It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry life got in the way a bit and I found that I needed more time to get the post right. I originally started this back in October and as I was writing it I found it much easier to write about the Sabbats closer to the time, so that’s what I ended up doing.
I’d like to apologise for how long it took me to write this but I spent a long time researching and ensuring the information I provided was as true as I could provide and my own beliefs, not just copying from another person, I also lost about half of it at one point which was disheartening and slowed me down, either way, I apologise and I hope you enjoy.
It is important to note that as I live in the Northern hemisphere I will be using those dates, in the Southern hemisphere the dates will differ.
So let’s start with the ‘Witches’ new year’ otherwise known as Samhain (Pronounced “sow-in”), All-Hallows Eve, Halloween etc.
The Witches’ Calendar year runs from the evening of November 1st through to the evening of October 31st the following year. It marks the halfway point between the Autumn equinox and the winter solstice and marks the end of the growing or harvest season and the start of the winter period.
An Equinox is a time when day and night are equal.
Historically speaking it was considered bad luck to harvest anything after the 1st of November as it was after the final harvest and as such anything left was for the Gods/or other beings as an offering for a good harvest the following year hence if you took anything it was akin to stealing from the Gods.
There are a number of older traditions that you might recognise from Halloween traditions, such as jack-o-lanterns and effectively trick-or-treating. And these traditions come from the belief that during Samhain and Beltane the ‘Veil’ between worlds is thin and therefore spirits and the fae are able to have more of a presence in our world. Trick-or-Treating was originally almost a way of honouring those who had passed and the fae, children would dress up and go door to door looking for offerings and giving a song, poem or something else in return- as when it comes to the fae nothing is free- and adults would often have plays and other performances. The tradition of Jack-o-Lanterns is slightly different and there are some inconsistencies in the historical accuracy, most claim that since there were no pumpkins in Britain many assume they used turnips and other such vegetables, however, it’s incredibly unlikely as it would take a lot of effort to hollow out such vegetables and it’s unlikely they would waste food like that before winter. It is also claimed that they did this to ‘ward off’ spirits and the like, however, it is a common tradition to light a candle in a window to show spirits the way and help them find their way either home or to move on.
With each of the Sabbats, I want to add a small and incomplete list of correspondences. It is important to know that depending on where you look these lists will be different, and that is because as with everything in magic nothing is really set and there are always inconsistencies and differences. So keep in mind that this is MY list of correspondences which might be different than yours or someone else’s.
Colours: Orange, Black, Red, Yellow, Silver and White.
Herbs/Plants: Rosemary, Mugwort, Cinnamon, Allspice, Sage, Wormwood, Thyme, Angelica, Clover, Nutmeg, Heather
Stones/Crystals: Obsidian, Onyx, Jet, Ruby, Smokey Quartz, Bloodstone
Food: Apples and anything with apple in it, Meat (Especially pork and bacon), Pumpkin and anything with pumpkin in it, Turnips, Squash, Potatoes, Gingerbread, Nuts and anything with nuts in it, Corn, Pomegranate
Drinks: Cider, Mead, Ale, Tea
Animals: Black cats, Owls, Bats, Stags, Ravens, Herons, Crows, Spiders, Black dogs.
Goddesses: The Crone, Hekate, Cerridwen, Baba Yaga, Hel, the Morrigan, Lilith, Kali, Persephone, Ishtar,
Gods: Hades, Loki, Anubis, Osiris, the Horned God, Herne the Hunter, Cernunnos,
Incense: Sandalwood, Wormwood, Sweetgrass, Mastic Resin, Benzoin,
Celebrations: Honouring the dead, dumb suppers, setting a place for spirits at the table, bobbing for apples, bonfires.
Divination – this is a great time for divination for the year ahead and just in general and there are of course many types of divination this is a good time to try them out and see what works best for you,
Meditation – there are a variety of meditations that can be done at this time such as, self-reflection, past life, inner work, ending and beginnings etc,
Spirit Work – this is an excellent time for spirit work through invitation- such as setting a place for them, holding a dumb supper, leaving out food, burying an apple, lighting a candle to light their way, automatic writing and more.
