Archive for the ‘Sabbat Articles’ Category

Midsummer – Heather

August 2, 2012

Litha, Midsummer, or Summer Solstice is the Sabbat that celebrates the longest day of the year. It is said that the veil of the world becomes thin again and we can spend time in laughter and play with the fairies. It is the time we honor the sun and signifies the longest day and the shortest night. Juno, Hera, Rhiannon, Ishtar, Bast, Vesta, Aine, and Freya are just a few of the Goddess aspects that are honored today. Many bonfires are lit to honor the Goddess and to help us play with the fairies. Also, place honey cakes and teas out for the fairies on Summer Solstice Eve as offerings to gain favor in the fairy realm. Magic runs high at this time of year; It is the best season to spend time with the fairies, gnomes, and earth sprites. It brings the perfect opportunity to make a walking stick or any magical tools. It is also the time to bless your pets by making a special talisman to help protect them. Make sure to spend time on magic on this special day of the Summer Solstice.

 

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Beltane—Stephen Reszler

July 30, 2012

May is the time of fertility and new beginnings after a long winter. The Faeries are afoot! They dance in the hills and roll in the grass, reveling in the joy of warm May breezes. Our spirits are high with the lust and heartiness of spring. New life is stirring and appetites are keen. -Laurie Cabot, Celebrate the Earth

 

Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of “no time” when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. It is a time when the two worlds intermingle and unite and the magic abounds! It is the time when the Faeries return from their winter respite, carefree and full of faery mischief and faery delight. Beltane kicks off the merry month of May, and has a long history. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots intimate energy. The Celts honored the fertility of the Goddess with gifts and offerings. Cattle were driven through the smoke of the balefires, and blessed with health and fertility for the coming year and for the same reason people and especially couples would also walk between the fires. In Ireland, the fires of Tara were the first ones lit every year at Beltane, and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.

The Romans, always known for celebrating holidays in a big way, spent the first day of May paying tribute to their Lares, the gods of their household. They also celebrated the Floralia, or festival of flowers, which consisted of three days of unbridled sexual activity. Participants wore flowers in their hair (much like May Day celebrants later on), and there were plays, songs, and dances. At the end of the festivities, animals were set loose inside the Circus Maximus, and beans were scattered around to ensure fertility. The fire festival of Bona Dea was also celebrated on May 2nd.

The excitement and beauty of Beltane can not be better expressed than through the gaiety and joy of children. There is not doubt “spring fever” hits at Beltane, and hits hard. Children are full of unbridled energy charged up and ready to go! Children always amplify the seasonal energies and the thrill of their change, they bring richness and merriment wherever they go. It is the child’s unrestrained expression of bliss and delight that is what Beltane is all about. It is the sheer joy of running through fields, picking flowers, rupturing in the sunlight, delighting in the fragrance of spring, dancing in the fresh dew covered grass. Children guide us through the natural abandonment of our adult sensibilities and show us how to take grand pleasure, warmth and bliss from the gift of Beltane.

 

Sabbat Ostara – Linda Kean

June 10, 2012

Ostara or Eostre in the Germanic tradition, is the celebration of the spring equinox and is celebrated on March 21st. This is a time for renewal of the earth. With the spring coming all of life on earth is renewed. The snow begins to melt and the world again beginnings to warm allowing the grass and trees and all of nature to awaken again from its slumber. It is the time to plant seedlings and to prepare the land for the late spring planting which will be harvested in the fall. It is the celebration of the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to shed more light in each day.  

Ostara is the Goddess of fertility and she bring renewal and new life. It is said that Ostara loved all creatures of the planet and was a mother to every one of them. One day she found a wounded bird and to save the it she transformed it into a hare. The transformation from bird to hare was complete except for the laying of eggs. This hare still laid eggs. For saving the animals life, the hare would take it’s eggs and decorate them as an offering to Ostara. On this Sabbat we color eggs and give them as an offering to her in honor of her life giving gifts. Ostara brings us new beginnings and renews life. She is the Goddess

 

What Samhain means to me—Sheila Santiago

June 10, 2012

 

Samhain aka Halloween has been my favorite holiday, and my favorite day of the year my entire life.

When I was younger it was to me the most fun and mysterious day of the year, I knew there was more to it than putting on a cool costume and trick or treating with my family and friends…I didn’t know what then but I knew I wanted to find out!

While I was in school it was the best time of the year because we got to dress up in school and have parties celebrating the day and then when we got home we got to party with our family and friends and go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood…all day and all night long the day was filled with laughter and joy and mischievous moments and I looked forward to it more than any other occasion all year long.

As I got older my love for this holiday grew in my heart even more and I even had this dream of one day getting married on my favorite day and making the celebration a permanent fixture in my life as not only my favorite holiday but also my anniversary!

