This post marks the beginning of a series of witchy posts, spread over the course of the year, describing the Wiccan holidays that I observe and the rituals and activities that go with each. The eight seasonal holidays, known as sabbats (yes, this is a cognate of Sabbath and Shabbat) fall on the equinoxes, solstices, and midpoints in between each, dividing the year into roughly equal sections of a month and a half each.
Referred to collectively as the Wheel of the Year, the holidays mark the changing of seasons and are rooted in various pagan traditions, especially those of the ancient Celts (at least that’s where many of their names come from and why they are spelled so differently from how they are pronounced). Many paths of Modern Paganism observe some or all of these holidays, but I will approach them from a Wiccan perspective.
The eight holidays are:
- Yule (Winter Solstice)
- Ostara (Spring Equinox)
- Litha (Summer Solstice)
- Mabon (Autumn Equinox)
I find that celebrating these sabbats has helped me feel more in tune with the seasons and ensures that I make time for my spirituality at regular intervals.
How do I celebrate? For me, it doesn’t involve taking off work or spending time with family. Rather, these are times for introspection and spiritual development. I typically re-decorate my altar, spend some time contemplating themes related to the holiday, write in my journal, and perform some magic or other related activity to mark the day as special. In each holiday-specific post, I would like to share with you some of the rituals, activities, and contemplation topics that I have developed over the years.
I will schedule each post to go up around the holiday that it describes, beginning with Ostara, as that is coming up soonest. As I post about each holiday in the series, I will add the links to the bulleted list above.
Got any questions about the Wiccan holidays, or aspects of them that you would like me to address? Let me know in the comments!