New Year workings- this is a time of death before rebirth, a time of endings and beginnings now is the perfect time to rid yourself of bad habits, toxic relationships, failure, illness, to end fights, and to settle debts.
Sex Magic: As with Beltane on the opposite side of the wheel, Samhain is a time when the Goddess descends into a Woman, as such Samhain is a good time for Sex magic and the Great Rite.
There are of course many more traditions and rituals that you can take part in as these are but a few. Keep in mind Samhain is a time of death, the God has died but lives on in the Goddess Crone’s womb as they prepare to renew the cycle. This is based on the mythology of the Triple Goddess and the God of Light, which I will go into in more detail later, but as the cycle is reflected in the Wheel of the Year, I felt it should at least be mentioned here especially as the celebrations of Yule is largely based around this cycle.
Moving on to a Sabbat most will recognise and follows on from Samhain is Yule (Pronounced “yool”)
After Samhain, the Winter Solstice comes next, the day of the longest night and the shortest day. After the solstice, the nights begin to shorten and the days lengthen leading to the spring equinox. The winter solstice lands in or around the 21st of December each year.
As with Samhain, you will likely recognise many of the traditions or symbols of Yule, such as mistletoe, wreaths, the Yule tree, candles, the giving of gifts and a large feast.
Kissing under mistletoe is a tradition most of us will recognise, originally it would have been under a kissing bough, made of two hoops, one thrust through the other, made from evergreens such as ivy and holly, and a rosy-cheeked apple which is saved especially for this, with two dolls hung in the middle and a bunch of mistletoe hanging from the bottom. The bough is hung in the centre of the room and each mistletoe berry represents a kiss, for each kiss a berry is removed once they are gone the kissing stops.
Wreaths were made as evergreen Wheel of the Years and were either hung on doors or laid flat with candles placed on them.
The Yule tree comes from a festival called Saturnalia, which is a Roman holiday celebrating Saturn and ran from 17th of December through to the 23rd and included a number of traditions namely feasts and role-reversal. The Yule tree effectively was when the Roman Priests cut down a pine tree and brought it to the temple where it would be decorated. People kept branches and such in their houses in a smaller reflection of the holiday, however, it is reported that the German Prince Albert brought the tradition over during the Victorian times. Pagans traditionally saw the bring of a live tree into the house invited wood sprites in as a home during winter, they hung food on the branches for the sprites.
Candles are a given for this Sabbat as it is seen as the birth of the Sun and the return of light. The colour of the candles can have significance and for the most part, people burn candles in the colours the Sabbat correspond with.
Gift-giving is present in a large number of celebrations, in the celebration of Saturnalia, it was expected for the rich to give to the poor, where it was money, food, or other items like clothes.
Colours: Red, Green, Gold, Silver, White
Herbs/Plants: Mistletoe, Ivy, Pine, Holly, Thistle, Frankincense, Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Rosehips, Snowdrop, Myrrh,
Stones/Crystals: Gold, Silver, Clear Quartz, Bloodstone, Ruby,
Food: Bread, Cookies, Fruit (especially berries), Cranberries, Pomegranate, Fruit Cake, Soups, Comfort foods (basically anything that makes you feel warm and happy fits here), Poultry, Pork, Potatoes, Chocolate, All seasonal vegetables and foods,
Drinks: Mulled wine, Cider, Beer, Eggnog, Cranberry Juice, Wine, Mead, Tea (especially ginger and cinnamon teas),
Animals: Deer, Reindeer, Owl (especially snowy), Robins,
Goddesses: Demeter, Gaia, Isis, Diana, Freya, La Befana, Cailleach Bheur,
Gods: Ra, Saturn, Horus, Holly King, Horned God, Oak King, The Green Man, Baldur, Odin,
Incense: Myrrh, Frankincense, Peppermint, Spearmint, Orange, Ceder, Citrus, Pine, Lavender, Oak, Ginger,
Celebrations: The Yule log, Gift Giving, Feasting, Carolling, Burning Fires/Candles, Yule tree, Wassailing, Mistletoe,
Cleansing- This is the Sabbat that follows the new year when you have done away with the old, now is the time to cleanse yourself of what may be left.