I always knew that if I ever got married it would have to be to someone who shared my love for Halloween and who also understood that I now celebrated the day as Samhain after finally finding out the true meaning of the day and embracing my life as a Witch as a young adult. It took me a long time to find my path in life but when I discovered that being a Witch was more than just dressing up as one for Halloween I knew I was finally home. All those years I knew there was a reason I was so drawn to the Sabbats and to nature and the moon…and why I felt it was so important to celebrate Halloween, I know now it was because it is the mark of the Celtic New year for us Witches and also a time to remember those that have passed!

I was honoring that which I did not know for so many years, that when I finally found out it all made sense and I knew that I had always been a Witch and that I always will be.

I was still in search of love and hoping that I could find someone who shared my views or at least respected them and so I put my Witchy skills to use and made a Love summoning spell to bring me a love that shared my views and passion and before I knew it there he was AND he was a Witch! A match made in the cauldron and a love until the Summerland’s. And guess what else? His favorite holiday is also Samhain!

We were married on October 31st 2009 outside in a park and held a costume party reception and we hold big Halloween parties bash every year to commemorate not only our love for each other but our love of the most important day in our Witchy lives, Samhain!

 

Yule – Shelia Santiago

June 10, 2012

The days have grown shorter, the air is crisp and clear and the ground is covered in white.

The stores are littered with last minute shoppers and trees everywhere have twinkling lights.  The majority of us celebrate both Yule on the Winter Solstice and then Christmas a few days later with our families, having a dual holiday month…us lucky Pagans

In the Pagan or Witch household you will find scents of Pine, cedar, bayberry and cinnamon and colors of red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow and orange.

You may also taste some traditional foods of the season like Pork/turkey, fruit cakes and nuts, spiced cider/mead, roasted apples, and cookies, caraway cakes soaked in cider, eggnog, ginger tea and wassail.

Upon the Winter Solstice we celebrate the return of the sun, when the sun begins to rise a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each night. We light our Yule logs and let the candles burn until they are gone in celebration of the return of light.

Many of us save our Yule logs to be burnt in old tradition the following Yule in the hearth or bonfire or as new traditions have begun to be burnt on Imbolc.

We exchange gifts from the heart during this special time with loved ones, a lovely witchy gift may be a sachet of herbs like bayberry, evergreen, frankincense holly, mistletoe, oak, pine sage and yellow cedar all herbs of the season. Homemade cakes and mead make lovely gifts as well as homemade crafts like ornaments with symbols like the sun, Goddess, pentacle or moon on them. All of these can be used in ritual or placed on the altar or enjoyed together which is what our holidays are meant to do…bring us together of like mind and hearts as one.

Have a Blessed Yule and Prosperous New Year.

 

Sabbat of Mabon, Feast Of Avalon Autumnal  Equinox – Rev. Ginny Vigrass

April 13, 2011

 

The great ancient Sabbat festival of Mabon is named for the Welsh Celtic God.  It celebrates our Thanksgiving for the abundant fruits and crops of the earth.  It is also known as the Feast of Avalon, which means “Land of Apples.”  Avalon is a Celtic name for the Land of the Dead. Mabon is the second of three harvests and is especially associated for the vine harvests and wine. It is associated with the harvesting of apples which are seen as symbols of renewed life. It is a spiritually uplifting time for all of us to share our appreciation to the Goddess and God to receive blessings during the winter months. In our northern hemisphere,  this equinox is on September 21–24. The Celts honored this Sabbat by harvesting apples , invoking the Goddess at a cemetery where loved ones are buried and by putting apples on headstones for the promise of life renewed, bobbing for apples, etc. These acts are for the wishes of the living to be reunited with dear loved ones and symbolize our thankfulness for the life-giving harvest celebration. The altar may be filled with photos of loved ones, apples, wine, vine, garland, burial cairns, cornucopia, corn, and colors of: orange, maroon,  and russet. The Welsh Celtic name Mabon was coined about 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron . In my Welsh language, “AP” means “son”. Mabon and his mother Modron ( ” Divine Mother” ) were descended from a divine mother-son pair, deities in origin .  Welsh legends link Mabon with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  King Arthur rescued Mabon from prison in Gloucester, England.  Then, Mabon was at King Arthur’s side, including the great hunt after the great boar Twrch!  Deities for this festival include Harvest Deities, Aging Deities and wine Gods.  Evoke Mabon or his mother Modron to honor them as the deities who brought forth this bountiful, beautiful harvest.

