TIME – Three days before to three days after the full moon. There are thirteen full moons in a year, each of which, the Goddess is at her highest peak. Esbats are rituals that are performed on the night of each of the four moon phases. The ritual consists of drawing down the moon and the consecration of cakes and ale. During these rituals, amulets and tools are often charged/consecrated for various uses. Below is a list of the moon phases and what kinds spells or goals are best cast or made at each one. Every 28 days the moon goes through its full cycle. Starting with new moon going through full moon and back to new moon. The power of the Goddess grows with the waxing of the moon, and subdues, but doesn't go away, as the moon wanes. The power of the full moon is a well-known phenomenon; ask any cop, ER nurse, or fireman.
NEW MOON- (Maiden form of the Triple Goddess); performing magic that involves personal growth, healing or starting a new project of venture.
FULL MOON- (Mother form of the Triple Goddess); protection, divination, planning, releasing magic.
WANING MOON- (Crone form of the Triple Goddess); banishing unwanted behaviors or negative influences in life, breaking bad habits, and negative situations can be banned with much success.
DARK OF THE MOON- (the three days prior to a New Moon); meditation, retrospection and self-examination. Also a time of rest and rejuvenation. NOTE: no magic is performed during this period of the moon's monthly cycle.
DESCRIPTION - Samhain, pronounced "Sow-in" or "Soween" usually celebrated on October 31. It is the Celtic New Year and a time when the veil between the physical and spiritual world are thin. It is a time to commune with ancestors and loved ones that have passed over. We never summon or call back the dead; we just let them know that if they wish to speak to us we are more than willing to listen. Samhain opens the dark half of the year; it is the first day of winter. A time for the Goddess Morrigan and her consort the God The Dagda. It is also a time for honoring the crone Goddess Hecate. Honey is good to offer to Her, we offer her honey along with our crescent cakes that we make at almost every Sabbat. In some regions Herne the Hunter begins his Wild Hunt on Samhain. The "dumb supper" is held on this night, the dumb supper is a dinner set out for the spirits. During which no one is to speak so as to give respect and honor to those who have passed on. This practice is still followed in parts of the Celtic world.
LORE - It is traditional on Samhain night to leave a plate of food outside the home for the souls of the dead. This is the night when the veil between both worlds is at its thinnest. A candle place in the window guides them to the lands of eternal summer and burying apples in the hard-packed Earth, "feeds" the passed ones on their journey.
Wisdom of the Crone, Death of God, Reflection on our place in the Wheel of the Year. Honor the dead, end of summer, the New Year, and celebrating reincarnation.
COLORS - Black, Orange and Red.
SYMBOLS - Jack-O-Lantern, Balefire, Besom, Masks, The Cauldron and Waning Moon.
DEITIES - All Crone Goddesses, The Dying/Dead God
STONES - Obsidian, Onyx & Carnelian
FOOD - Beets, turnips, apples, corn, nuts, gingerbread, cider, mulled wines, and pumpkin dishes.
DESCRIPTION- Yule is also called the Winter Solstice - Dec. 21St. Yule comes from the Norse Lul meaning wheel. Yule is the time when the Goddess gives birth to the Sun God. It also marks the birth of the Oak King, God of the waxing year. The Yule Log is an important rite on this night. A log bought into the house is kept burning all night. Afterwards, the ashes were scattered in the fields to ensure a good harvest for the next year. Keep a small piece of the left over Yule Log to use as kindling at the next Yule.
LORE - One traditional Yuletide practice is the creation of a Yule tree. This can be a living, potted tree that can later be planted in the ground or a cut one.
Appropriate decorations are fun to make, from strings of dried rosebuds and cinnamon sticks for garlands, to bags of fragrant spices that are hung from the boughs. Quartz crystals can be wrapped with shiny wire and suspended from branches to resemble icicles. Apples, oranges, and lemons hanging from the boughs were customary in ancient times.
Many enjoy the custom of lighting the Yule Log. This represents the rebirth of the God within the sacred fire of the Mother Goddess. As the log burns, visualize the Sun shining within it and think of the coming warmer days.
COLORS - Red, Green, White and Gold
SYMBOLS - Evergreen trees, Yule Log, Holly, Eight-spoke Wheel, Wreaths, and spinning Wheels.
