top of page

Wheel of the Year: A Basic Guide of the 8 Sabbats

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of 8 seasonal festivals, 4 of which mark the year's main solar events and the other 4 marking the midpoints between them.



Here is a breakdown of the 8 sabbats:


Samhain

October 31 - November 1


Samhain takes place on the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It marks the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter & the darker half of the year. This festival acknowledges & honors death, release, reflection, transformation, our ancestors and the thinning of the veil between our earthly realm and the spirit realm. It is the beginning of the wheel of the year & is also known as "the witches new year".


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include facilitating communication with the dead & holding reverence for ancestors, honoring the death taking place within nature during this time (if you are in the northern hemisphere), bonfires, divination, feasting with family & friends, release & renewal rituals and ceremonial dressing.


Yule

December 21 - January 1


Yule takes place on the Winter Solstice. It marks the longest night of the year and the return of the light. This festival acknowledges & honors rebirth, renewal, hope, light, life and protection against malicious spirits during the dark time of the year.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include decorating yule trees, burning yule logs, feasting with family & friends, cleansing rituals, dancing & singing, gift giving, decorating with evergreens, holly & mistletoe and the use of candles & bells.


Imbolc

February 1 - 2


Imbolc takes place on the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It marks the coming return of spring and the lengthening of the days. This festival acknowledges & honors the goddess, fertility, nourishment, rebirth, creativity, intuition, reflection & integration and new life beginning to stir beneath the surface again.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include making Brigid's crosses, lighting candles, meditation & cleansing rituals.


Ostara

March 19 - 21


Ostara takes place on the Spring Equinox. It marks the return of spring and the balance of light & dark. This festival acknowledges & honors balance, renewal, rebirth, growth & new beginnings.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include cleansing & purification rituals, planting seeds (figuratively & literally), decorating with flowers & eggs, making egg based food dishes and communing with nature.


Beltane

May 1


Beltane takes place on the midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. It marks the increasing of light, the beginning of the traditional planting season and the return of summer. This festival acknowledges & honors fertility, life, sensuality, passion & joy.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include dancing around the maypole, bonfires, feasting decorating with flowers and sex.


Litha

June 20 - 22


Litha takes place on the Summer Solstice. It marks the longest day and shortest night of the year. This festival acknowledges & honors abundance, the sun, light, growth, expansion, love & magic.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include decorating with summer flowers, herbs & fruits, bonfires, picnic & potluck feasts outdoors with family & friends, meditation and lighting candles.


Lughnasadh

August 1


Lughnasadh takes place on the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. It marks the first fruits & harvest of the season. This festival acknowledges & honors abundance, community & union.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include marriages, harvest of the first crops & baking of bread, bonfires, feasting with family & friends and communing with nature.


Mabon

September 21 - 24


Mabon takes place on the Autumn Equinox. It marks the balance of light & dark when day & night are equal and the second harvest. This festival acknowledges & honors balance, harmony, the coming of the dark season and the abundance mother earth provides us.


Practices, rituals & ceremonies that correspond with this sabbat include giving thanks, feasting (with seasonal items in particular like root vegetables), decorating with seasonal items like pine cones, acorns & leaves, preparing for the dark season and release rituals.

12 views0 comments

Comments


CATEGORIES

POPULAR POSTS

bottom of page