Wards- Yule is a time of rebirth, now is the best time to take down old wards to put up new ones,
Earth-Based magic: The element associated with Yule is earth so any earth-based magic will be perfect for this time.
Cooking: As feasting and food is an important part of Yule, so is cooking/kitchen magic, its fun to do with your family and can be as simple as having positive intent while cooking.
Divination: Now is a good time for divination regarding peace, new beginnings, as well as divination regarding messages and omens.
Blessings: As you will most likely be handing our gift as this time of year, make it a little bit more special and a whole lot more magical by blessing each gift with good intentions of joy and happiness, peace or anything you feel that person may need in the upcoming year.
Meditations: at this time your meditations should be regarding peace, self-reflection, rebirth and renewal as well as messages and omens.
As I said before there is so much more to each Sabbat than what I share here, but I am hoping this will be a good starting point for understanding each Sabbat.
Next in the wheel of the year is Imbolc (Pronounced “IM-bulk”)
Imbolc, otherwise known as Brigid’s day or Candlemas or any other variety of names depending what country you, happens the 1st and 2nd of February and is basically a beginning of the welcoming of spring and a celebration of surviving winter. It marks the middle of the dark half of the year but unlike Samhain, it is a celebration of hope, darkness has little place here, this is a celebration of hope, spring and light is just around the corner, you made it through the worst of the winter. This is the time of year when sheep are giving birth and the world is starting to wake up after winter.
Brigid is a goddess of fire, Candlemas is a holiday for lighting candles, so clearly an important aspect of this Sabbat is fire and light. Many different countries have similar celebrations of many names but for the most part, they all focus on the hope that spring is just around the corner.
There are a number of traditions at this time of year, this is the start of the agricultural season, Imbolc is a time for the preparation of the earth before planting, bonfires, candles, weather divination and watching for omens.
Imbolc is the celebration that the darkness is receding and light is beginning to return, in order to welcome back the light, traditionally every candle in the house should be lit, even for a moment. This ties in with a number of old traditions, as well as celebrating Brigid, who represents an eternal flame.
Bonfires are lit for a similar reason, celebrating the return of the sun and light.
Weather divination is important at this time of the year all over the world, for those of you who are American, you may realise that Groundhog day usually lands around the same time. This is because it is likely a similar tradition, looking for a sign on how the weather will be for the rest of winter = weather divination. There are many ways this divination can be done.
Now is also a perfect time to break out spicy foods, because the spice can represent the heat coming back into the earth around you.
Colours: White, Brown, Green, Yellow, Pink, Lavender,
Herbs/Plants: Angelica, Basil, Bay, Benzoin, Chamomile, Lavender, Rosemary, Yellow flowers, Snowdrops
Stones/Crystals: Amethyst, Garnet, Onyx, Ruby, Turquoise
Food: Bread, Cakes (like honey cakes for example), Dairy products, Seeds and anything made with seeds, Poppyseed Muffins, Cayenne Pepper and spicy foods.
Drinks: Herbal teas (especially Chamomile), Milk and other dairy-based drinks, Spiced Wine,
Animals: Moths, Lamb, Deer, Fox,
Goddesses: Brigit, Maiden, Aradia, Persephone, Cerridwen, Proserpina, Venus, Demeter, Gaia, Vesta,
Gods: Cernunnos, Eros, Herne, Osiris, Pan
Incense: Jasmine, Rosemary, Frankincense, Cinnamon, Lavender, Myrrh,
Celebrations: Lighting Candles, Seeking omens of Spring, Storytelling, Cleaning your house, Bonfires, Keeping a candle burning dusk till dawn, Anything Creative,
Cleansing: This is a great time to start cleansing yourself and your space, think of it a magical pre-spring cleaning.