Lammas- Heather

April 9, 2011
  Lammas is the time of year that is to celebrate the harvest and the reaping of the first grain. Lammas or Lughnasad, which means loaf-mass day, is celebrated on August 1. Originally Lammas, celebrated by the Celts from the sunset on August first to the sunset on August second, included an honorary reaping of the new grain to be eaten. It was believed that the grain died so people could live and flourish for the year. Since in recent times most of us do not have grain growing in our backyards to honorably reap we can celebrate and honor the goddess and God Lugh, who the holiday was named for, by baking fresh bread. In order to make the bread more personal ingredients and herbs from the garden can be added. Another way to celebrate the Goddess is to make corn dolls out of corn husks and tie them in the shape of a woman to literally represent the grain Goddess. Lammas is a day to honor the grain Goddess and the sun God, it is also time to have feasts and give thanks for the grain and harvest.

A Solitaires’ View on Litha – T. C. Moonrider

July 20, 2010

I love the Sabbats, Sabbats are wonderful! It’s a time to assemble with other Wiccans and Pagans like me, to honor the loving mother Goddess.  At Litha, Midsummer, Summer Solstice or however you choose to call it, is a time of abundance from mother Earth and the Goddess herself. It is such a wonderful time to do spells and charms with Herbs, flowers, and plants. I enjoy working with white or fuchsia foxglove, yellow flower heads or rue, and many other types of plants according to the type of spell that is being done. Litha is also a great time for communicating with the fairies, feasting, dancing and most importantly to remember to give something in return to our Divine Mother as a thank you for life itself, as all acts of love are her rituals. Litha is generally celebrated around June 21st when the sun enters cancer in the Zodiac, it is also known as the longest day of the year. It is believe that the Oak king is overthrown and the Holly King takes over for the rest of the year as the days get shorter and the night gets longer. I wish all a great year as many great Sabbats lie ahead and may the Goddess bless all who read this Article!

Sabbat Ostara – Linda Kean-Lorman

May 4, 2010

Ostara or Eostre in the Germanic tradition, is the celebration of the spring equinox and is celebrated on March 21st. This is a time for renewal of the earth. With the spring coming all of life on earth is renewed. The snow begins to melt and the world again beginnings to warm allowing the grass and trees and all of nature to awaken again from its slumber. It is the time to plant seedlings and to prepare the land for the late spring planting which will be harvested in the fall. It is the celebration of the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to shed more light on each day.

Ostara is the Goddess of fertility and she bring renewal and new life. It is said that Ostara loved all creatures of the planet and was a mother to every one of them. One day she found a wounded bird and to save the it she transformed it into a hare. The transformation from bird to hare was complete except for the laying of eggs. This hare still laid eggs. For saving the animals life, the hare would take it’s eggs and decorate them as an offering to Ostara. On this Sabbat we color eggs and give them as an offering to her in honor of her life giving gfts. Ostara brings us new beginnings and renews life. She is the Goddess who helps us begin and live again.

SAMHAIN, TRIBUTE TO OUR ANCESTORS By: Patty Taylor

January 11, 2010

Samhain, tribute to our ancestors, who have gone before us.  Family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, regardless of age for it matters not at all.  For when spirit calls we listen and go to the divine light of the gentle calling.

Samhain rejoice the day, celebrate all that your ancestors have left for you, for you are their living, breathing legacy to this world and all generations  before, after, up to you and beyond is what makes your family lineage a rare and complete masterpiece of a complete circle.  A circle, like a ring is a never ending masterpiece, forever evolving, growing, learning, advancing until one day spirit says come home my children.  You are ready, I am here, as I have been for eternity, only now you can understand my language of unspoken words.

Light candles, bonfires, make cakes, ales, juices and such, dance if you will, chant, sing, drum, let you, yourself become in tune with rhythm and tune to the beat of the drum, single or many for it matters, not at all.

Mingle with friends, talk, laugh, dance, joke, remember, share stories about your dearly departed, even though they are right here beside most of us all the time anyway.   Spend time speaking with your departed loved ones, it’s okay to express yourself in conversation this night of all nights, for the sheath between the worlds are at there thinnest.  Invite, have fun, enjoy, for this day comes but once a year.  Blessed Be
Make sure you take special precautions on Samhain if you are going to communicate with the departed, first do a ritual cleansing of yourself, by bathing, purify the area your will be using for the celebration, burn sage, take care and make sure you are talking truly to who you want to communicate with, for it may be a trickster trying to breech the sheath let’s say who may not be very scrupulous.  Let’s face it, no one wants to get whip lashed with that.

My blessing to you is that you and your family biological or chosen have a safe, beautiful, bountiful Samhain filled with many wonderful hours of love and memories to last throughout the year.  Communicate with all who all departed and receive all answers that you need to know.  Have friendly chats, hugs and a gentle peck of the cheek or nose from whoever is your cherished person (s) are.  Be healthy, happy, balanced, in tune, walk with spirit, and always remember sisterhood and friendship are beautiful healthy bonds, that can and will last a life time and beyond if nurtured and loved accordingly.  Blessed Be.