DEITIES - Newborn God, Triple Goddess
STONES - Bloodstone, Ruby, Garnet
FOOD - Nuts, Apples, Pears, Cakes of Caraways soaked in cider and pork are traditional fare. Wassail, Lambs wool, Hibiscus or Ginger tea are great for the Simple Feast or Yule meals.
DESCRIPTION - Imbolc is also known as Candlemas, St. Brigit’s Day, Brides Day, or Groundhogs Day. The word Imbolc means "in the belly". It is the celebration of the return of the maiden of spring. During this time we see the first stirrings of life and spring. The Celtic Goddess Brigit/Brigid, pronounced "Breed", is honored on this day. She is the triple muse Goddess who brings fertility of the upcoming spring. She is also a fire Goddess who rules over healing, inspiration, poetry and smith craft. One tradition is to make Brigit a bed. This entails making a corn dolly to represent the Goddess in her maiden form and making a phallic wand and placing them side-by-side in a basket. The corn dolly is called a biddy. Another tradition is that a Priestess should wear a crown of 13 candles. Some do this to represent the young maiden bringing forth the light of spring and some traditions use this to represent the Mother, because it is the Mother Earth who is quickened at Imbolc.
LORE - It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house, even if only for a few moments. Or you can light candles in each room. This is to honor the Sun's rebirth. If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment and recall the warmth of summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the sun on the snow.
COLORS - White, Yellow & Pink
SYMBOLS - Candles, The Bride, Burrowing Animals, Grain Dolly& Sun Wheels.
DEITIES - God and Goddess as children, All Virgin Goddess'
STONES - Turquoise & Amethyst
FOOD - Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the sun are equally attuned. Also peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic and chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins, any food symbolic of the sun is traditional.
DESCRIPTION - Spring Equinox falls around March 21st. , also called Ostara, Eostre and Lady Day. It is a time when light & dark are in balance, but the light is conquering the darkness. Now the light has grown in strength & thus is the time to celebrate the balance in all things, male & female, light and dark, death and life, & also the balance within us. The Spring Equinox is the time when the Greek Goddess Persephone reemerges from the underworld and in doing so her Mother Demeter stops mourning her absence and starts the beginning of spring.
LORE - A traditional Vernal Equinox pastime; go to a field and randomly collect wildflowers. Be sure you thank the flowers for their sacrifice before picking them. Then bring them home and divine their magical meanings by the use of books, your intuition, a pendulum or whatever other means. The flowers you have chosen, reveal you inner thoughts and emotions.
It is important at this time of renewed life to plan a walk through gardens, a park, woodlands, forest or some other green place. This is not simply exercise, and you should be on no other mission. It isn't even just an appreciation of nature, but makes your walk a celebration or ritual of nature itself.
Other traditional activities include planting seeds, working on magical gardens & practicing all forms of herb work, whether magical, medicinal, cosmetic, culinary or artistic.
COLORS - Green, Yellow, Pink and all pastels.
SYMBOLS - Eggs, New Moon, Butterflies
DEITIES - Youthful and Virile God and Goddess
STONES - Aquamarine, Rose Quartz, Moonstone
FOOD - Foods in tune with this day include those made of seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds and pine nuts. Sprouts are equally appropriate as are leafy green vegetables. Flower dishes such as stuffed nasturtiums or carnation cupcakes also find their place here.
DESCRIPTION – Beltane means, "bel-Fire", derived from the Celtic God Bel, which means Lord. Beltane and Samhain are the two greatest festivals, the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter. Beltane is the time when the Goddess and the God marry - a time when the Goddess changes from the maiden aspect to the mother aspect. Since fertility was a major part of this time of year, during Beltane, the maypole was constructed. The maypole is a large pole with a crown of flower and colored ribbons on the top. The pole is the male phallic symbol and the crown is female. Another feature of Beltane festival is jumping over the fire. Beltane is the Oak King sacrificial mating and resurrection. He mates with the Goddess at this time & then at Midsummer is "overruled" by his twin brother the Holly King.
LORE - Weaving and plaiting are traditional arts at this time of the year. This represents the joining together of two substances to form a third, this is the spirit of Beltane. This is the union of the God and Goddess, the Sacred Marriage, all new life, fertility for all living things and the end of winter.
