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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in sabbats

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Canadian Seasons

The Sabbat Wheel made a lot of sense for our Pagan ancestors, for whom the seasons and their mid-points roughly corresponded with the Year-Wheel as we know it.  But more and more, I'm finding that it makes little sense in other places, especially where I live.  When I was growing up, the Wheel had only the loosest correspondence with the seasons I knew anyway. The snow was starting to melt by Imbolc, for example, and we had mud season a lot, but crocuses were still at least two weeks away. You knew it was Ostara because there were bees.  The hawthorn and fruit trees were usually blooming by Beltane, but it was still too cold (and often too wet) to camp outside. And so on.

With climate change taking hold, this has become less and less true.  With each passing year I find it more difficult to find meaning in the symbols and landmarks that are supposed to be associated with each Sabbat. The last few years, it simply hasn't felt like the Sabbat at all.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I totally get not feeling it with the Sabbats. When I have tried it, it felt contrived and artificial. Working with the calendar
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Great idea -- we've been kinda doing this for years in my house. I *do* suspect that Ostara may give you some trouble since (Chri
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I thought about that, but a) yeah, I think the lunar/solar calendar juxtaposition is very Pagan anyway, and I understand they base
Fire and Fertility: Let’s Hear It for Beltane!

Merry meet! Today is Beltane (also spelled Beltaine or Bealtaine), the ancient Celtic festival marking the start of summer and a celebration of fertility. Beltane is also closely associated with both the Germanic festival Walpurgisnacht and English festival May Day (and, by association, International Workers’ Day), which also mark today. For your general enjoyment and spiritual purposes, we’ve gathered all our posts related to this very special day. We hope your summer is a pleasant one, full of joy.

--Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

It's March, which here in the Northern Hemisphere marks the beginning of Spring. Back on the Dakota prairies where I grew up, March often blew in like a lion with brisk winds and rains, blowing away the last of the snow and ice. (Though sometimes it brought more snow...) Here in Texas, March comes in a little more gently most years, with warm balmy days and rain. Occassionally we end up with tornadoes and thunderstorms to mark the beginning of Spring, though those will often come closer to the end of the month.

However March manifests, it's one of my favorite months of the year. The Earth feels like she is taking a long, languid stretch after the cold Winter. Life begins to stir. It's time to till the soil, to plant seeds, to make ready for the growing season.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Wherein Darkness Meets Light

Greetings, fellow Witches and Pagans, and welcome to our annual marking of the time when light turns to dark. Though Samhain gets more of the attention, Mabon’s an important festival as well, marking the final gasps of summer and the beginning of the long descent into winter. It also marks the midpoint of the traditional harvest season, which begins with Lughnasadh and ends with Samhain.

As we are wont to do, we’ve gathered all of our content about this special time of the year as well as content from elsewhere we thought you’d find interesting. We hope you enjoy and wish you a merry autumnal season!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Sorry about the lack of posts this month!  I've been working a lot of extra hours at my day job and then I was busy with Sabbat celebrations.  In that spirit, I thought I would share a couple of Autumn Equinox related recipes from my personal formulary.

Apothecary by Sable Aradia.  Copyright (c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Apothecary by Sable Aradia. Copyright (c) 2015. All rights reserved.

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Beltane... a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
The full moon in Taurus has come and gone, and wasn’t it lush? Last weekend I celebrated the festival commonly known as Beltane with my coven, and today I go to a wedding… ’tis the season for all things love and an interesting time for witches of all stripes as Halloween is a spectre making itself being felt with more an more presence in Australia despite it being a point on the calendar not traditionally observed. But I digress – I am here to ruminate about Beltane.
 
The full flowering of Spring is truly upon us. The native plants are humming with energy and to the Noongar people, the traditional custodians of this land, the season is known as Kambarang, the season of wildflowers. Fruits and nuts are collected. The first summer fruits make their blessed appearance, and while they do not always taste as lush as the last fruits, they are a delight to re-introduce to the table. The jarrah tree is in full flower and you can hear bees humming when you pass beneath the boughs. Beauty is everywhere.
  
 When considering this mood with the ‘flipped’ Southern Hemisphere Wheel, it is not entirely at odds with the fire festival of Beltane, which brings connotations of fertility and is often seen as a festival of love. It is high wedding season as the weather starts to warm and our cardigans are shed to bare our skin to the first careless sunburns of the season, and more time is spent outdoors underneath perfect blue skies. The birds and the bees are literally out and about making full use of the nectar and fruits that are making themselves available. Conversely, the land is also starting to brown and a dying off of the winter green can be felt. I used to dread summer at this time along with the drag of Christmas but I have made a Pinterest board to sweet talk myself into actually enjoying summer as so many seem to do.
 
 
 
Our coven’s celebration of Beltane does not usually subscribe to dancing around a May pole (I think we’ve given it a crack once or twice), but it is a lovely time to court creativity and resonate with the energy that can allow for flourishing of personal projects, preparing for the heat ahead, and celebrating the furling out of the self and sealing the connection of the working group. In my own (work in progress) rendition of the Wheel of the Year, I have called it ‘The Radiance’ but I have also seen it referred to as Flowering Earth and Rosemas in other Australian groups who have forgone the name of ‘Beltane’ for their seasonal Wheel.
 
  
beltane2014cOur altar was festooned with flowers and fruits.
  
 
beltane2014a
A lovely opportunity to charge objects with solar energy – which we were definitely feeling on that day!
  
 
beltane2014b
 
During ritual we used chants, drumming, rose petals and ribbons to raise a cone of power to charge our rite, which was dedicated to celebrating our collective energy and also blessing the land with cooling healing if it should need it in the warm months ahead.
  
 
beltane2014d
 
A basket of flowers from our gardens and a jug of water, ready for charging and blessing.
 
 Our feast included sparkling wine with hibiscus flowers, fresh salads, and berries dipped in raw chocolate mousse and chocolate hummus! Yum!
 
 
I hope you are experiencing a lovely season or simply a beautiful weekend.
 
This post originally appeared on my main blog over at The Chaos Witch.
 
 
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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Hock-deep in Samhain up here in the Northern Half, and with 10 inches of snow predicted for tomorrow, it's nice to be reminded tha
Video shared by on in Culture Blogs

Wishing you all a Happy Samhain in the Northern Hemisphere; and Happy Beltane in the Southern Hemisphere!

Samhain article at my new blog, which I would post here except that it isn't Canadian per se: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/betweentheshadows/2014/10/samhain-song-for-the-dead/.

Blessed be!

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