Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sabbaths - Holidays

The witch's calender marks eight holidays during the solar year, called Sabbaths. In addition the 13 full moon which occur each year are also seen as holidays called Esbats, honoring the Goddess as Great Mother. 

I will list each Sabbath and what I do for each, or what little I know for each of them.

Samhain: October 31. This is the Celtic New Year and celebrates both life and death. It happens to mark the third and finial Harvest. This is when the Goddess as Crone takes the God to the underworld to wait to be reborn at Yule. The God and Goddess crossover make many a witch believe that the vial between life and death disappears and the dead come over and join the living to make merry.
Pumpkins, apples, nuts, thistle, oak leaves, sage, nutmeg, colors black, orange, Jake O Lanterns, Photos of deceased loved ones, Autumn flowers, squashes, corn cider, mulled wine, cranberry muffins, herbal teas. 
Yule: December 21, or Winter Solstice. This is the day the Mother Goddess gives birth to the Sun God. The Yule log is burned and candles come out to celebrate the return of the Sun, and the blessed Light. The Yule log is traditionally as a given and received as a gift to be decorated as seen fit. The light and Dark do battle and the Lights wins as the days grow longer. 
Holly, Mistletoe, Rosemary, Oak, Pine Cones, Nuts, Mulled Wine, Roast Turkey, Colors Red, Green, White, Silver, Gold, Yule Log (Oak or Pine), Wreaths, Strings of dried Flowers and Cinnamon sticks. Apples oranges, Yule Tree. 
Imbolc: February 1 or 2. This is a celebration of the waxing sun as the days grow warmer, candles are lit to help the son grow stronger. The Goddess is now a young maiden and will son be wed to the young God.
First Flower of the Year, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Colors White, Orange, Red, Lamps, Besom (Witch's Broom) Yellow Flowers, Dairy Products, Onions, Garlic, Spiced Wines, Seeds, Herbal Teas.
Ostara Spring Equinox, March 21. This comes on a day of balance between light and dark, but light is the stronger of the two. Life is reemerging and signs of life and Gaia's fertility are abundant. The young God and Goddess are also awakening to their own sexuality and desire for one another. This is a time of birth and prosperity.
Honeysuckle, Iris, Violet and all of the Spring Flowers, Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Color green, Yellow, Colors Eggs, Jelly Beans, Rabbits, Seeds, Leafy Green Vegetables, Spiced or Flowered cup Cakes, Fruits
Beltane: May 1. This celebrates the scared marriage of the God and Goddess and from their union will be born the bounty of the Autumn Harvest (Samhain) It also marks the transitional phase of the Goddess from young maiden to Mother as the God's seed takes root in her womb.
Honeysuckles, St john's Wort, Hawthorn, All Flowers, Frankincense, Lilac, Rose, Color Green, Soft Pink, Blue, Yellow, Broomsticks, May Pole, Baskets, Fresh Vegetables, Sweets, Spicy Foods, Beef, Stack, May Wine.
Litha: Summer Solstice, June 21. This marks the Sun God at the peek of his Power. He is at full strength when light and dark do battle again. Dark wins as the light begins to wane. 
Lavender, Chamomile, Rose, Daisy, Lily, Lemon, Color Blue, Green, Yellow, Dried Herbs, Potpourri, Seashells. Summer Flowers, Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Ale.
Lammas: July 31 (USA) This is the celebration of the first Harvest and a day to enjoy the earths abundance with feast of breads and grain. 
Symbolics: All Grains, Grapes, Black Berries, Sunflowers, Sandlewood, Rose, Aloes, Color Yellow, Orange, Green, Brown, Corn, Dollies, Weaving Crafts, Shafts of Grain, Breads, Cider, Pies and Jellies, Rice, Sweet Teas.
Mabon: Autumn Equinox September 21, This marks the three harvest. its Celebrated with Fruit harvesting and wine making like Ostara, Mobon is a time of balance between light and dark. Dark wins tell Yule.
Hazel, Corn, Acorns, Oak, Wheat Stalks, Cypress Cones, Pine Cones, Sage, One, Color Orange, Dark Red, Brown, Acorns, Pomegranates, Pine Cones, Baskets of Fallen Leaves, Bread, CornBread, Beans, Squash, Apples, Roots, Carrots, Potatoes, Onions, Cider.