Blessings: Now is a great time to bless your homes and sacred spaces, this is a time of renewal, life after death.
Welcoming Brigid: This is a tradition of providing a space at the table and a bed for Brigid to invite her into your home for her to provide a blessing for the year.
Divination: As previously stated weather divination is common at this time, as well as divination for how your year will be.
Meditation: there are loads of meditations that could be done for Imbolc, renewal, Past-life, Creative inspiration,
Initiation: Now is a common time for many covens and practices to do Initiations, so chances are if you are looking to be initiated now would likely be the time.
Candle Magic: Since you will be lighting a lot of candles at this time, it’s the perfect time to try out some Candle Magic.
As always this is not a complete list, but hopefully should be enough to help you start off learning without being too overwhelmed and confused.
Moving on to one of my personal favourite Sabbats, the spring equinox, or Ostara.
Ostara is the celebration of the spring equinox and the real start of the planting season. Ostara stands out in the Sabbats as it wasn’t originally on the Wheel Of The Year, it was later added to create balance. This is likely because previously people would have been too busy planting and getting ready for the farming season to celebrate Spring. This means, for me anyway, that Ostara is simpler and easier to wrap your head around.
The name Ostara comes from the Goddess Eostre, the Germanic Goddess of spring. This is because Ostara is a Germanic holiday as opposed to Celtic. There are variations in the history and beliefs about Ostara, and most Sabbats, but the best advice I can give is to learn about as many of them as you can and piece together your own beliefs and views.
Now Ostara happens to be my favourite Sabbat. This is because it was also the first Sabbat I celebrated and the only Sabbat I did not celebrate alone. It was two years ago now where honey cakes were made. It happens to be one of my favourite memories from the past few years. It was a right laugh and by the end, there was honey everywhere, it was an absolute mess just trying to eat them. There was no formal ritual or celebration, but an offering of some of the honey cakes was left aside, but aside from that, it was just a fun and enjoyable experience. Which, to me anyway, is the most important part of all of this. Spend time with the people you care about, make great memories, have a laugh and if you happen to have time for a little magic and ritual? All the better.
Colours: Pastel colours, pink, green, yellow and purple.
Herbs/Plants: Primrose, Rosemary, Daisy, Orange Peel, Basil, Garlic, Lavender, Mint, Daffodil, Easter Lily, Any Spring Flowers, Cinquefoil, Ginger, Thyme, Snowdrops, Honeysuckle,
Stones/Crystals: Amethyst, Aquamarine, Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Bloodstone, Red Jasper,
Food: Eggs, Seeds, Green Vegetables, Chocolate, Milk and Honey, Sweet Cakes, Rabbit, Lamb, Sunflower Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts, Dairy Foods, Hot Cross Buns, Seasonal Fruits,
Drinks: Lemonade, Iced Herbal Teas, Sweet Wine, Sweet Mead, Fruit Juices,
Animals: Rabbits, Butterflies, Snakes, Chicks, Swallows, Hares.
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Astarte, Athena, Aurora, Eos, Eostre, Gaia, Hera, Ishtar, Kore, Maiden Goddesses, The Muses, Persephone, Venus,
Gods: Adonis, Ares, Cernunnos, Green Man, Mars, Narcissus, Odin, Osiris, Pan, Thoth,
Incense: African Violet, Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Lotus, Magnolia, Ginger, Sage, Lavender, Narcissus,
Blessings: As you begin to plant and garden again, now is the perfect time to bless your plants and garden for the year ahead.
Cleansing: This is a time of new beginnings, so now is the time to clear out and deep clean your space. It is also the time to cleanse yourself of people who don’t serve you anymore, now is a time to cleanse yourself of toxic people and relationships and cleanse yourself of any attachment to them- think of yourself as a plant being repotted because you outgrew your last plant-pot, it doesn’t mean anything other than you are growing and you need change in order to keep growing.
