Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
The Witches' Sabbath (1797-1798) by Francisco de
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Written and compiled by George Knowles.
the Goddess told us”
ye have need of anything
in the month and better it be when the moon is full,
shall ye assemble in some secret place
adore the spirit of me,
am Queen of all witches.
shall ye assemble
who are fain to learn all sorcery
have not won its deepest secrets,
these will I teach all things that are as yet unknown.
ye shall be free from slavery
as a sign that ye be truly free,
shall be naked in your rites
ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love,
in my praise.
mine is the ecstasy of the spirit
mine also is joy on earth
for my law is love unto all beings.
(See Charge of the Goddess - by Doreen Valiente)
Wicca Witchcraft is not just about casting spells and working magic. Wicca is also a wonderful life living religion, a continuous celebration of all aspects of life. In all, Wiccans celebrate 21 festivals (Rituals) each year. These are broken down into eight main festivals called “Sabbats” marking the suns annual cycle and that of life and nature. The other thirteen festivals are Full Moon celebrations called “Esbats”, at which times they gather together to honour the Goddess and God.
Sabbats are the eight main festivals
celebrated by witches; they are solar rituals marking the points of the sun's
yearly cycle and that of life and nature. Traditionally
they are grouped into two categories with four Greater Sabbats and four Lesser
Sabbats. The four Greater Sabbats are those associated with agriculture and the
bearing cycles of animals, thus their dates my vary slightly from year to year.
Known by a variety of names the four Greater
- (February 2nd) also known as: Oimelc
(April 30th) also known as:
Roodmas / May Eve / Walpurgis Night
(August 1st) also known as: Lammas
(October 31st) also known as: Hallowmas
The four Lesser Sabbats contain the Solstices and Equinoxes representing the astronomical beginnings of the seasons. their dates may vary by a day or two each year as they depend upon the sun’s entry into the zodiacal signs of: Aries (Spring), Cancer (Summer), Libra (Autumn) and Capricorn (Winter). The four Lesser Sabbats are:
(March 21st) also known as:
The Spring Equinox
(June 21st) also known as: The
(September 21st) also known as: The
Yule - (December 21st) also known as: The Winter Solstice
The Mythology of the Sabbats
The rituals of the Sabbats are an enactment of the myths that surround the relationship of the Goddess and God, and the effects this has on life and nature as the year unfolds. Stories differ slightly from tradition to tradition, but the most common myth begins when the Goddess descends into the Underworld (see the "Descent of the Goddess") in search of the slain God, for she would solve all mysteries, even the mystery of death. They meet, exchange mysteries, make love and became one. From their union came the birth of the Sun God at Yule. Of old the original beginning of the Celtic new year started with Samhain in October:
October 31st - also known as: Hallowmas / Halloween / November Eve / Feast of the Dead / Feast of Apples / All Hallows Eve:
Samhain celebrates the “Feast of the Dead” a farewell celebration to the God, who as “Lord of the Harvest” and then “King of the Hunt” sacrificed himself at the time when the earths bounty was depleted and his animals were being slaughtered to provide sustenance throughout the coming winter months. The Goddess begins her descent into the underworld in search of the God.
December 21st - also know as: The Winter Solstice:
Yule celebrates the rebirth of the Sun God, born of the Goddess after her return from the Underworld. Yule is the time of greatest darkness and has the shortest days of the year. Fires and candles are lit to welcome the return of the Sun Gods light, while the Goddess rests after delivery and the hardships of her winter in labor.
February 2nd - also known as: Oimelc / Candlemas / Lupercalia / Feast of Torches / Feast of Pan / Snowdrop Festival / Feast of the Waxing Light / Brigid’s Day:
Imbolc marks the recovery of the Goddess as she sleeps on peacefully after the birth the Sun God. It acknowledges the maturity of the Sun God as he grows in strength to become the new light of the year. After the shut down life of winter hibernation, his light purifies the earth and although the God is still young, he is lusty, his power can be felt in the lengthening of the days. As his warmth fertilizes the earth, it causes seeds to germinate and spout as the earliest beginnings of spring appear.
March 21st - also known as: Spring Equinox /Springs Rites of Spring / Eostra’s Day:
Ostara celebrates the waking of the Goddess after her rest. Warmed by the strengthening light of the Sun, she wakes bursting forth from her sleep and blankets the earth with fertility. The first true days of spring begin as days and nights become equal, and light overtakes darkness. The God stretches and grows to maturity. He walks the fields and forests delighted with the abundance of life and nature. He with the help of the Goddess impel all living creatures out of hibernation, to mate and reproduce.
April 30th - also known as: Roodmas / May Eve / Walpurgis Night:
Beltane marks the courtship of the Goddess and God in a renewal of the ancient marriage of polarity. As the young God emerges into manhood, he desires the Goddess and they fall in love. They meet together in fields and forests where spurred on by the energies at work in nature, they unite and the Goddess again becomes pregnant of the God.
June 21st - also known as: The Summer Solstice:
Litha embraces the beginning of summer, and is the solstice marking the longest days of the year. The God is in his prime and the powers of nature reach their highest point. The earth is awash with ripening and growing bounty after the mating of the Goddess and God.
August 1st - also known as: August Eve / Feast of Bread / Harvest Home:
Lammas/Lughnasadh is a celebration of the bounty brought to the earth by the union of the Goddess and God. It’s the time of the first harvest when the plants of spring begin to wither and die. They drop their fruits for our use, and seeds to ensure a future harvest. So too does the God begin to die as daylight decreases and the nights grow longer. The Goddess looks on in sorrow and watches God dying, but with joy she realizes he lives on inside her, her unborn child.
September 21st) - also known as: The Autumn Equinox:
Mabon represents the completion of the harvest started at Lughnasadh. The days and nights become equal as darkness overtakes light. The God dies as the “Lord of the Harvest” and then “King of the Hunt” in a willing sacrifice. He then descends into the earth to the Underworld, there to await his renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. Nature declines and draws back its bounty in readiness for the winter and it’s time of rest. The Goddess looks at the weakening sun, and a fire burns in her belly as she feels the presence of the God. She prepares for her own journey into the Underworld, to search for him again.
And so the cycle of the ritual year begins again with Samhain in October.
of Wicca & Witchcraft - by
Wicca, A guide for the Solitary Practitioner - By Scott Cunningham
First published the 30th July 2001, 20:14:56 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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