COLORS - Red, Green, White, Dark Yellow
SYMBOLS - Eggs, Flowers, Chalice, May Pole, Butter churn, Flower Chaplet, & May Baskets.
DEITIES - Marriage or sexual union of Deities, All Mother Goddesses.
STONES - Sapphire & Bloodstone
FOOD - Foods traditionally come from the dairy and dishes such as marigold custard and vanilla ice cream are fine.
DESCRIPTION - Midsummer or Litha is celebrated on or around June 21st, it is the Summer Solstice and the longest day and the shortest night of the year. It is a day to honor the sun as it is in its height of power. From now on, the light will begin to wane and the darkness will predominate. This is also the time of the Oak & Holly Kings. On Midsummer, the Holly King defeats his twin brother the Oak King and begins His annual reign. On Yule, the Oak King will defeat the Holly King and reign until Midsummer.
LORE - Litha is practically the classic time two perform magic of all kinds. Healings, love magic and protections are especially suitable. Herbs can be dried over the ritual fire if you are celebrating outdoors. Leap the fire for purification and renewed energy.
This time is the honoring of the Sun/God at his power. Also saying farewell to the waxing year and preparation for harvest. Honoring the pregnant Goddess and the beginning of the waning year.
COLORS - Blue, Green, Gold and Tan
SYMBOLS - Fire, the Sun, Blades, Mistletoe, Oak Trees, Balefire, Sun Wheels, Faeries
DEITIES - Father Gods, Mother Goddesses, Pregnant Deities and Sun Gods.
STONES - Emerald, Jade, Tiger's Eye, Lapis Lazuli and Diamond
FOOD - Fresh fruits are standard for this Sabbat. Summer squash, lemons and oranges, just to name a few.
DESCRIPTION - Lughnasadh, pronounced "Loo-nus-oo" is the Celtic festival of Lugh. Lughnasadh means the commemoration of Lugh who is a fire and light God. He is also a God that undergoes death and rebirth in a sacrificial mating theme with the Goddess. During this time, the Holly King is the God that undergoes the death and rebirth. During this time, again make the corn dollies to represent the "dying" God and keep it until the following year when you burn it and make a new doll. Lughnasadh is the first harvest, Autumnal Equinox is the second and Samhain the final and third harvest. Grain and corn are predominating at this time because they symbolize the fertility and abundance of the Earth. The God is beginning to wane during this time and the Goddess is changing into Her crone aspect.
LORE - This is the time to plant seeds from the fruit consumed in ritual. If they sprout, grown the plant with love and as a symbol of your connection with the God and Goddess.
Wheat weaving (make corn dollies and etc) is an appropriate activity for Lughnasadh. Visit the fields, orchards, lakes and well.
Honor the Parent deities; Honor the Sun Gods, Celebrating first harvest.
COLORS - Red, Gold, Yellow, Green, Orange & Citrine.
SYMBOLS - Corn, All Grains, Bread, Full Moon, Wheat.
DEITIES - Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses.
STONES - Yellow Diamond, Peridot & Citrine.
FOOD - The foods of Lughnasadh include bread, blackberries and all berries. Acorns, crabapples, all grains and locally ripe produce. A cake is sometimes baked and cider is used in place of wine.
DESCRIPTION - Mabon is the name of the Welsh God who represents fertility in Welsh lore. Mabon is a time when both day and night are equal, not only is day and night equal but everything is in balance at this time. Mabon is also the time Oak & Holly King. Throughout the year they have challenged each other and then mate with the Goddess. At Mabon, the Holly King challenges the Oak King and wins, the Holly King rules until the Spring Equinox where the opposite occurs.
LORE - A traditional practice is to walk in wild places and forests. Gather seedpods, and dried plants. These can be used to decorate the home and other saved for future herbal magic.
Celebrating the second harvest, balance, honoring the aging deities, honoring the spirit world, darkness overtaking light & celebration of wine.
COLORS - Brown, Orange, Violet, Maroon, Russet, Deep Gold
SYMBOLS - Grapes, Wine, Vines, Garland, Gourds, Burial Cairns, Rattles, Horn of Plenty, Indian Corn & Sun Wheels.
DEITIES - Wine Deities and Aging Deities
STONES - Amethyst & Yellow Topaz
FOOD - The foods of Mabon include grains, fruits and vegetables, especially corn. Cornbread is the traditional food as are beans and baked squash.