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Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua

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Forums -> Wicca -> Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua

Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By:
Post # 1
Hi, seeing that I am new here, I would like to know more about our Holiday's when and what it consist of, The Sabbath, when and what Rituals can be performed. Please if there is anyone that can help me with this it would highly be appreciated. Blessed be*
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

You need to be a bit more specific. Whose holidays are you talking about? Are you talking about the holidays in one of the Pagan religions, and if so which one? Not all Pagans celebrate the same holidays you see. Those who are Wiccan have a specific set of Sabbats. Asatru have another, Egyptian Reconstructionist someting totally different, etc.

A bit more information about what you'd like more information on would be helpful in replying to your post.

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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By:
Post # 3
I would like to know more of those Wiccan Sabbaths, not entirely sure whether I should trust the Internet? I have learned of the wheel of eight? does that have anything to do with it?
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 4
Sabats,or Sabbaths? The wheel of eight is the wheel of the year, and is very important to witchcraft, as it is to Wicca.In effect,they are the seasons of the year;originally for agriculture. I suppose the most important to most people would be Beltane; May Day. Even the Catholics crown a statue of Mary as the May Queen! It often amuses me when I see adoring parents watching their children dance around the Maypole in my village; totally unaware that the little boys and girls are dancing around a phallic symbol! Times change; beliefs change. So now all children are delighted at Christmas, with no knowledge of Yule. And so long as Yule comes before Christmas, it doesn't really matter. Well, not to me!
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5

In Wicca the word is Sabbats rather than Sabbaths, but it certainly comes from the same root. And the eight Sabbats you're talking about comprise the Wheel of the Year.

There is some excellent information on the history and practices of the Sabbats at http://www.witchessabbats.com/

I would also highly recommend the book "Eight Sabbats for Witches" by Janet and Stewart Farrar, and also Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon and Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara both by Ashleen O'Gaea

In the Northern Hemisphere the eight Sabbats run thusly:

Yule - the Winter Solstice - Dec 21-23

Imbolc - February 1

Oestara - the Spring Equinox - March 21-23

Beltane - May 1

Midsummer or Litha - The Summer Solstice - Jun 21-23

Lammas or Lughnassad - August 1

Mabon - the Fall Equinox - Sep 21-23

Samhain - Oct 31

In the Southern Hemisphere the dates of the Sabbats are reversed so that Yule would fall on Jun 21-23

In the Craft, we make a lot of use of the circle as a symbol, in no little part because so much of our particular vision of the way the Universe works involves cycles that repeatedly return to their points of origin. We envision the progress of the year in this way, as an endless turning of one season into another into another, always moving yet unchanging, in that everything always happens in the same order, Spring after Winter, Summer after Spring, and so on. Some poetic soul somewhere, somewhen, likened the turning of the seasons to the turning of a wheel, and the metaphor of the Wheel of the Year has now passed into common usage within the Craft. The fact that we modern Wiccans celebrate eight seasonal festivals at roughly equal intervals throughout the year only makes the image of the year as a Wheel all the more attractive, as it lends itself to being drawn out as an eight-spoked wheel. (Yes, I *do* know that the Buddhists use an eight-spoked wheel as one of their religious symbols. I not aware of any connection between the two ideas, and feel absolutely no inclination whatsoever to speculate on the matter. This is either entirely coincidental, or the result of a connection and cross-fertilization with which I am not yet prepared to deal.)

One of the important things to remember about the Wheel is that it *never* stops turning. The Wheel itself has no beginning of which any of us is aware, and it has no end which we can foresee. We may speak of a year as having a beginning and an end, because we are human and have this odd compulsion to measure time, but the Wheel keeps turning, regardless of what we may do. It helps, sometimes, on those cold grey days in January, to remind oneself that the Wheel *is* turning, and Spring *will* indeed come 'round again.

The eight Wiccan major holidays, (which are referred to in some traditions as Sabbats,) can be divided into two groups of four: the Quarter Days, which are observed on or near the solstices and the equinoxes; and the Cross-Quarter Days, which are observed roughly halfway between the Quarter Days, on or about the ends of January, April, July, and October. Some times you will see these holidays shown as taking place on the first day of the months following the ones mentioned immediately above: i.e., Beltane on the 1st day of May, and it is not unknown for people to have serious arguments about whether Lammas should more properly be celebrated on July 31 or August 1. Which is a bit silly, since of old these festivals were occasioned *not* by the passage of days marked on a calendar, but by events that took place in the everyday lives of the celebrants.

Something that helps sometimes, in working with the concept of the Wheel and its eight festivals, is to imagine that one is part of a primitive society, without all our modern scientific knowldge and records and calendars and almanacs. When all one has with which to measure the passage of time is the passage of the days and the turning of the seasons, one begins to place great significance in events previously considered to be of minor importance. Look at each of the feasts in the Wheel, and think about what is happening in the world around the celebrants as the time for the feast draws near, and you will draw new insights into the meaning of, and the reason for the feast.
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
This thread has been moved to Wicca from Misc Topics.
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 7
Don't forget that all the Pagan feasts, wheel of the year, were "stolen" by the Catholic Church. Yule became Christmas, Samhain became All Hallows Eve (Halloween), and so on.
Nevertheless, the original were the "resting periods" of agriculture, Such as Mabon becoming The Harvest Festival.
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By:
Post # 8
(Look at each of the feasts in the Wheel, and think about what is happening in the world around the celebrants as the time for the feast draws near, and you will draw new insights into the meaning of, and the reason for the feast.)

I know my questions might be superficial, but I guess One has to know all the detail there is to know. That which is in brakets, does that mean that each individual should have their own "ritual" on these "festivals, holidays" Seeing that the path of witches is to be yourself and bring your individuality to the divine which makes us ONE?
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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9

Celebrating the Sabbats is indeed one that is done on multiple levels. Certainly it marks the changes of the seasons, but it also marks the ongoing cycle of life and death both of ourselves and also the mythological story of the God and Goddess.

We do draw upon how the rituals might have been practiced by our ancestors or throughout our traditions. But it is also important to have the rituals be personally meaninful to you. The Wheel follows the agricultural year, but most of us are not farmers nor are we in danger of starvation if our crops fail to prosper. So we need to look at ways to make these Sabbats meaningful in our own lives. One way to do this might be to view the planting/harvesting as being our ideas and projects which we plant as our "crops". Samhain, being linked to the descent of the God into the underworld and a time for honoring our dead can become a Sabbat where you honor your own ancestors and others important to you that have passed on.

You might find these two essays to be thought-provoking:

http://proteuscoven.com/sabbats.htm

http://proteuscoven.com/Season-0.htm

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Re: Holiday's/ Sabbath/ Ritua
By:
Post # 10
SO if I go and Google "resting periods" of agriculture it will be more applicable for me? and then another thing, im sorry this is way of topic, but im from South-Africa and on this side of the country things tend to take muc longer. anyway, I have this friend that I know has been walking this path quite a while, she is only 21 but she explained to me that I should start working with tarot cards in order to "get to know myself better" I dont't have at the moment but I would like to go and by myself a deck, Ive learned that there is quite a variety of decks you can choose from so you have to make sure that it is the right one for you because you are going to be "stuck" with it for the rest of your live.

Like I said previously I know individuality plays a big roll, seeing that I still need to learn a lot I would like to know what you guys think of the tarot cards? how do I pick the right deck? I don't even know how to read tarot cards. And thank you for your advise and assistance.
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