, usually around June 21

Symbols: Solar Disk, Mistletoe, Feathers, Blades

Colors: Green, Gold, Yellow

Herbs: chamomile, cinquefoil, elder flower, fennel, lavender, mugwort, thyme, and vervain may be burned; hemp, larkspur, pine, rose, St John's Wort, and wisteria may be decorations.

Midsummer is the time when the sun reaches the peak of its power, the earth is green and holds the promise of a bountiful harvest. The Mother Goddess is viewed as heavily pregnant, and the God is at the apex of his manhood and is honored in his guise as the supreme sun.

But don't overlook the Celtic Sun Goddesses in your celebration. The Celts are one of several cultures known to also have female deities to represent the power of the sun. The Celtic languages are some of the very few in which the names for the "sun" are feminine nouns, which attests to the one-time prominence of these Goddesses. A number of the myths surrounding these ladies of light have been preserved. Among the most well-known are Sul (Anglo-Celtic), Dia Griene (Scottish), the Princess of the Sun (Breton), and Grian and Brid (Irish).

Just as the Holly and Oak Kings battles for supremacy at Yule, this ever-repeating fight is reenacted at Midsummer, this time with the Holly King, as king of the waning year, victorious.

The following are some suggestions for Litha activities, some of which you may want to incorporate into the Sabbat, while others would be more suitable during the day.

Tie a sprig of rowan, a sprig of rue, and three flowers of St. John's Wort with red thread and hang over the door.

Make amulets (simple charms) of protection out of herbs such as rue and rowan. If you make new amulets each year you can dispose of the old in the midsummer fire.

Create a pouch for psychic dreams (mugwort and bay leaves in a cloth of lavender, blue, or yellow and sewn with red thread) and place under your pillow.

Make a Solar Wheel as a terrific family project - everyone can make one for their bedroom. Wind palm or grape vine into a circle, twisting as you go. Cut two short lengths of stem to be just a bit larger than the diameter of the circle and place one across the back horizontally and the other vertically crossing in back on the horizontal one and coming forward to the front of the circle to secure both, then adorn with symbols of the elementals (stone, feathers, ashes in a pouch, or a small candle, and a shell) and festoon with green and yellow ribbons. Hang in a tree outside or indoors at a reminder of the God's protection.

Make a Witch's Ladder (another fun family project) using three colored yarns (red, black, and white for the Triple Goddess) braided together to be three feet long. Add nine feathers all the same color for a specific charm (such as green for money) or various colors for a more diverse charm, tie ends and hang up. Colors are red for vitality, blue for peace and protection, yellow for alertness and cheer, green for prosperity, brown for stability, black for wisdom, black and white for balance, patterned for clairvoyance, and iridescent for insight.

You can burn the old Yule wreath in the Litha fire.

Make a rue protection pouch out of white cotton. Add two or three sprigs of rue, bits of whole grain wheat bread, a pinch of salt, and two star anise seeds and hang indoors (can do one for each bedroom).

Tie vervain, rosemary, and hyssop with white thread and dip the tips into a bowl of spring water (you can buy bottled spring water in grocery stores) and sprinkle the water about the house to chase out negativity, or sprinkle your tools to cleanse and purify.

Gather herbs like St. John's Wort, vervain, and yarrow.

Soak thyme in olive oil, then lightly anoint your eyelids to see faery folk at night.

Tie a bunch of fennel with red ribbons and hang over the door for long life and protection of the home.

Look for the faery folk under an elder tree, but don't eat their food or you'll have to remain with them for seven years! (Which could be a lot of fun, but will seriously wreck any plans you may have made!)

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~*~ Lughnassadh ~ August 1st ~*~

Lughnassadh is August 1 or the first Full Moon in Leo. This is a preharvest festival, the turning point in Mother Earth's year. The last herbs are gathered. It is a celebration in honor of the god Lugh's wedding to Mother Earth.

Also known as: Lammas, August Eve, The Festival of Bread, Elembiuos, Lunasa, Cornucopia

Date: August 1 or 2, or the first Full Moon of Leo

Symbols: All Grains, Breads, Threshing Tools, Berries (especially Blackberries)

Deities: Harvest and Grain Deities, New Mother Goddesses

Colors: Gray, Yellow, Gold, Green

Herbs: cornstalks, heather, frankincense, and wheat may be burned; acacia flowers, corn ears, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, and wheat may be decorations.

Lughnassadh (Loo-NAHS-ah) is named for the Irish sun God, Lugh, and is usually looked upon as the first of the three Pagan harvest festivals.

Lughnasadh is primarily a grain harvest, one in which corn, wheat, barley and grain products such as bread are prominently featured. Fruits and vegetables which ripen in late summer are also a part of the traditional feast. The Goddess, in her guise as the Queen of Abundance, is honored as the new mother who has given birth to the bounty, and the God is honored as the Father of Prosperity.

The threshing of precious grain was once seen as a sacred act, and threshing houses had small wooden panels under the door so that no loose grain could escape. This is the original meaning of our modern word "threshold".

The following are a few suggestions for activities that may be incorporated into the Sabbat ritual or engaged in during the day.

String Indian corn on black thread for a necklace.

Create and bury a Witch's Bottle. This is a glass jar with sharp pointy things inside to keep away harm. You can use needles, pins, thorns, thistles, nails, and bits of broken glass; it's a good way to dispose of broken crockery, old sewing equipment, and the pins that come in new clothes. Bury it near the entry to the house (like next to the driveway or the front door), or inside a large planter.

Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc. Double over a bundle of wheat and tie it near the top to form a head. Take a bit of the fiber from either side of the main portion and twist into arms that you tie together in front of the dolly. Add a small bouquet of flowers to the "hands," and then you can decorate the dolly with a dress and bonnet (the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you wish, or and cotton material is fine too).

