Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sabbats and Esbats of the Year

Sabbats are in Deep Red, Esbats are in Deep Blue, Orange are the Full Moons. NOTE: I'll be adding how to celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats sometime this week:

Samhain (October 31) This the celebration of the new year. A feast at harvest's ending, a re-affirmation into our beleifs in the eternal cycle of life and death. The Crone is the supreme deity of this festival - Samhain is essentially when the old God her son and lover dies, and she goes into mourning for him until she can reform into the maiden. The cauldron on halloween comes from the ancient belief that all the souls of the dead return to the Goddess' cauldron of life, death and rebirth to await reincarnation.
The Day of Banshees (November 1): The banshee represents the Otheworld realm of omen, known as the Tir na mBan, a world where all dead souls must go in or der to be reborn. On the night before a death, the banshee sings her lamentation which can be heard across the countryside. Placing apples on the graves of loved ones is a popular practice on this equinox. Apples represent the Otherworld, rebirth, eternal life and the crone Goddess.
Birch Moon (November or December Full moon): Moon of inception, great night to celebrate new beginings and fresh starts.
Feast of Potential (November 23): sometimes reffered to as the Secret of the Unhewn Stone. To hew something is to strike it repeatedly, or to force it to comform. This holiday is a time for a solitary witch to under go introspection and face the things that aren't easy to acknowledge. It is a day for examining difficult ideas, mulling over changes, and eliminating root causes of our resistance to the problem. Break insecurities and fears down blow-by-blow. One way, prior to the feast, of accomplishing this is to make a list of all the things you know are within your power to do but have not done either out of fear or lack of confidence. After the feasting, work a ritual, meditate or take a guided journey that has always been difficult for you.
Yule (Winter Solstice): One of the oldest Sabbats, perhaps as much as 12,000 to 20,000 y/o. Most Wiccans choose to enact or pay tribute to the eternal battle between Waxing and Waning forces of the year. ie. The Holly King vs. The Oak King, the Red Dragon vs. the White Dragon, etc. This is also a great day to enact Birthing rites, or Blessings/Wiccanings
Hogmanay (December 31): Moon of the Hag, a great day fordeveloping divination techniques and eating sweet treats.
Rowan Moon (Dec Full Moon): Sometimes called the Moon of Vision, this is a great time in which to travel or to bring out inner strengths.It has also been refered to as the Astral Moon as it is a good time to try your had at astral projection.
Festival fo the 3-Fold Goddess (January 6): This correspondes to The Twelfth Night ends the 12 day mid winter celebration that focuses on the Mother Goddess. This holiday could be moved to mid April or Mid July as well - the actual date isn't as important as the intent.
The Feast of the Morrigan (January 7): A feast day to celebrate the power and magesty of the Triple Goddess of eath and destruction. Remembering that with death there is re-birth, and that what she destroyes she revives.
Ash Moon (Jan Full Moon)Connects the flow of life and a ll crafting magickal tools. Forming an Ash Wand to be used as a healing stick can be done on this night.
Imbolg (February 2): A fire festival that celebrates the strengthening of the young sun and his awaiting bride - the earth Goddess. This festival also honors Brigid - a Goddess with many attributes and correspondences including Fire. This is also the festival of women's mysteries, celebrating the leadership of women. This is also a traditional time for augury practices, or divining the future by reading natural signs - Birds, wolves and snakes are popular divination devices on this holiday.
The Feast of St. Blaize (February 2): This is a feast in honor of patron healers as protection against the harsh winters. So, Goddesses such as Brigid are honored and invoked, and meditation/rituals/spells to develop healing abilities often occur.
Alder Moon (Feb/March Full Moon): A moon of action as Spring nears. This cycle quickens the awaying earth - great night for starting projects to instill changes.
Whuppity Scoorie (March 1-3): This festival is designed to awaken mother earth from her long winter's sleep. Tapping the earth 3 times with a staff or wand then calling out to motehr earth by name telling her its time to awaken - are common practices.
The Feast of Rhiannon (March 4): Honors the Welsh Horse, moon and ancestor Goddess. Celebrate with horse imagry, lunar rites, and honoring your ancestors. THe horse also symbolized the ability to travel between worlds - making this night a great time for astral projection to other realms. Offering libations to Mare and Epona will also give you magickal dreams on this night.
Day of Sheila-na-Gig (March 18): Honors the mysterious Goddess of thresholds and women's mysteries. This is a good day to skry into or meditate on her image, allowing her to open the portal to her secrets for you.
