by Rev. Edward D. Allen, D.D. (Medicine Hawk)
The eight solar Sabbats represent the Turning of the Wheel of the Year, and each honors a stage in the eternal life cycle of the Goddess and the God.
The word "Sabbat" comes from the old Greek word "Sabatu" meaning "to rest". Since performing Magick is work (much more than some people realize), it has become customary that no Magickal working be done on a Sabbat unless there is a pressing or life-threatening need to do so.
Modern Paganism is a rich tapestry of interwoven traditions, ideas and orientations. The eight Sabbats which are now known to Western Pagans were not always the eight Sabbats of a single tradition, nor were they a part of the popular Norse, Teutonic, or Celtic traditions which adopted them. Each of the numerous solar festivals around the globe contributed to the lore and practice which has become our Pagan heritage of today.
Some have estimated that the Sabbats have been celebrated in one form or another for the past 12,000 years or more. These festivals were at first agricultural dates that marked planting, tending and harvesting times throughout the year. Todays farmers still sow and reap their crops by these dates and most will carefully consult various farmer's almanacs that outline the best times for each of their crops, depending upon where they live, though they may not be the least bit aware they are following an ancient tradition.
As you will find through your own research, the eight Sabbats of the year are ancient and we have only fragments of information that have been passed down to us by those who had the courage and could not cast aside the old ways, despite pressure from the church. They are meant to be a joyus celebration of the Goddess and the God, as well as a time to join with family and friends for sharing the closeness we all so long for.
The single most important thing to remember here, is to remember to "HAVE FUN". The Sabbats celebrate the JOY of life and it's cycles. They are a time to remember that we too have our seasons and the need to share the wisdom, the "Sageness" of our years with those young people we have helped nurture.
As Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame used to say, "May you live long and prosper".
McCoy, Edain. The Sabbats:A New Approach to Living the Old Ways. St. Paul, MN Llewllyn Publications © 1994
Galenorn, Yasmine. Trancing the Witch's Wheel. St. Paul, MN Llewllyn Publications © 1997
||Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, MN Llewllyn Publications © 1988|