Divination: now is the time to use divination to discover how you are developing and growing – like the imagery in the last point – your a plant being re-potted now is the time to see how much you still have to grow.
Meditation: If the weather permits, maybe try meditating outside under a tree or in nature, if not use nature sounds. A good meditation for this time would be on balance, as night and day are balanced on Ostara it makes sense.
Moving on, we have Beltane.
Beltane, like Samhain, marks the halfway point between the equinox and solstice. It is opposite Samhain on the Wheel-Of-The-Year, and there are likely aspects of this Sabbat you will recognise.
Beltane, also known as May Eve, May Day or Valpurgis, takes place on the 1st of May. Beltane marks the ending of Spring and the beginning of Summer, it is a time of fertility, masculinity, sexuality and fire. Beltane is a celebration of waking up after winter and the rebirth of life, Spring has taken hold, animals are going out to pasture and the earth is waking up. Beltane is a time for bonfires, handfasting, maypoles, and a number of other traditions.
Beltane’s name comes from the Celtic God of fire ‘Bel’ and the Gaelic word ‘taine’ meaning fire, together they mean Bright Fire, hence why bonfires are a common tradition as it is in celebration of Bel and other fire Gods. Traditionally couples jumped the bonfire to show their dedication to each other.
Handfasting is basically the Wiccan equivalent of marriage – a couple would have a ceremony, this differed couple to couple, who had their hands bound and would be together traditionally for a year and a day where at the end they either redid the ceremony for a longer period of time or separated ways with no consequences.
Maypoles are a phallic symbol, a pole made usually of birch that is inserted into the ground to represent the potency of the God, the flowers and ribbons that decorate the pole are representative of the Goddess and the weaving of the ribbons are representing the union of the God and Goddess – which plays a large part in Beltane.
Another tradition is one for young women, traditionally, where they would rise to greet the sun, the singing of the birds and the morning dew. They would then go out and collect the dew and then wash their faces with the dew to promote beauty, youth and fertility.
Colours: Green, Pink, Blue, Yellow, Red, Brown, White.
Herbs/Plants: Roses, Daisies, Dandelions, Violets, Lilies, Rosemary, Mint, Thyme, Mugwort, Woodruff,
Stones/Crystals: Emerald, Malachite, Amber, Orange Carnelian, Sapphire, Rose Quartz,
Food: Almonds, Chocolate, Cakes, Muffins, Bread, Cookies, Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honey, Hot Peppers, Ginger, Asparagus, Figs, Bananas, Truffles, Dairy Products
Drinks: Tea (Green, Sencha, floral), Wine (Strawberry, White),
Animals: Swallow, Dove, Swan, Cats, Lynx, Leopard,
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Artemis, Bast, Diana, Venus, Flora, The Maiden
Gods: The Horned God, Bel, Pan, Cernunnos, The Green Man, Faunus
Incense: Fig, Blossom, Lavender, Rose, Honey, Violets, Nectar, Earth, Rain,
Fertility Magic: Fertility Magic does not just mean people, it can also mean animals, magic to ease their pregnancy as well as making it easier to become pregnant. It can also mean the earth, it can be a way of magically encouraging your plants and garden to grow and spread.
Green Magic: or Garden magic, as previously said this can be mixed with other types of magic to encourage and celebrate your garden as it begins to grow.
Banishment: now is a good time to banish bad habits in preparation for personal growth.
Sex Magic: In Wicca, and the cycle of the Goddess and God, Beltane is when the Maiden and God come together in the Great Rite, after which the Goddess becomes pregnant and becomes the Mother. It is common during Beltane for couples to ‘recreate’ the Great Rite. Aside from that Sex Magic is a common part of witchcraft and comes in many forms.
Meditation: Try meditation on your self-esteem, personal goals, wisdom, enlightenment and more.
