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Title: Esbat Info & More!
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Autumn_Heather
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(Date Posted:01/12/2009 20:48 PM)
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Esbats are rites held for the purpose of communing with the Moon's energies and are regarded as the time for most magickal workings. As opposed to the Sabbats, which are fire or sun festivals, Esbats are dedicated to the Moon in her various phases. These are considered the 'working' celebrations, the time in which to attract, banish, invoke protection, or to perform any other magickal workings. Most Sabbat festivals are held in order to celebrate the changing of the seasons, the gathering of the harvest, etc. The Esbats are held in honor of the Goddess. The Lunar Year contains 13 Full Moons. These have all been called by various names in the past but the ones that seem to have become the most popular are:

MODERN

ANCIENT

CELTIC

January

Wolf Moon

Fearn - Alder

February

Ice or Storm Moon

Saille - Willow

March

Chaste Moon

Nuin - Ash

April

Seed or Growing Moon

Huathe - Hawthorn

May

Hare Moon

Duiir - Oak

June

Mead Moon

Tinne - Holly

July

Hay Moon

Coll - Hazel

August

Corn Moon

Muin - Vine

September

Harvest Moon

Gort - Ivy

October

Blood Moon

Ngetal - Reed

November

Snow Moon

Beth - Birch

December

Oak or Cold Moon

Luis - Rowan



But that's only 12 you say? That's because the 13th Moon is called the Blue Moon, this occurs when four full moons fall within the same season (as regular seasons only have 3 full moons, the fourth full moon between solstice and equinox, or vice versa, is the Blue Moon). Obviously this must happen once a year, and always at a different time due to the inaccuracies of the modern calendar. The Celts originally set their year to correspond with the 13 moons but with the coming of the Romans and their method of calendar keeping this tradition was lost. Their 13th Moon was called Ruis or Elder. For more on the Celtic Tree Calendar and Correspondences Click Here.
The Blue Moon is considered the 'goal moon', at this time it is customary to set specific goals for yourself and to review your accomplishments and failures since the last one.



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The other 12 Moons all have special meanings as well.

  • January is the time to conserve energy by working on personal problems that involve no one else. It is also a time for protection rites and reversing spells. During this month the energy flow is sluggish and below the surface.

  • February is the time for loving the self, accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. At this time the energy flow is working toward the surface; good for purification, growth, and healing.

  • March is the time for new beginnings, breaking illusions, and seeing the truth in your life however much it may hurt. The energy flow breaks into the open, a good time for growing, prospering, and exploring. Light and Dark are in balance now.

  • April is the time for working on your temper, emotional flare-ups, and selfishness. The energy is flowing into creating and producing; a good time for change, self-confidence issues, taking advantage of opportunities, and realizing self-reliance.

  • May is the time for strengthening the connections with supernatural protectors and beings around you. The energy is in full flow making this a good time for intuition, propagating, and connecting with faeries and nature spirits.

  • June is the time for decision making, taking responsibility for present happenings, working on personal inconsistencies, and for strengthening and rewarding yourself for your positive traits. The energy is in full, but restive, flow, the Earth tides are turning making this a good time for protection, strengthening, and prevention spells.

  • July is the time for dream-work, divination, and meditation on spiritual goals and plans. The energy is slower and more relaxed, proper for success and prosperity spells. This month is the time to start preparing for the colder and darker months ahead.

  • August is the time for harvesting, gathering, and appreciating. The energy flow is slowing more and now is the time of vitality, health, and friendships.

  • September is the time for organizing and straightening up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter. The energy flow is resting and Light and Dark are in balance.

  • October is the time for inner cleansing. Meditate on the laws of Karma and thoughts of reincarnation. This is the time of letting go, justice, balance, and inner harmony.

  • November is the month of transformation. It is time to prepare for the coming winter and a time to strengthen communication with the god or goddess closest to you. The energy flow is taking root and preparing to flow once more.

  • December is the time of Spiritual Paths. The Earth tides are turning and it is time to reach out to friends and family, the lonely, and the needy. This is the month of death and renewal. Spells should should be aimed at endurance and provision.


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RE:Esbat Info & More!
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 20:48 PM)

The Esbats
 
    When our earliest ancestors first painted images of their religious rituals on the walls of sacred caves and understood all of Nature to be inhabited by Spirit, there can be little doubt that they first reconed time by the waxing and waning of the Moon. The primary reason for this is that the monthly cycles of the Moon are far more visible than the slow and subtle changes in the position of the Sun, even to someone who is not especially looking for repeated cycles. One of the earliest calandars known (although its use is still a controversy that may never be settled) is a 30,000 year-old piece of bone from Europe.
 
It is pierced with variously shaped holes in a series of sevens, suggesting the quarters of the Moon, in a loop design, which represents the Lunar cycle from New Moon to Full and back to the New or Dark of the Moon. The artifact, just a few inches across, desribes three such Lunar cycles - three months or one season.Because there are 13 Lunar months in a year, and because the first New Moon does not necessarily coincide with the first day of the first Solar month, the Full Moon, midpoint of the lunar month, may not always fall in the Solar month that is given here. And because there are 13 Full Moons in a Solar year, one month will have two. The second Full Moon to occur in a Solar month is popularly called the Blue Moon.
 
January
To each Lunar month the ancients assigned a name in accordance with the nature of the activity that took place at that time. The Moon of deepest Winter is the Wolf Moon, and its name recalls a time when our ancestors gathered close around the hearth fire as the silence of the falling snow was pierced by the howling of wolves. Driven by hunger, wolves came closer to villages than at any other time of the year, and may have occasionally killed a human being in order to survive. The wolf in northern countries was at one time so feared that it became the image of Fenris, the creature of destruction that supposedly will devour the world at the end of time. The Christian version of the myth would leave it at that, but the myth continues.
 
