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Celebrating Sabbats - What do you do?


Guest Cerridwen
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Being still rather new to this Im learning as I go.

I do odd bit & pieces that feel right at the time be it lighting a candle, baking, decorating my alter with flowers or fruits of the season or something else.

Samhain is my main festival but thats because its also my birthday on the 31st so its always been special & magical ever since I was a child :)

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  • 6 months later...
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:o_wave: I very new here, I thought this might be the best place to post my 2nd post - my first being an introduction.

 

For each turn of the wheel I will set up my altar in anyway I feel is right for the occassion. It will certainly have associated colours and candles and plenty of crystals that will resonate with the specific element that the sabbat holds.

 

I will bring in the elements by chanting, dancing, singing - what ever happens at the time really - I will then sit and meditate - the amount of time I spend meditating really depends on my time schedule or what ever happens. I will often go on a shamanic journey with the aid of my crystals, I will sometimes just honour the gods/goddesses - it's all very varied. I celebrate the moon cycles as much as I can. This for me is a very magikal time., often skyclad with the elements, sometimes inside wrapped up in robs - it all depends. Most of the time I'm solo but I do have a lovely circle of friends that celebrate each turning and the moon cycles. Problem being is the distance between ourselves.

 

I especially love Imbolc and Beltane :)

 

I always have music playing. That music can vary alot, again, depending on my state of mind and mood.

 

:)

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Lots of music, food, having fun making things to decorate my house and my altar, and lots of baking! I also love to get out in the forests and explore/leave offerings/take photos. Its the same as any Xtians celebrating Xmas I suppose; decorating things and the like! I'm sure that many here will say the same, and I know that others focus heavily on acknowledging the deities, and I do that too, but with food and having fun!

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  • 6 months later...

I observe the whole wheel, but my favourite Sabbats are Samhain and Yule. At Samhain I make mulled cider, lay a place at the table for the dead and cook something traditional.

Yule, I am lucky enough to have a log burner now, so will use the ashes from Lammas to light the Yule log and then use hat Yule log for the Lammas fire next year and so on. At Yule I also sit in the dark and light a single candle, celebrating how the light comes through the dark.

 

I love all the Sabbats and love the thought that many of our traditions were celebrated the same way thousands of years ago!

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I love all the Sabbats and love the thought that many of our traditions were celebrated the same way thousands of years ago!

 

Well, hundreds perhaps. :) One or two of them can possibly be traced back to the 17th century, IIRC. though not,possibly, in their current form. I think Beltane gets a mention in an earlier Welsh text, though not any Irish, Scottish or mainland (Gaul) texts; and not with the name Beltane. Samhain (again IIRC) is not mentioned in Ireland until later, and the 16th century references are from Scotland and Wales. Imbolc isn't mentioned outside of Ireland and seems to be mainly later 18th century in its modern form. Midsummer and Yule has some earlier records, though more from the Heathen religion than the Celtic one. :P

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I used to do them alot when i was with others. I think any hoilday even xmas is better done with people. Mostly i forget which day i am on anyway. Though i still do Yule, but again only because of others.

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Sometimes I feel like I should do something for them, but I tend to only actually do something if I'm with others these days. Which is something I plan to stop, since I won't have others around much for the next turn of the wheel, at least. I used to mark the wiccan sabbats, but I'm not actually convinced I'm wiccan anymore, so now I tend to just stick with Samhain and Beltane, since those are the big ones for me and always have been. I have a fondness for Mabon, although it usually just involves me baking things and wearing ugly jumpers. :P I'd like to start doing more formal things though, I kind of miss it!

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Generally I light a candle or some incense and prepare a lavish meal for my family, as well as doing appropriate crafts or games with my young daughter.

I also celebrate some Egyptian festivals and prepare traditional food, and wear appropriate colours/fabrics for what we're celebrating. :)

 

Our local Druid grove holds open, child friendly rituals, so sometimes l take my daughter to those. Everyone brings along some food to share, sings songs, and generally has a wonderful time. :)

I also attend the London Pagan Fed open rituals when I can.