Next up we have Litha or Midsummer.
Litha, or Midsummer, or the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year and the second holiday I personally have celebrated. Litha marks the start of the harvest season and the end of the ‘light’ half of the year, past is the time for growth and expansion, after Litha comes the time of rest and withdrawal. But before the dark half of the Wheel starts again we celebrate the light and the beauty of the earth.
Litha is a time to get outside and celebrate the light and beauty of nature. The Sun and celebrations of it are the main aspects of Litha. This is the perfect time to relax and unwind before the stress of the Harvest begins and life gets busy after the heat and haze of summer. Litha is the best time to embrace this – the relaxed, happy and joyous feeling of summer. Litha is the middle of summer it’s the longest day of the year, so it makes sense to make the most of it.
Litha, through various names, can be traced back to any number of traditions and cultures all over the world. The longest day of the year appears to be something to celebrate regardless of your walk of life. There is no one clear link to Litha back, and no one way to celebrate.
Litha was, in fact, the very first Sabbat that I held a formal ritual, I got up at around 4 in the morning, crept through my house so to not wake my family or the pets, made a cup of coffee and then went outside, far far too early, to set up in the garden, under the clothesline (naturally), where I waited to see the sun begin to rise and stumbled my way through calling the four corners (I am terrible with directions and had to keep checking the compass app on my phone to make sure I was facing the correct way) then through the ritual, all while keeping as quiet as I could – again to not wake the dogs or my family at four in the morning. It was far less than perfect as I forgot what I was saying, what came next and normally I would have stressed out that I was less than perfect but it was such a beautiful morning and the garden was so relaxing I didn’t mind messing up a little.
Some ways of celebrating are: hosting a bonfire – Litha is all about the fiery sun, so having a large, controlled and safe fire in the Sun’s name is a wonderful way to celebrate; get into nature – like I already said summer is a brilliant time to get into nature, go for a walk, explore the world around you, even if you live in a city try to take some time to go to a park or something similar; spend time in your community – take some time to get to know the people living around you, see if there is anything you can do to help them; spend time with your family – it’s summer, try to spend some time with your family, blood related or not.
There is no end to the activities, witchcraft related and not that you could do on this Sabbat – there are as many as hours of sunlight you’ll have.
Colours: Gold, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue
Herbs/Plants: Chamomile, Vervain, Lavender, Saint John’s Wort, Roses, Peony, Honeysuckle, Mugwort, Carnation, Daisy, Dandelion, Lily, Mint, Heather,
Side note: Most herbs are reaching their peak harvest time around Litha, so a wonderful gift to anyone is a bunch of herbs you grew yourself, and it is believed anything harvested during Litha is particularly powerful.
Stones/Crystals: Any green stones, such as Jade and Emerald, SunStone, Fire Opal, Ruby, Tiger’s eye, Quartz, Diamond, Lapis Lazuli,
Food: early summer fruits and vegetables, Honey Cakes, Ice cream (especially rose), cheese dishes (bonus if the cheese is melted), whipped cream topped fruits.
Drinks: Ale, mead, red wine, fruit drinks (smoothies, juice),
Animals: Butterflies, Caterpillars, Wren, Robin, Horses, Cattle, Bees, Swans, Dragonflies,
Goddesses: Fortuna, Arinna, Bast, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Amaterasu, Hestia, Juno, Sulis, Minerva, Sol, Grainne,
Gods: Apollo, Lugh, Horus, Aten, Helios, Oak King, Ra,
Incense: Sage, Sandalwood, Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Lavender, Any Fruit Incenses, Wisteria,
Banishment: Litha is a great time to rid yourself of things no longer serving you, bad habits, grudges anything. Now is a perfect time to banish them and start to move past that which doesn’t serve you.
Crafting: Litha is all about creativity and going outside, why not add a little magic, make a catherine wheel and roll it down a hill (look for a hill covered with rocks, stones or a road, avoid rolling down grass or plant life – as Catherine wheels are, usually, lit on fire), Dream Pillows – to help you sleep, avoid bad dreams or astral project. And many, many more.
