To reduce one’s anxiety; Sabbaths in today’s modern age are safe and sacred. They are not tied in with bonfires, devil-worshipping and dancing naked because that is the ancient stereotype.
When one studies witchcraft or enjoys the beauty of collecting crystals and educating them-self about their special properties then one of the many modules in the craft is; The Wheel of the Year. In clearer terms; cultures celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day annually while a witch’s wheel of the year consists of more frequent celebratory days for nature.
These frequent days celebrated nearly every month are sacred and important to one’s craft work. The reason why they celebrate such Sabbaths, their original name, is fascinating and beautiful especially in regards to Wiccan imagery learned from the writings of Kelden.
Imbolc is a Sabbath that falls on 1 February and marks the end of the cold winter and the beginning of a fresh new spring. Doors and windows are cleansed with sage to drive away negativity from the Christmas period and windows are left open to welcome in the new spring air. Animals give birth. Plants wake from a snow-drowned slumber and new life breathes all around the world. “In Wiccan imagery, Imbolc is when the Great Goddess recovers from giving birth to the Horned God and begins to nourish him”.
Ostara falls on 20 March, a time where the hours of darkness and the hours of light are equal. This time is known as the spring equinox. Flowers bloom and the last of the winter’s darkness is being drowned out by light. It’s a time for planting and growing. Linens are encouraged to be hung outside on a clothes line so that they are “imbued with Ostara’s energies of prosperity and fertility.” Moon water and lemon juice become your best friend during this month because it can be used to cleanse carpets, down the toilet drains and gutters and on windows and doors.
Beltane falls on 1 May, no better day to welcome in the summer sun and warm breeze. The Sabbaths energies focus “beauty, manifestation and sexuality.” It makes a great deal of sense as warm weather brings less material to the body; more skin is shown and we need to embrace our naturalness.
After Beltane, comes Litha on 21 June and then followed by three harvest Sabbaths; Lughnasadh on 1 August, Mabon on 21 September and Samhain on 31 October. During these months, harvesting starts and days grow cold and dark, blessings are thanked and rituals are performed to banish any negative energies. Samhain is the one night every year when the veil between the living and dead lifts and spirits co-habit among the living. Ancestors are remembered. In Wiccan imagery “the Horned God’s power diminishes and his final sacrifice comes at Samhain.”
Lastly, Yule arrives on December 21st which marks its name on our calendars as the shortest day of the year; sunlight dominated by darkness. Rituals are made to banish any negative energies and to protect one’s space.
Rachel Garvey is a Co-Editor for Features for Student Independent News for the year 2023/24. She works full-time, but dedicates her free time to writing and being involved in SIN. Rachel has been a contributor to SIN since 2017.