Wicca - Sabbats
witches honor nature, they have eight festivals, or Sabbats, that mark
the year as it turns through its seasons. The following is basic information
about these Sabbats, and includes both standard Wiccan information as well
as my personal Sabbat lore and experiences, in other words, what I perceive
the Sabbats to be.
happens near Halloween and is when the Wiccan year begins. My altar cloth
is black, because we are in the time of year that is dark. On my altar
is the harvest, our "dead Lord" whose life is in the crops and "sacrificed"
when the crops are killed to become our food. This is the time of death,
of honoring and communing with spirits that have passed to the other side.
Now the veil between the worlds is thin. It is a good time to invite our
beloved dead to visit with us. This is not a gruesome exchange, but reverent,
earthy, natural, further it is joyous and festive. Victor Anderson says
"If a ghost of a loved one shows up, ask him to join the party."
or Winter solstice happens near December 21, which is the longest darkest
night of the year. The dark of Winter is safe like my bedcovers at night.
Dark whispers of a Mother's love caress me. In the darkness of the Mother's
womb, the void I am safe, sustained, at peace and can move inward, into
my own dark self, looking, learning, purifying. I can cleanse myself of
all that blocks me from being born new with the rising new solstice sun
when the sun king is born, with promises for the Spring ahead.
February 2, is the festival of the Goddess Brigid,
of poetry, healing, and metalsmithing. Brigid's poetry inspires me to shake
off Winter's sleep now, stretch and start to get ready for Spring. I am
Equinox: happens about March 21, and
I pass from one time into the other, yet am between one time and another.
I completely shed Winter's sleep. As a time of passing, transition, it
is powerful - a time of balance - equal day and equal night - so a time
of magic. I am poised between being bound, and the movement of Spring.
Bound like sleeping beauty who is released by love's kiss into the violent
passion of Spring. Bound as in the cosmic egg, which exploded when the
cosmos was hatched. Explosive moment of creation - moving dynamically chaotically.
is a celebration of love. And we're talking Pagan now! Love - moon rhymes
with June, so the universe gets created. LAHV! The Ancient people, from
the Priests and Priestesses to the farmers understood the power of love:
loving company between two people is an echo of the act that created all
things. No, let me rephrase that: it IS the act of creation.
Solstice: happens about June 21. All
things move in spirals, and I watch the year move in a spiral, right now
spiraling up to the sun's climax. I celebrate Summer and the heat of the
Lammas: is August 1. Now the Corn King dies as his body is harvested from the fields
so that I may be fed, so that I may live, so that I may go into the Winter
months of darkness rich with his blood and love in my veins. The Dark King,
Shepherd of souls, becomes stronger now. With Winter I will go inward,
to the inner depths of my own soul. And HE will embrace me with His love
in the coming trials and celebrations of the Wintertime. Some of my crops
are harvested and I give thanks. Some of my crops are not yet ready and
I must insure their harvest.
Equinox: happens near or on September
21. Today, the length of night time is equal to the length of daytime. At
the Equinox, I become aware that this time is not the balance, or rather
the order, one usually sees in nature. Nature is not really balanced, but
ordered. A cyprus by the ocean grows windblown by ocean storm and wind,
bowing towards the earth. That cyprus is the usual balance or order of
nature - stable, poised, in harmony. ALL of nature leans like the ocean-blown
cyprus towards the dark earth. But Fall Equinox is a balance of light and
dark, night and day and therefore is truly an outlandish moment in time:
equality, a equal balancing, an actual moment of balance. I draw on my
roots in the darkness, yet revel in the kiss of summer breeze and sun.
I face the darkness of the Fall and Winter ahead and so face mysteries.
The Goddess has surprises for me in the wintry months ahead that will surpass
my best hopes.