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 Sabbats

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magicangel
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PostSubject: Sabbats   Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:35 pm

Sabbats are wiccan holidays. The Wiccan year begins after Samhain according to the Celtic almanac.

Samhain, October 31
Samhain (Sow-inn), also goes by the name Halloween by the Christian community. This is our time of endings and beginnings, so many Pagans celebrate the New Year at Samhain. This is a quieter time, a time when the veil between the physical and spiritual world is at its thinnest and spirits may pass between more readily. At Mabon, the God Lugh died in order for us to live through His abundance. During the intervening time, He has gathered the spirits of those that have died over the year and waits for the night so that they may pass through the gate to the other side. This is the time to revere our ancestors and to say farewell to those that have passed this last year. The abundance of the fields now gives way to the power and strength of the Horned God of the Hunt. This begins a time of darkness, when the land begins its slumber and from now until Yule, the days grow shorter and darker. Winter storms begin to sweep down from the north. The time when the earth rests is begun at Samhain. We celebrate the year passed and the year to come. We light bonfires and perform rituals to honor those that have gone before. A sacrifice of bread and wine is offered to the Gods as thanks for Their guidance throughout the passed year and in advance for the year to come.

Yule, December 20-23
Yule is also called by the name: Winter Solstice. It celebrates the rebirth of the Sun God and honors the Horned God. On Yule we experience the longest night of the year. Although much of the winter harvest weather is still to come, we celebrate the coming light and thank the Gods for seeing us through the longest night. It is a time to look on the past year's achievements and to celebrate with family and friends. From this day until MidSummer, the days will grow longer and banish the darkness to begin the light that brings warmth and life to the world. This is the official first day of winter. This Sabbat usually falls between the dates listed above, depending on when the Sun reaches the southern most point in it yearly crossing.

Imbolc, February 1
Imbolc, also called the Feast of Brighid, celebrates the approach of spring. The term ''Imbolc'' means ''in milk'' and at this time, pregnant sheep begin to lactate. This is one sure sign that spring is coming soon. Although the days are getting longer, this is still the heart of winter and Brighid, the Celtic Goddess of healing, poetry, and smithcraft is honored. Her gift of smithcraft comes with an added bonus - fire. This may be the reason some celebrate this day as the day of the Celtic Fire Goddess. This is a time of new beginnings and growth. At this time, think of your goals and dreams for this year that you will accomplish. At this time, greet the pregnant Maiden Goddess and give Her thanks for soon She will give birth to the spring.

Ostara, March 20-23
Ostara, also called the Spring Equinox or Vernal Equinox, celebrates the arrival of Spring. This Sabbat will fall between the above dates depending on which day the Sun is at its northern most point. Ostara marks the day when night and day are in balance. Ostara symbols are the egg and the rabbit. Ostara is the Norse Goddess of fertility and it is She that is honored this Sabbat day. During this time, the snow begins to melt away, the days are warmer and longer. Looking around we see new birth everywhere, from homes on the hillside to the animals in the fields. Life has begun again. This is the time to plant the seeds of flowers, herbs and veggies and perhaps begin a spiritual garden.

Beltaine, May 1
Beltaine, also called May Day by many Christians. This Sabbat celebrates the fertility and union of the Horned God and the Goddess. At this time, life is renewing itself. Birds and animals are mating. In the fields, newly planted seeds are beginning to grow. Great fires are lit honoring the fertility God Belenos. Some leap the fires to show the exuberance of the season.

A Maypole is erected and bright ribbons are hung on it. The Maypole, a phallic symbol, represents the masculine. The soft colored ribbons are the feminine. The union of the two symbolizes the union of the God and Goddess. This is the time to fertilize your dreams with action. It is legend that children conceived at Beltane were gifted by the Gods. These children became known as Merry-Be-Gots.

Midsummer, June 20-23
Litha, also called Midsummer and Summer Solstice, celebrates the abundance and beauty of the Earth. This is the longest day of the year, and will fall somewhere between the dates above depending on when the Sun is at its northern most point. From this day on, the days will wane, growing shorter and shorter until Yule. The trees and fields are full and prosperous. The young animals and birds are learning to frolic in the fields and trees. This is a time of the Faery, when a festival called the Feast of the Faery is held. It is believed that at twilight on this day, the portals between worlds open and the Faery folk my pass into our world. Welcome them on this day and they may bless you with their wisdom and joy. This is a time to look internally at the seeds you've planted that should be at full bloom.

Lughnasadh, August 1
Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, is the Celebration of Harvest and begins what is called ''the chase of Lugh''. Lugh is the Celtic Sun God and He grows within the crops, living within the golden fields. This is the time of the first harvests. At this celebration we give thanks to the Earth for its bounty and beauty. It is from these harvests that we eat through the upcoming winter. Honoring the God Lugh, games and sports are played to celebrate strength and good health. The grain Goddesses Demeter and Ceres are also honored. This is a time to harvest the dreams planted earlier in the year.

Mabon, September 20-23
Mabon, or the Fall or Autumnal Equinox, celebrates the end of harvest. Again we find ourselves with a day and night equal. On this day, which will fall somewhere between the dates above, the Sun again passes the equator, this time on its trek south. At this time the ''chase of Lugh'' ends with the felling of the last shaft of grain. It is within this last shaft that Lugh has hidden, but with His death, His sacrifice, we live through His abundance. This is time for thanksgiving, evaluation and meditation. Take stock in what you've received and prepare for the dark days.
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