The Eight Sabbats

The Moon Phase Esbats
Casting a Circle
Tools and Chakras
Herbs and Oils
Simple Spells

The Eight Sabbats

The year is divided into Eight Sabbats or Festivals, celebrating the changing seasons in the Cycle of Life. Although we now tend to celebrate these festivals at set times of the year, this wasn't always so in the case of our ancestors. Our ancient ancestors wouldn't have had an accurate measurement of time, but relied on the movements of the Sun and Moon mainly to guide them. The weather also played an important part in deciding when to celebrate, for example if there had been a good summer, then the harvest may have been gathered in June and they would have celebrated Lammas earlier.

There are Four Greater Sabbats, which are Celtic in origin. The Lesser Sabbats are the Four solar festivals whose timing is due to the relationships of the sun to the earth. These are the Winter Solstice or Yule (the shortest day), Summer Solstice or Midsummer (the longest day), and the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes when the hours of light and darkness are equal.

The Sabbats start at sunset and last to sunset the next day. A Sabbat Rite can be performed anytime over this period, although it is more usual, to be performed near the "witching hour" of midnight on the eve of the festival.

The ancient British/Celtic names for the Goddess are referred to when personifying Her.
There are many equivalent names used throughout the world.
For further reading, I recommend "The Ancient British Goddess", by Kathy Jones

Summer Solstice
Autumn Equinox