Edited by Hayley
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  • 7 months later...

hi

sometimes (dependin on time allowance and particular sabbat) on the evening i will do something to `celebrate`- this i find kinda personal.

 

But at each sabbat i do make sure i do something to help others out whether thats volunteer work in a youth centre, cleaning up parks/graves or even just getin a homeless person a hot meal.

 

this is not to make me feel better about myself but to remind me that i often need help of some sort .... its my way of visualising the cycle... i help some one, they help some one else... some one else helps me. i know its different to the natural cycle but it works for me .

 

Pixie :)

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This thread has been extremely insightful. Everyone seems to celebrate or recognise Sabbats in different ways. Clearly there is no 'right' way, just our own ways.

 

I'm just starting out on my Pagan journey and have come to realise that Samhain seems to be the Sabbat I am most drawn to ever since I can remember. I've always held parties for it but will be trying a more ritualistic approach once I've got to grips with things.

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This thread has been extremely insightful. Everyone seems to celebrate or recognise Sabbats in different ways. Clearly there is no 'right' way, just our own ways.

 

I'm just starting out on my Pagan journey and have come to realise that Samhain seems to be the Sabbat I am most drawn to ever since I can remember. I've always held parties for it but will be trying a more ritualistic approach once I've got to grips with things.

 

hey,

 

yes your right everyone acknowledges them however feels `right` for themselves and no one will/can say anybody elses way is `wrong`. There are the rituals for those who feel comfortable but for me at the heart of everything is helping others so my `celebrations` follow suit.

 

Although i really do enjoy hearing how others like to acknowledge them too- i love our differences as well as the many similarities we all share :)

 

Pixie :o_hippy:

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yes your right everyone acknowledges them however feels `right` for themselves and no one will/can say anybody elses way is `wrong`.

 

Yes, no one is 'wrong' - but not everyone celebrates them, or even acknowledges them. Many pagans do, but many pagans don't. there's nothing inheritantly pagan about them, as with so many things - it's a matter of personal choice.

 

In my own religion (Heathenry), we only all agree on Winternights and Yule as being attested in pre-Christian times. and Winternights has no assigned date - it depends on the weather! And other reconstructed pre-Christian religions have completely different calendars - no 'wheel of the year', but lots of other dates and festivals. for example, the Religio Romana celebrate their 'halloween' in May, while two thirds of February is choc-full of purification festivals. But then, for them and the Kemetics, every month contains two or three festivals!

 

There is so much more opportunity and personal freedom within the many paths of paganism. :D

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. for example, the Religio Romana celebrate their 'halloween' in May, while two thirds of February is choc-full of purification festivals. But then, for them and the Kemetics, every month contains two or three festivals!

 

At least! It's because we're awesome and we like to remind ourselves of our awesomeness frequently :D IMHO of course :P

 

On a more serious note, Roman festivals are well worth checking out even if you just want to add extra dimensions to the regular "wheel of the year" thing. I don't celebrate the wheel of the year, but I'm sure they tie in pretty well in some places.

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yes your right everyone acknowledges them however feels `right` for themselves and no one will/can say anybody elses way is `wrong`.

 

Yes, no one is 'wrong' - but not everyone celebrates them, or even acknowledges them. Many pagans do, but many pagans don't. there's nothing inheritantly pagan about them, as with so many things - it's a matter of personal choice.

 

 

 

 

sorry i didnt mean it to sound like i was suggesting everyone does acknowledge them but the question was about what those of us who do do for them. sorry if i came across the wrong way :/

 

Pixie

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sorry i didnt mean it to sound like i was suggesting everyone does acknowledge them but the question was about what those of us who do do for them. sorry if i came across the wrong way :/

 

Not at all, hun. Your remark was simply a springboard for me to make the point. as someone in a recon religion, I find many pagans - even long-established ones with years of devotion and wisdom, may be ignorant that recon religions don't follow Wiccan practices. So I tend to make the point on auto-drive, so to speak. :D

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  • 4 months later...

