Are All Sabats Created Equal?

Most witches, Wiccans, and Pagans follow the Eight Great Celtic Sabat model (although there are thousands of other traditions.  Read The Grandmother of Time by Z. Budapest and The Pagan Book of Days by Nigel Pennick for more information).  The benefit about following the natural world is the major holidays are nicely spaced throughout the year.  Getting bummed after Yule? Imbolc is right around the corner.  We are constantly celebrating life and the Earth and our faith.

Yet, I have found that try as I may to celebrate every holiday, I have noticed a pattern about how I approach the Wheel of the Year:

  • Yule: Christmas (a very important day in my family) is a few days away and since that’s such a high stress holiday I am too wiped to stay up with the Goddess as she births the God.
  • Imbolc: Very informal celebration.  This year I had my friends over for mead.
  • Ostara: I always seem to forget about it.
  • Beltane: One of my favorites, but it always falls on finals or reading days.  I do make an effort to do some sort of ritual, though.
  • Litha: I go to a local farm festival with my mom every year and go home for a late night ritual.  One of the best days of the year.
  • Lammas: So. Much. Baking.  Always a laid back holiday.
  • Mabon: I adore Mabon.  Never miss it.
  • Samhain: I celebrate it, but I always seem burnt out due to a variety of reasons.

I do not treat them all with the same amount of pomp and circumstance.  I mean, it’s not practical for me.  I have school, work, family, friends, boyfriend, extra curricular activities, taking care of myself, etc.  The prep time is not always there.

What ultimately drives celebratory worship is the connection to particular times of the year.  For me, I feel at home in summer and fall holidays.  They speak to my soul in such an empowering way, which is what matters the most about sabat celebrations.  That connection is key because that is what allows the worshiper to benefit spiritually from the ritual.

© Ariadne Woods

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3 thoughts on “Are All Sabats Created Equal?

  1. I think each person has their own personal wheel of the year, at least internally. I’ve always connected with the solstices and equinox(s) more than the other holidays, simply because I had already noticed and made myself aware of them long before I explored paganism. I also have more of an issue with the three harvests (as far as remembering their purposes), mostly because I don’t have anything physical that I harvest; I’ve been a mover, a bit of a gypsy, so gardens and fruit trees just aren’t my thing. Thankfully, the gods don’t take holiday attendance… 😛

      1. LOL! Yeah, with life being more about fiscal and social cycles than agricultural, many pagans have a problem with remembering the traditional wheel.

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