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The word Sabbat is given various derivations, but the most appealing seems to be the French "s'ebattre", which means to frolic.
The Sabbats are an important part of the witches tradition, and so we need to look at them. The Sabbats are also stages in the cyclic love story of the Goddess and God



Samhain or Hallowe'en begins the Celtic New Year, the time where the Veil between mortal and spirit is thin. During this time the deceased come back to visit their homes and loved ones. We may find ourselves more psychically aware and able to communicate with friends and family who have passed on. Magick done at this time is for preservation through the winter months and to strengthen the Sun for His rebirth at Yule.



(Mid-Winter Solstice)

Yule or Winter Solstice celebrates the rebirth of the Sun child. Most modern Christmas celebrations are modified Pagan customs. Santa Claus or Kris Kringle comes from the Norse traditions. During the Yule season's stormy nights, Odin rides his eight-footed horse throughout the world bestowing gifts on worthy people and dispensing justice to the wrong doers. Kris Kringle ("Christ of the Wheel") is the title of the Norse god born at Winter Solstice. Our ancestors believed that by decorating with evergreen plants such as holly, mistletoe, and ivy, they were helping to bring the Sun through a dangerous time of diminished light.



Imbolc is a time of purification, preparation, and celebration for new life stirrings that always happens in Spring. In the Catholic calendar it is know as St. Brigit's day or Candlemas. The custom of blessing candles signifies the awakening of life and honours the goddess Brigit, for fire is sacred to her.



(Spring Equinox)

Ostara or Spring Equinox is light and dark balanced with light gaining power. It's the turning point from Winter to Spring. It is the beginning of the agricultural year, and its rights ensure crops and fertility of the flocks. Now is the time of planting, nurturing, and growth. The God and Goddess begin their courtship.



Beltane honours the union of the God and Goddess and the beginning of the fertile Goddess's reign. We see Her power in the growing, flowering plants and warm days.



(Summer Solstice)

Litha or Summer Solstice or Midsummer is the longest day of the year and
celebrates the Sun at the height of his power. It includes the elements of Fire and Water for the sacred marriage of the God and Goddess and to acknowledge the need for the Sun and the rain to help the crops grow.



Lammas or Lughnasadh honours the Sun god Lugh, ripener of grains. These rites thank Him for His gifts. It is a time to bless the garden, beehives (because bees help pollinate plants), and harvest tools.



(Autumn Equinox)

Mabon or Autumn or Fall Equinox is a time of thanksgiving for the harvest that has been accomplished. It's a time of bidding farewell to summer and of honouring the family and friendship bonds.