My favourite is Samhain, but I'm biased as its also my birthday. In general I follow the pattern of nature rather than calendar dates because as I am following a nature based path I think I should tie in with what nature is actually doing. My rituals are low key, I have a small box which is my portable altar, and use libations and journeying. I don't plan in advance and just go with the flow.

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I've been celebrating Samhain/Calan Gaeaf as a pagan for years but how I do it varies every year. This year I really felt like a seasonal altar and I've been enjoying working with that. Locally we've got a wonderful lantern festival that I take part in, and I generally make some autumnal crafts in the weeks around the time, bake some seasonal things, decorate the house a bit.

 

This year I'm going to check on my grandparents' graves close to the date for the first time, kind of in the spirit of many world-wide Day of the Dead traditions, i.e. cleaning up and decorating the grave a bit, lighting candles. I've got tonnes of personal issues around death, particularly familial death, and it's something I really want to work on, so this is part of it. Also, for me, it's ancestor time. I do a lot of family history work, but also think in terms of more distant possible ancestors, cultural heritage and general human heritage, i.e. common human ancestry.

 

My ritual probably won't be hugely elaborate but I feel the need to take some time this year so I'm going to have to do a tiny bit of planning - I usually don't do much planning at all for rituals - and would like to do it outside, been ages since I've done that. Ritual content will probably be very ancestor-based with a bit of death/life stuff. I've been much talkier in rituals lately but I never write what I'm going to say, prefer to keep it very naturalistic and I'm sort of casual-chatty at times.

 

I love this time of year, really does feel liminal to me. Looking forward to it.

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  • 5 months later...

I usually know when a Sabbat is coming up but I've never fully organised to do anything to acknowledge it. This is something I think I'd actually like to start getting organised about! :) I would love to celebrate in a group setting, unfortunatley I don't know anyone :( I don't have an altar, as I don't worship any God's or Goddess'. So I may go out and look at all the spring flowers this Beltane. Have a little dance. I'd love to make something with edible flowers but unsure on my wild flowers :s (I sadly and annoyingly don't have a garden :( ) Will look up something to bake, I like baking :D Get my ribbons out and flowers for my hair :D

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Sounds like a plan Amethyst

 

Edible flowers, the only ones I know are lavendar and nastursiums (both of which are also goos in salads), which sadly don't flower until later in the season. I wonder if you find some info in the witches section on this site, might have a look myslef as well, my foraging skills are sadly lacking apart from blackberrying later in the year!

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Primroses and violets should be flowering around now and both are edible. Rosemary flowers come along soon (I think) and they're delicious to add to things. Basically they taste of rosemary, but also slightly sweet. Really nice.

 

BTW -if you suffer from hay fever or asthma it's best to be cautious. If you want to try a flower try a very small amount first and gradually work up. If you know that a particular flower triggers your allergies or if you have severe allergies it may be best to avoid them altogether.

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I like that there is no one way or right way to celebrate the Sabbats.

It is really nice to hear how others mark the year.

I love to use Coloured candles,a prayer/meditation, some favourite music, a libation (alcoholic) and usually some treat food.

My favourite is to light a Beltane Fire.

I write gratitudes and wishes on paper, give thanks and throw them in the flames. Give libation to the earth and food for Nature. Lovely with friends (especially those who bring cake!)

Also burning a favourite Incense seems to make the ambiance of the occasion for me. Candles, incense,food, alcohol, giving thanks..fairly simple really. :coz_witch:

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Many pagans don't celebrate the Sabbats or even acknowledge them. As a follower of a recon religion (Heathen) they're not part of my practice. So it really is up to you - what to do and whether to do anything. Enjoy! :)

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