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Esbats

Sabbaths | Esbats | Other Days | Telling Time

It’s the wise witch who celebrates on Sabbath and Esbat because they’re times of both real and symbolic power. It’s a way to stay connected to your spirituality on a regular basis. Plus it’s fun 🙂

Because there are 13 Moon months in a year, and because the first New Moon doesn’t necessarily coincide with the first day of the first sun month, the Full Moon (mid-point of the Moon month) doesn’t necessarily coincide with the Sun months used on this page.

And because there are 13 Full Moons in a Sun year, one of the Sun months will have two Full Moons. The second Full Moon of a Sun month is often called Blue Moon. It’s a term found in many languages, at least in Europe.

January

The Moon in the deepest and coldest part of winter is called the Wolf Moon. When the hours of sunlight slowly increase and the Wolf Moon turns full, is a good time to look back on the year that has passed and learn from your experiences.

Say goodbye to the past and let it go, so that you can meet the year which has been born with a fresh outlook and mind. To learn to let go of things we would otherwise hang on to, is one of the greatest secrets of magic.

February

The Moon that follows the Wolf Moon is the Storm Moon. Honor it regardless if you belong to a coven who meet on full Moon nights, salute it in a solitary ritual, or just send it a kiss or a wish when you see it.

Remember the magic of this night and the nature of the storms in February. Unlike the noisy ones in the light half-year, associated with rolling thunder and flashing lightning, the storms in February are more silent. They cover the world in cold in accordance with nature in the dark half of the year.

Nature rests under the blanket of cold and quiet snow, as we do in the realm we call death. And as the ones in the Spirit world, nature prepares for new life.

March

The Moon that follows the Storm Moon is the Chaste Moon, Seed Moon, or the Crow Moon, depending on your tradition. In the same way as nature can change by seasons or will, always renewing, always starting over. So can we. It’s always possible to start over by diskovering the new potential within ourselves. When you celebrate this Moon, look deep within to diskover what potential lies and waits to be fulfillled.

This is the time to plant seeds, as well as on a material level it can also be the time to do the same on the spiritual level. On a night when the Seed Moon (another name for the Chaste Moon) in March is full, cast your circle. Before the ritual is over, you choose which spiritual seeds you wish to sow.

It can be knowledge-seeds, understanding-seeds or seeds for special magical know-how. It can also be project-seeds, or seeds for other things. Then plant these seeds in the fertile soil which is your subconscious mind, with a firm resolution to nurture and cultivate them in the coming months. So that they grow, blossom and bear fruit.

April

As the Hare Moon (sometimes called Seed Moon up North) in April moves towards full, observe the rabbits that jump and play, worry free in their mating and full of joy in their games. While you cast your circle and happily dance the round, feel in yourself the worry-free nature of the wild animals. It’s also a time to find balance, follow you intuition and instincts, and start new things.

May

When you celebrate on the night of the Dyad Moon or Flower Moon, decorate it with apple blossoms and light white candles. Sit down and reflect for a while. Seek harmony in everything. For this month, it’s a good idea to focus on growth, exploration, and nourishment. Both physical, mental, and spiritual.

June

The Moon in June is the Strawberry Moon but sometimes also called the Mead Moon. Mead has been reputed to have magical and life-giving powers in many of the countries in early Europe. It was also the drink of choice for many legendary heroes.

On the night when the Mead Moon is full, fill the cup with mead (if available), sweet wine or an herbal tea sweetened with honey. Sip the drink and sit quietly while making yourself ready for inspiration from higher spheres. If the night of the Mead Moon is very close to the Summer Solstice, this can give very powerful results.

July

This Moon is called both the Wort Moon and the Mead Moon (more common up North). When the Wort Moon moves towards full it’s time to collect herbs. The word ‘wort’ is an old Anglo-Saxon word for herb. When the magical herbs are collected and hung to dry, it’s time to thank the spirits who live in the garden and give them an offering. Maybe they’ll whisper secrets about herbal magic to you when you place an offering in the moonlit garden.

August

When the Grain Moon, Corn Moon, or Barley Moon is full, many wild herbs are ready to be harvested. Herbs, wild grasses, and grains that are harvested now will be dry in time for the Fall Equinox.

Abundance is everywhere; the herb garden, the vegetable garden, the field and the orchard. The house is full of lovely scents from the harvested herbs and preparations. This is a time for contemplation, communication, and collaboration but also for creative expression and inspiration.

September

Because wine was and is a holy liquid, the British pagans gave this Moon the name Wine Moon. In Scandinavia, it’s the Harvest Moon. Now that the harvest is done, it’s time to celebrate. You should also use this time to tie up loose ends and evaluate the results of your efforts.

October

This Moon is called the Blood Moon and Slaughter Moon because the animals used to be slaughtered at this time of year. Some also call it the Hunter’s Moon. When you celebrate your ritual on this moonlit autumn night, know that you have company in the dance. Not only by the unseen presence of deceased friends and family, who are so close at this time of year, but also by animal spirits.

Maybe those who have died so that we can have food to eat. In this time of mass production of food, maybe it’s especially important that we, at the Blood Moon, ask for understanding from our sisters and brothers among the animals, thank them, bless them and wish them merry meet, merry part and merry meet again.

November

As the winter sun decreases and the Snow Moon moves towards full, perform your ritual in the warm light from candles. Greet the Moon in Her snowy ‘winteriness’ and breathe in the coolness of the night. Become as still as the winter night and know that the activity of the warm months is behind us. Ahead are the dark months of the year. The soul is the most active and the body is mostly still. Indulge in your favorite pleasures and stay warm.

December

The full Moon closest to the Winter solstice is the Oak Moon. The ancient oak tree has its trunk and its branches in the world of the living while the roots, branches upside-down, stretch deep into the Underworld.

At this most magical time of year, when the light from the old, dying year decreases and the Oak Moon moves towards full. Move to create change, own your power, and communicate your message to the world.

Finally, here’s some musical inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BCE29C782E4037DD

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