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Wicca - Sabbats Another View
by Fire_Opal

December 21st- Celebrating the rebirth of the Sun. Also known as the Winter Solstice Actually, the mistletoe is originally a Pagan tradition and not a Christian Christmas decoration. The tradition stems from the Druids, when the Chief Druid cut the mistletoe from the sacred oak during the Winter Solstice festival. The word Yule is derived from an old Norse word Iul, meaning wheel. Long ago, the symbol of a wheel was used to mark Yuletide with the idea that the year turns continuous with the spokes marking the seasonal holidays and occasions. In celebration, the altar is adorned with evergreens such as pine, rosemary, bay, juniper, and cedar. Decorations such as cinnamon sticks and quartz crystals (icicles), and fruits like apples, oranges, and lemons are hung from boughs of the Yule tree.

February 2nd- Also known as Candlemas this marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. It also marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God during Yule. It is tradition, after sunset, to light every lamp or candle in the house to honor the Sun's rebirth. This is the time for Spring cleaning.

March 21st- This true first day of Spring is the Vernal Equinox The days of light begin to grow longer than the nights. A tim of renewed life. Tradition activities include planting seeds, tending gardens, and working with herbs for all purposes. Flowers should be placed on the altar and worn as well. Foods made of seeds, nuts, and leafy vegetables are eaten. Interesting dishes made with flowers are also made.

April 30th- This holiday celebrates the merging of the Goddess and the God, and the passing of the Young God into manhood. The symbol of Her fertility is celebrated as well. This is the time of May Poles, representing the phallus of the God, while flowers and greenery represent the Goddess. This has always beenmy favorite time for Handfasting (Wiccan marriage) ceremonies. Beltane is usually celebrated in a forest, or near a living tree. Weaving is popular at this time to join two separate things into one.

June 21st- Also known as the Summer Solstice this is the season is the perfect time for all kinds of magick and spells. The powers of nature reach their highest point. Bonfires were leapt to promote fertility, health, and love. This is the time of the longest daylight hours, midsummer being the longest day of the year. Herbs for Midsummer are vervain, chamomile, rose, lavender, daisy, carnation, and lily.

August 1st- This is the time for the first harvest of the year. The Goddess sees the God lose his strength as the days grow shorter, yet she knows she is with Child from the union at Beltane. The holiday was not originally celebrated on this day. It was observed on the day of the first reaping. We are reminded at this time that nothing in nature remains constant. The fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for the long winter months. The altar is adorned with wheat, oats, fruits, and bread. It is also custom to plant the seeds from the fruit eaten during the celebration.

September 21st- This is also the Autumn Equinox. This is the time of the completion of the harvest started at Lughnasadh. Day and night are equal once more as the God prepares to travel toward renewal and rebirth from the Goddess. Nature prepares for winter and the time of rest. It is traditional to walk wild places gathering dried plants to be used for decorating or future herbal magick. The altar holds acorns, pine cones, corn stalks, and various colored leaves.

October 31st- Also know as All Hollows Eve or Halloween or Feast of the Dead. This is the time to bid the God farewell as he prepares to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule. It is a time of reflection of the past year, and the coming of our greatest change in life - death. Wiccans remember their ancestors and loved ones past on. It is traditional to leave a plate of food outside at night for the souls of the dead. A candle placed in the window guides them to the lands eternal summer. Apples are buried in the earth to feed those passed ones in their journey. Meat dishes are eaten, as well as beets, apples, corn, and nuts. Late autumn fruits are placed on the altar. This is also a perfect time for spells to rid ones self of bad habits.