Witches Sabbat(h)s | 01-08-16

There are 8 Sabbats/Sabbaths that make up the Wheel of the Year (the image attached to this note is a visual representation of the WotY) and they are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and, rebirth. 

Among Wiccans, it is commonly believed that the Wheel of the Year goes as follows: the God is born from the Goddess (in Her mother archetype/aspect) during Yule, who then grows in power at Ostara along with the Goddess who is now in Her maiden archetype/aspect. He then courts and impregnates said Goddess during Beltane/Beltaine, loses His power during Lughnasadh and passes to the other plane at Samhain.

Samhain (sow-en):

Other names: Witches New Year, All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween. 
Date: 31st of October 
Samhain is the day during which the veil between our plane of existence and that of those who have passed away is at its thinnest. It is the optimum time for divination. During this Sabbat(h), you should set a place for passed loved ones during a meal and leave a small offering of food and drink on your doorstop for wandering souls (apples are always a good choice; they’re heavily associated with ancestry and necromancy and are known to be favoured by spirits).

Yule (yool):

Other names: Winter Solstice (Rel.: Christmas). 
Date: 21st to the 23rd of December 
The shortest day of the year; the Yule Log (literally a log) is decorated with evergreen and holly and is burned from sunset until sunrise. This Sabbat(h) is a celebration of family and friends; love and peace – of positive energy.

Imbolc (im-bulk):

Other names: Imbolq, Candlemas, Brighid’s Day, Bride Day. 
Date: 2nd of February 
The first planting of spring – at this time, ritual fires and burned. This is a Sabbat(h) of rebirth; a time for healing and inspiration and it is a popular time for vows and oaths of dedication and consecration (to any deities you may have, but also to a significant other).

Ostara (oh-star-ah):

Other names: Spring Equinox, Eostre (Rel.: Easter) 
Date: 21st to the 23rd of March 
During this Sabbat(h) the light overwhelms the dark and the rebirth of life begins. This is a time for the contemplation of new ideas and new beginnings; the optimum time to meditate and focus on dreams hopes for the coming years. It is the festival of light, fire and fertility. 

Beltane/Beltaine (bale-tine-ah):

Other names: May Day, Samradh, May Eve. 
Date: 30th of April 
A fire and fertility festival/Sabbat(h). In ancient times jumping a balefire was said to ensure protection and dancing around the Maypole is a staunch tradition. You should ring bells and make noise to rid your home of bad spirits and negativity. Beltaine is a time to appreciate all that you have in life and it is the end of spring planting (agriculture!). 

Litha (lee-tha):

Other names: Summer Solstice, Midsummer. 
Date: 21st June 
Symbols: Spear (the God) and cauldron (the Goddess) 
The longest day of the year; the God is at his peak strength during this Sabbat(h). It is the mid-point of the year and is celebrated by lighting bonfires after sundown (traditionally). This Sabbat(h) is one of heightened magickal power but it’s temporary nature is a reminder that nothing lasts forever. During this time, celebrate abundance, fertility, virility, beauty and bountifulness.

Lughnasadh (loo-nah-sah/loo-nass-ah):

Other names: Lammas, Lunasa 
Date: 1st of August 
Fire and light Sabbat(h); the first harvest and a feast to honour the Earth Mother – this Sabbat(h) is a time during which your blessings should be counted.

Mabon (may-bin):

Other names: Autumn Equinox, Pagan Thanksgiving. 
Date: 21st to the 23rd of September 
The second harvest festival during which you show thanks in the form of celebration for the crops harvested during Lughnasadh. At this point, the darkness overtakes the light once more.

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