Divination: As always, if you have an interest in Divination, Litha is a wonderful time to try fire based Divination;
Candle Divination – this is a wide arching name for a variety of divinations, anything to do with a candle falls here. Personally, I meditate in a semi-dark room and watch the candle flame, the way the flame flickers gives me my answers.
Capnomancy – this form of divination is seeing the meaning behind the shapes of smoke from candles, fires or even herbs, this is somewhat like cloud gazing – so if you always find shapes in the clouds why not give Capnomancy a try? (Cloud gazing or divining meaning from clouds is also called Nephomancy.)
Ceromancy – the method of reading shapes in candle wax, for this method, ask your question, light a coloured candle, associated with your question (colour correspondences) then leave it lit for a few hours while the wax melts and gathers. Then fill a bowl with cold water and very carefully (very, very carefully) pour the wax slowly into the water, leave it for a few minutes to harden then scoop it out and begin reading the shapes you can see.
Libanomancy – this is using incense smoke, interpreting the way the smoke moves and how the ash falls. this method generally involves spirit work – petitioning a spirit and receiving the answer from the incense smoke.
Pyromancy – this is any divination using fire or burning – technically candle divination falls under pyromancy.
Xylomancy – this method involves reading the scorch marks on a burnt piece of wood.
There is always plenty to do during summer, magical or not, so I’ll stop this here otherwise I’ll keep going on forever.
Now we have Lammas or Lughnasadh
Lammas (pronounced LAM-UHS) or Lughnasadh (pronounces LOO-nah-sah) Lammas takes place on August 1st and is the celebration of the first Harvest, the longest day has past and the days are getting shorter, Lammas is a celebration of the coming darkness and winter. It is also a celebration of what we have and to begin reaping what you have sown during the Spring and Summer months.
Lammas marks the halfway point between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn equinox, and, as I mentioned, is the first harvest, now depending on where you live this will likely not be an actual harvest but more symbolic – less harvesting crops more harvesting the benefits of your own growth and celebrate your achievements – no matter how big or small.
Now historically Lammas would have been when the grains are ready for harvest, and as such farmers would celebrate the first day of harvest in a big way, to celebrate the harvest and give thanks for a large one. This would most likely have been done as a feast – and luckily that is something easy enough for us to do in these more modern days.
Now as always here are some correspondences for you:
Colours: Gold, Yellow, Green, Orange, Light Browns, Bright Red,
Herbs/Plants: Anise Seed, Clover, Ginseng, Chamomile, Rosemary, Mint, Ginger, Sunflowers,
Stones/Crystals: Citrine, Amber, Rose Quartz, Aventurine, Peridot,
Food: anything made with grains (Most especially bread – Lammas is a perfect time to try baking your own bread), Apples, Corn, Grapes, Anything that is currently ripe in your garden (if you have one of course), Vegetables and Fruits that are in season, Cheese, Jam,
Drinks: Beer, Early Fruit drinks (smoothies juice etc. specifically berry drinks), Cider, Red Wine, Mead,
Animals: Calves, Roosters, Pigs, Sheep,
Goddesses: Cerridwen, Isis, Demeter, Ceres, Danu, Corn Mother
Gods: Lugh, Vulcan, Dagon, Tammuz,
Incense: Basil, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Rose, Rose Hips, Chamomile, Eucalyptus,
Kitchen Magic – while preparing your feast and making your bread, why no add in a touch of magic? Add in blessings to your bread, use herbal correspondences to reinforce your intentions, make a garlic braid, why not try some vervain water? While vervain is associated more with Litha, it is a late summer blooming plant – hence Lammas is a perfect time to use it.
Offerings – whether for a deity, a member of the fae or for something else is up to you, but why not leave an offering of thanks for what you have, could be something as simple as a piece of your bread, or something from your feast. Lammas is a celebration of the harvest so for many it makes sense to leave an offering of thanks for the harvest.
