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THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR: WICCAN SABBATS

Despite all of this flexibility, however, there is one very important element of Wicca that does serve as a structural center for the religion: the Wheel of the Year. The eight holidays of the Wiccan year, also known as the Sabbats, provide regular occasions for practitioners to come together, whether it’s for coven rituals or more informal circle celebrations.

:It should be noted that these eight holidays do not belong to Wicca alone—many contemporary Pagan traditions also observe some or all of the Sabbats. However, the metaphorical mythology surrounding the God and the Goddess, and each Sabbat’s portion of the overall story, is what makes the Wiccan version unique:

  • Yule: Celebrated at the Winter Solstice, Yule is the celebration of the Goddess giving birth to the God.

  • Imbolc: Celebrated on February 2, it is the time when the first plantings of spring crops occur. It is also considered to be a time of spiritual cleansing and renewal of vows.

  • Ostara: Celebrated at the Spring Equinox in March, this sabbat represents a new beginning partly because it marks the beginning of longer days and shorter nights. It also marks the union of the God and Goddess and therefore symbolizes fertility.

  • Beltane: Celebrated on May 1, it represents the end of the planting season and the beginning of harvesting. It also represents fertility, as the celebration often involves loosened rules for fidelity.

  • Litha: Celebrated at the Summer Solstice, this sabbat represents the peak of the God's strength. It may involve lighting large bonfires to ward off evil spirits.

  • Lughnasadh: Celebrated on August 1, this is a time when the Goddess turns over control to the God. It is a time of feasts and craft festivals.

  • Mabon: Celebrated at the Autumn Equinox, Mabon represents the balance between light and dark, as it is the day that nights start becoming longer than days. It is officially the Pagan day of Thanksgiving.

  • Samhain: Celebrated on Halloween, Samhain means the end of summer and the beginning of winter. On this night, the dead are said to be able to communicate with the living in order to be with and celebrate with their families.

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