The Sabbats are days (or more usually nights) of celebration, where
Wiccans honour the God and
Goddess. There are eight Sabbats during the year, the four Greater Sabbats (originating from agricultural
cycles) and four Lesser Sabbats (which fall on the Solstices and Equinoxes).
Traditionally the Sabbats are reserved as nights of celebration
only and no magickal works are
undertaken except in rare cases but, as with all aspects of Wicca, this is up to the coven or individual to
accept or not.
Yule / Winter Solstice
This is the shortest day (and therefore longest night) of the year and
represents the Goddess at the
height of her powers. From the Mother Goddess is born the God, symbolising the return of the sun as the
winter begins to wane. To many Wiccans, Yule serves as a reminder that death is merely part of the
cycle of life and is followed by rebirth. Traditional Yule colors are red and green. The wheel is used to
represent the spiral of rebirth. Christians moved the birth of their "Son of God" to this holiday, keeping the traditional
Pagan colors. Using traditional Pagan inscense of Frankinsense and Myrrh in their songs and ceremonies.
Called the Festival of Lights, Imbolc is celebrated to encourage
the returning sun as the God grows in
strength and the Goddess ends her convalescence after giving birth to him. Imbolc is represented in the
colours white, green and blue as well as by the planting of new seeds. Imbolc is traditionally a time for
initiations and self-dedications.
Ostara / Spring Equinox
The Spring Equinox is a time when the winter is forgotten.
The God and Goddess are shown to be equal
in power by the matched length of night and day. Now the Goddess begins to impel the creatures of the
Earth to reproduce and the youthful God delights in reawakening of nature. Ostara is symbolised in light
greens and the sprounting of the seeds planted at Imbolc.
At Bealtaine the God has reached maturity and, empassioned by
the energies of nature, acts upon his
desire for the Goddess who is now in her maiden aspect. This is a festival of fertility and the return of the
Earth's vitality is symbolised by the Goddess being pregnant of the God. Bealtaine is dark green and its
symbols are a cauldron for the Goddess and a May Pole for the God.
Litha / Summer Solstice
Summer is the time when the Horned God is at the apex of his power
as the sun reaches its highest
point in the sky. The fertility of spring now bears fruit and the Earth teems with an abundance of life.
With the colour white and in the symbols of fire, the nature of Litha is shown.
Lughnasadh / Lammas
This is the beginning of the harvest and the first sign of the
waning sun. The bounty of summer is
gathered for the coming winter and we are reminded that nothing remains constant. In colours of red and
orange, Lughnasadh is celebrated in the gathering of flowers and the baking of bread.
Mabon / Autumn Equinox
Once again the day and night are equal as the Goddess matures
and the God's power diminishes.
Mabon is the end of the harvest and it is depicted in yellow and brown. At this time fallen leaves are
gathered and used as symbols of the approaching winter.
The God now dies and prepares to be reborn at Yule. This
is the feast of the dead and the realm of the
Crone Goddess. Many Wiccans feel that, at Samhain, the veil between the living and the dead is at its
weakest and it is a time to remember departed loved ones. The passing of the God is acknowledged in
red and black as well as with pine cones and pumpkins.
The day following Samhain is the beginning of the Wiccan year though, in the Southern Hemisphere, this
is often celebrated at Bealtaine to keep the dates consistent.
Lunar Months or Esbats
For the current months' calendar
Oak Moon (Full Moon
Elder Moon (New Moon of December)
Storm Moon (Full Moon of
Birch Moon (New Moon of January)
Chaste Moon (Full Moon of February)
Rowan Moon (New Moon of February)
Seed Moon (Full Moon of March)
Ash Moon (New Moon of March)
Hare Moon (Full Moon of April)
Alder Moon (New Moon of April)
Fairie Moon (Full Moon of May)
Willow Moon (New Moon of May)
Mead Moon (Full Moon of June)
Hawthorn Moon (New Moon of June)
Wyrt Moon (Full Moon of July)
Oak Moon (New Moon of July)
Barley Moon (Full Moon
Holly Moon (New Moon of August)
Wine Moon (Full Moon of September)
Hazel Moon (New Moon of September)
(Full Moon Occurring Closest to Mabon)
Blood Moon (Full Moon of October)
Vine Moon (New Moon of October)
Snow Moon (Full Moon of November)
Ivy Moon (New Moon of November)
(2nd Full Moon Occurring in a Solar Month)
Reed Moon (New Moon Mate to the Full Blue Moon)