September 24th 2017
There are various ways of carving up the year into smaller, more manageable time periods. Our Graeco-Roman months of the year are one way, but other faiths also have their own ways of measuring time. For Pagans, it is the ‘Wheel of the Year’. The wheel is best thought of as represented by a wagon wheel (the old fashioned wooden kind, not the chocolate variety!) Each Year is divided into eight Sabbats that are celebrated by witches and other pagan groups across the Western world. Each Sabbat occurs once every six weeks or so. Following the Wheel enables us to connect to the earth and root our lives in her cycles, as we move through the seasons, and our celebratory practices are always a reflection of what is happening in nature at that time.
My perspective is a very UK based practice – we live in a climate that allows us to experience four distinct seasons and the Wheel reflects that cycle- if you look at other cultures across the world, you will often find these Sabbats echoed in their own seasonal practices.
What is wonderful about the Wheel of the Year is that it is cyclical, so you can begin marking it at any point. You don’t have to wait for an appropriate ‘beginning point’ to start celebrating the Sabbats. You just need a desire to align your own life closer to the cycles of nature. Also, if like me you are an Urban Witch, then you just need a little tweaking to ensure that you keep in touch with what is happening in the more rural, natural world. Even in the city we can still observe the cycles of nature.
The Sabbats are:
Imbolc - Feb 2nd Spring Equinox - Mar 21st Beltane - May 1st Midsummer - June 21st or 22nd Lammas - Aug 1st Autumn Equinox - Sept 21st or 22nd Samhain - Oct 31st Yule - Dec 21st or 22nd