Wiccan/Pagan Holidays

Sabbats and Esbats

        Copyright © 2002 Gray Seal
Most calendars are linear. You see them beautifully illustrated, showing one month at a time; you see them showing a whole year at a glance, printed in neat rows of three or four months each. This reflects our acceptance of time as linear, and our tendency to forget that the past has anything to do with the present or the future.

Wicca’s calendar, the Wheel of the Year, is different. Wicca’s calendar is round, reflecting our understanding that life is not linear, but cyclical. As a round table allows everyone seated to see everyone else and keeps anyone’s position at the table from being more important than anyone else’s, so does Wicca’s round calendar, the Wheel, let us see the relationship of each Sabbat to the others, and keep any from being more significant than any other.At Yule, which occurs at the time of the winter solstice in December, the Lady gives birth to the Lord and rests from her labor.

The Wheel of the Year actually combines two calendars: the agricultural and the astronomical. (That’s astronomical, not astrological. Although many Wiccans are interested in astrology, astrology is not “part of” Wicca.) The agricultural year is concerned with when to plant and harvest, and when to move domestic herds from the pasture to the barn; the astronomical calendar relates to the tides and seasons, which depend on the relative position of the Earth to the Sun and Moon

Wiccan/Pagan Sabbats and Esbats (holidays)
Descember 21st*

Yule occurs at the time of the winter solstice in December, the Lady gives birth to the Lord and rests from her labor.

The wheel of the year - Imbolc
February 2nd

In February, the Lord is seen as a small boy, and the Lady recovers from giving birth.

The wheel of the year - Ostara
March 20th

Ostara marks the first day of spring and the awakening of the Earth. At this time, the Lord is seen as a growing youth.

The wheel of the year - Beltane
May 1st

The Lord has grown to manhood. He falls in love with the Lady, and they unite, producing the bounty of Nature. The Lady becomes pregnant by the Lord.

The wheel of the year - Midsummer/Summer Solstice/Litha
Litha/Midsummer/Summer Solstice
June 20th*

Midsummer is the point in midsummer when everything in Nature is at its peak, growing and lush. The Lord and the Lady are both at the height of their powers.

The wheel of the year - Lughnasa
August 1st

Lughnasa is the day in August of the first harvest. The first grains are cut, and the Lord begins to weaken.

The wheel of the year - Mabon
September 22nd*

Mabon, the second harvest, the Lord is coming to his end. The days grow shorter, and Earth readies for the slumber of winter.

The wheel of the year - Samhain
October 31st

In October, the Lord dies only to be reborn of the Lady again at Yule.

Check out our Wheel of the Year pages.
The Wheel of the Year
More like this . . . 

Visit our "Wheel of the Year" series to learn more about the Wheel of the Year.

* Denotes a "moveable holiday."

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