Ostara (Spring Equinox) / Tea & Telphi Day: A day of balance and sexual awakening. Eostra is the Teutonic Goddess of spring and fertility. You can also honor the twin Goddesses of Tara - Tea & Telphi -who can bless you with protection.
Lady Day (March 25): Celecbrates the return of our Lady Goddesss from her winters slumbers. Some traditions include - burying eggs to fertalize the feilds, decorating w/ spring flowers, dancing and feasting. Any woman who gives birth on this day is thought to be blessed by the goddess. It is also a time of sexual awakening - a time when 2 geneder-halves reunite (soul-mates) making this day great for Handfasting. Divination concerning romance is traditionally a part of this day as well.
Willow Moon (March Full Moon): The willow is a feminine tre that thrives on the femine element of water, its boughs are traditionally used as magickal tools. Due to these 2 facts this is sometimes refered to as the Witch's Moon.
Hawthorn Moon (April Full Moon): Blooming Hawthorn is a faery flower - giving the petals and blooms great strength as magickal aids.
Beltaine (May 1): One of the most popular Sabbats in the Wiccan Year. Traditionaltime for handfasting. THe main purpose of the sabbat is the celebration of the sexual union or marriage of the Goddess and the God. The morning dew from this day is excellent to purify yourself with as an anointing oil. The wood burned on this day has great protection strength as well. (see my posts on Beltane on 4/19)
Veneration of the Thorn (May 4): This is a night to honor the old faery guardians of the thorn trees. Tying a scrap of white cloth around one of the thorn trees by a holy well was said to send your wishes to the faeries. Making a walking stick or staff out of a thorn tree also imbues you with great blessings. Finally, leveling blessings - or making petitions to deities are traditionally done on this day.
Night of the Lunantisidhe (May 16): This is a night to pay homage to the frightening black-thorn tree. It is a night to try to right the wrongs humans have done to nature and visualize the healing of plant-life and the land.
Oak Moon (May or June Full Moon):The oak tree is a tree of strength and endurance.
Midsummer (Summer Solstice): Celebratingthe full-flower of womens power; dedicating yourself as a warrior, invoking sun God/dess', hosting a feast eaturing hot foods - revel in the warmth of the sun when it is at its zenith.
The Feast of Aine (June 25): This is a fire festival once a part of midsummer. Aine is an Irish fire and cattle Goddess. Blessings and protections and the use of the element fire are common on this day/night.
Festival of Cerridwen (July 3): This celebrates the Goddess of knowledge, wisdom and plenty. Celebrate all you have learned.
Holly Moon (July Full Moon): Emphasizes polarities, particularly between the male and female.
Rowena (July 15): Celebrates this Goddess of knowledge. A rowan tree also has protective powers and amulets of protection crafted from its bark & leaves are made on this day. You can also make amulets and cast protections in general on this night.
Lughnasadh (Lammas) (August 1): Celebrated the marriage of Lugh - the harvest lord to the land or Goddess. Celebrates the first fruits of harvest. In many traditions the king is slain - cut down like a tree, in others it is the wedding of the king and his sacrifice comes at Samhain. Great day for Handfasting. Focus your energies on the power of the feminnine to bring forth the harvest from her womb (the land) and to grant sacred status to her harvest lord.
Taillte's Day (early - to - mid August): Celebrates the Goddess of inspiration and competition. Celebrate by hosting your own games or by testing the limits of your physical endurance.
Hazel Moon (August or Sept Full Moon): Honor the crone and celebrate wisdom
Mabon (Autumnal Equinox): This is the second of the 3 harvest festivals (with Lammas and Samhain) It is primarily the harvest of berries and a time for making wines. This is the time when the Goddess enters cronehood, and when it is proper to adorn graves witht he symbols for rebirth. It is also a time of balance, when light and darkness equals - but after which dark is dominant. Rituals to celebrate sacred burial spaces, the croning of the Goddess, and hopes for regeneration are appropriate.
Vine Moon (September Full Moon): Celebrates the harvest, particularly products used to make alcoholic beverages.
The Feast of Brewing (September 28): Celebrates the making of alcohol for festivals and sacred purposes. This is a good time to honor tje Goddes of heather and heather wine - Uroica.
Garland Sunday (Late Aug. Early Sept): Taking garland adorned with apples to the local cemetaries is what the ancients did. Also, tossing apples about and mouring the dead - the nrepairing the communal dathering spot for dancing and drinking and feasting. Symbolizes the crone,death and eternal life.
Ivy Moon (Oct. Full Moon): Moon of Resilience - addresses our beliefs in rebirth and our triumph over death.
Reed Moon (October or November Full Moon): Cycle of completeness of home, hearth and looking inward.

Most derived from: Celtic Women's Spirituality By: Edain McCoy

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