Collection – Lammas is a time to harvest(/collect/reap) that which you have previously sown, this counts for magic as well, collect what you have grown from your magic – this also leads to the next magical working:
Reinforcement – use the energy and power of Lammas to continue your magic throughout the harvest season – allow your magic to continue to grow as many plants still do at this time.
Protection magic – in preparation for the dark half of the year, a time of rest, why not cleanse and add protection magic to your home, yourself and your family (with permission)? Take a look into things such as amulets, warding and other methods of protection.
As always I could keep going for a while – but this post is already very long, and has taken me a long time to do but… only one Sabbat left!
And that is Mabon.
Mabon (MAH-bonn) the autumn equinox is celebrated on September 21st – 23rd, (Equinox dates can vary year on year as it depends on the day/night balance). Mabon is the celebration of the Second Harvest and a celebration for the incoming period of rest and relaxation in the dark half of the year following the end of the harvest season.
Much like Lammas, Mabon is a time to reap what you’ve previously sown, figuratively and literally, but it is also time to begin preparing for the upcoming period of rest after a busy summer. It is a time of rest after labour and for many, this means Mabon is a time to unwind and have some fun, it’s a time to dress up and throw a large feast (whether for family, friends or even just for yourself). So feel free to put on your best clothes, a lavish amount of accessories and feel good about yourself and the work you put in over the summer – no matter how small it may seem, it’s still worth celebrating.
As with Ostara (the Spring Equinox), Mabon is a time of balance, of ridding yourself of habits that no longer serve you. Mabon however, is bringing balance for rest, creating harmony in households and ridding yourself of things that cause ou distress.
This Sabbat asks you to analyse yourself and look deep, find that which no longer serves you, fear, anger and more and effectively bundle it up and rid yourself of it before you can properly rest.
The most important aspects of Mabon are thankfulness for what you have and what you have done (no matter how small they may seem), cleansing yourself of that which no longer serves you, and preparation for the approaching darkness.
The correspondences for Mabon are:
Colours: Blue, Brown, Gold, Orange, Red, Yellow,
Herbs/Plants: Lavender, Pine Cones, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Sage, Paprika, Cloves, Ginger, Marigolds, Frankincense,
Stones/Crystals: Amber, Lapis Lazuli, Yellow Topaz, Sunstone, Moonstone,
Food: Apples, Nuts, Carrots, Onions, Pomegranate, Bread, Root Vegetables,
Drink: Wine(Red), Apple juice, Coffee (With cinnamon, or Pumpkin Spice, or Hazelnut), Teas (cinnamon, ginger, apple, pumpkin etc.), Hot Cocoa ( try infusing some cinnamon in it), Cider,
Animals: Goose, Swan, Birds of Prey, Dog, Wolves,
Goddesses: Persephone, Madron, Morgan, Any Harvest Goddesses, Epona, Inanna, Demeter,
Gods: Thoth, Thor, Hermes, Dionysus, The Horned God,
Incense: Autumn blends, myrrh, Sage, Cinnamon, Sweetgrass, Oak Moss,
Meditation – meditate on your hard work and achievements of the past season. Mabon is a time to reflect and find habits, emotions and energies that no longer serve you, it is a good time to meditate on these things. Perhaps even meditate on death and how everything has an end and that’s okay and natural.
Protection – Like Lammas, Mabon is a good time to set up protections for yourself and your home in preparation for the season of rest that is coming.
Banishment – Mabon is time to banish and rid yourself of anything that is no longer serving you (you can base this off of what you discovered in your meditation)
Divination – why not try divining what you need in order to be fully prepared for the season of rest ahead of you?
As always there is plenty to do for Mabon but I feel that this post has gone on long enough, perhaps at a later date I will split these up into separate posts but for now, I personally would like them all in one post.
If you have any questions or you feel I missed something comment below, I’d love to hear from you.