Collect blackberries and make a fresh pie marked with the Solar Cross.

Sprout wheat germ in a terra cotta saucer (these can be found in nurseries for use under terra cotta flower pots). The sprouts can be added to homemade bread or used as an offering. Children enjoy planting the seeds and watching them grow, too.

God the grain,
Lord of rebirth.
Return in spring,
Renew the Earth.

~*~ Mabon The Autumnal Equinox ~ September 21st ~*~

Autumn Equinox or Mabon, about September 21, was a time of rest after labor, completion of the harvest. Again the hours of day and night are in balance, with the darkness increasing. All preparations for the dark of the year and the year's ending were made, thus bringing us back to Samhain.

Also known as: Fall or Autumn Equinox, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Alban Elved (Druid), Alban Elfed (Caledonii), Winter Finding (Teutonic)

Date: Fall Equinox, usually about September 21-23

Symbols: Apples, Wine, Vines, Garlands, Gourd, Cornucopia, Burial Cairns

Deities: Wine Gods, Harvest Deities, Aging Deities

Colors: Brown, Orange, Russet, Maroon, Fall Colors

Herbs: benzoin, marigold, myrrh, sage, and thistles may be burned; acorns, asters, ferns, honeysuckle, milkweed, mums, oak leaves, pine, and roses may be used as decorations.

Mabon (MAY-bone or MAH-bawn) is named for the Welsh God and it is seen as the second of the three harvests, and particularly as a celebration of the vine harvests and of wine. It is also associated with apples as symbols os life renewed.

Celebrating new-made wine, harvesting apples and vine products, and visiting burial cairns to place an apple upon them, were all ways in which the Celts honored this Sabbat. (Avalon, one of the many Celtic names for the Land of the Dead, literally means the "land of apples".) These acts symbolized both thankfulness for the life-giving harvest, and the wish of the living to be reunited with their dead.

Here are a few suggestions for Mabon activities that can be incorporated into the Sabbat or done during the day.

Hang dried ears of corn on the front door, doorposts, or outside light fixture (hang the corn so it does not come into contact with the heat of the light bulb).

Collect milkweed pods to decorate at Yuletide and attract the faeries.

Call upon the elementals and honor them for their help with (N-earth) home and finances, (E-air) school and knowledge, (S-fire) careers and accomplishments, (W-water) emotional balance and fruitful relationships.

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~*~ Esbat Rituals ~*~

Esbats are rites held for the purpose of communing with the Moon's energies and are regarded as the time for most magickal workings. As opposed to the Sabbats, which are fire or sun festivals, Esbats are dedicated to the Moon in her various phases. These are considered the 'working' celebrations, the time in which to attract, banish, invoke protection, or to perform any other magickal workings. Most Sabbat festivals are held in order to celebrate the changing of the seasons, the gathering of the harvest, etc. The Esbats are held in honor of the Goddess. The Lunar Year contains 13 Full Moons.

But there are only 12 months you say? That's because the 13th Moon is called the Blue Moon, this occurs when four full moons fall within the same season (as regular seasons only have 3 full moons, the fourth full moon between solstice and equinox, or vice versa, is the Blue Moon). Obviously this must happen once a year, and always at a different time due to the inaccuracies of the modern calendar. The Celts originally set their year to correspond with the 13 moons but with the coming of the Romans and their method of calendar keeping this tradition was lost. Their 13th Moon was called Ruis or Elder. The Blue Moon is considered the 'goal moon', at this time it is customary to set specific goals for yourself and to review your accomplishments and failures since the last one.

The other 12 Moons all have special meanings as well...

January is the time to conserve energy by working on personal problems that involve no one else. It is also a time for protection rites and reversing spells. During this month the energy flow is sluggish and below the surface.

February is the time for loving the self, accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. At this time the energy flow is working toward the surface; good for purification, growth, and healing.

March is the time for new beginnings, breaking illusions, and seeing the truth in your life however much it may hurt. The energy flow breaks into the open, a good time for growing, prospering, and exploring. Light and Dark are in balance now.

April is the time for working on your temper, emotional flare-ups, and selfishness. The energy is flowing into creating and producing; a good time for change, self-confidence issues, taking advantage of opportunities, and realizing self-reliance.

May is the time for strengthening the connections with supernatural protectors and beings around you. The energy is in full flow making this a good time for intuition, propagating, and connecting with faeries and nature spirits.

June is the time for decision making, taking responsibility for present happenings, working on personal inconsistencies, and for strengthening and rewarding yourself for your positive traits. The energy is in full, but restive, flow, the Earth tides are turning making this a good time for protection, strengthening, and prevention spells.

July is the time for dream-work, divination, and meditation on spiritual goals and plans. The energy is slower and more relaxed, proper for success and prosperity spells. This month is the time to start preparing for the colder and darker months ahead.

August is the time for harvesting, gathering, and appreciating. The energy flow is slowing more and now is the time of vitality, health, and friendships.

September is the time for organizing and straightening up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter. The energy flow is resting and Light and Dark are in balance.

October is the time for inner cleansing. Meditate on the laws of Karma and thoughts of reincarnation. This is the time of letting go, justice, balance, and inner harmony.

November is the month of transformation. It is time to prepare for the coming winter and a time to strengthen communication with the god or goddess closest to you. The energy flow is taking root and preparing to flow once more.

December is the time of Spiritual Paths. The Earth tides are turning and it is time to reach out to friends and family, the lonely, and the needy. This is the month of death and renewal. Spells should be aimed at endurance and provision.