Like the wolf in the fairy tale of Little Red Ridinghood, which preserves the full idea of the myth but is used only to frighten children, the wolf is slain; and the grandmother, like the world, is brought forth once more. As the light of the new-born year slowly increases and the Wolf Moon waxes full, it is a good time to look back upon that which has just ended and learn from our experiences. Bid the past farewell and let it go in order to receive the year that has just been born. Learning to let go of that which we would cling to is one of the greatest secrets of magick.
 
February
    The Moon following the Wolf Moon is the Storm Moon. Whether you meet with a coven on the night of the Full Moon, salute Her in a solitary ritual, or simply blow Her a kiss, bear in mind the magick of this night and the nature of the storms of February. Unlike the boisterous storms of the light half of the year, which are accompanied by the clashing of thunder and the flining of lightning bolts, the storms of February come in silence. They blanket the world in coldness in keeping with the nature of the dark half of the Wheel of the Year. But beneath the blanket of cold and silent snow, Nature rests, as we do when in the realm of the Spirit that is called death; and like those in the world of Spirit, Nature prepares for life anew.
 
March
The Moon following the Storm Moon is the Chaste Moon. Like Diana, chaste Goddess of the Moon, all of Nature at this moment is pure potential waiting to be fullfilled. The Goddess has many forms: The maiden pure and lovely as the snow of February, the seductive enchantress of the night, or the Crone ancient and wise. As the Goddess can change Her form according to the Moon or according to Her will, ever renewing Herself, ever beginning again, so can we, Her children, always begin again by discovering new potencial within ourselves.
 
When you cast the Circle of the Chaste Moon, when the candles have been lit and the incense burned, look deep within yourself to discover what potential lies there waiting, like the Maiden, to be fulfilled. As it is the time for the planting of seeds on the material plane, so may it be time to do so on the psychic planes as well. On the night that the Seed Moon (another name for the Chaste Moon) of March is full, cast your magick Circle. Then before the rite has ended, select the spiritual seeds you would like to plant. They may be seeds of wisdom, seeds of understanding, or seeds of certain magickal skills. Then by an act of will, plant these seeds in the fertile soil of your subconscious mind with the firm commitment that they will be nurtured and cultivated in the months that lie ahead, so that they will grow and flower and bear fruit.
 
April
    As the Hare Moon of April waxes full, observe the rabbits leaping and playing, carefree in their mating and joyful in their games, and as you cast your Esbat Circle and joyfully dance the round, feel within your heart the carefree nature of the wild creatures that are also children of the Old Gods.
 
May
    This time of the Sacred Marriage of the God and Goddess is the Dyad Moon, the time when the two become one, when all things meet their opposites in perfect balance and in perfect harmony. As you cast your Circle this night of the Dyad Moon, adorn it with apple blossoms, and light candles of white. When the sacred round has been danced, sit a moment and reflect. Seek harmony in all things. As the dark half of the Wheel of the Year balances the light, as heat balances cold, recall the words of the Goddess, "Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence, within you." And then before the rite is ended, if it is appropriate, become one with your working partner, physically as well as spiritually.
 
June
    After the spectacular flowers of May have passed and the bees have gathered their pollen and nectar, the hives are filled with honey that is waiting to be gathered. In ancient times much of this honey was made into a drink called mead by a fermentation process similar to that of making wine. The "Moon in June" is the Mead Moon. Mead has been considered to have magickal and even life-restoring properties in many of the countries of ancient Europe, and it was the drink of many of the great heroes of legend.
 
The legendary figure Robin Hood, who is accepted historically as being a composite of several peasant leaders during the reign of King Richard I, is also generally accepted by Pagans as being one of us. One reason is that Robin was a popular Witch name, and also because he was always described as being dressed in green, symbolic of the Green Man of Sherwood Forest. Lincoln green, which is made from woad, the dyestuff used by the Picts of ancient Britain and the Druid priestesses, is also a colour that symbolizes, historically, the Pagan peasantry. Among the articles robbed from the rich by Robin Hood are "met and met." This probably means "meat and mead."
 
In the myth of Odin, one of His quests is for the Poetic Mead of Inspiration, which He returns to the realm of the Gods where it belongs, but a few drops fall to Earth, and this may be had by anyone who can find them. On the night that the Mead Moon waxes full, after the Circle has been cast and dancing done, fill the cup with mead (if it is available), sweet wine, or an herb tea sweetened with honey. Sip the sweet drink and sit quietly and make yourself a vessel ready to receive the inspiration of the higher realms. Become a mead cup ready to be filled, not with the brew of everyday life but with the clear, bright liquid of illumination. Every time this ritual is performed, even if there are no immediate results, you are becoming a more perfect vessel for divine inspiration. If the night of the Mead Moon is very close to the Summer Solstice, the results of this exercise can be very powerful. If the Mead Moon is full on Midsummer Night, then the priestess into whom the Moon is Drawn should be prepared.
 
July
    As the Wort Moon of July waxes full, this is the time for gathering of herbs. The word wort is old Anglo-Saxon for "herb." When the magickal herbs have been gathered and hung to dry, the time of the Wort Moon is the time to give thanks to the spirits who dwell in the herb garden, and to leave them an offering. Perhaps as you place an offering in the moonlit garden, they will whisper to you other secrets of herbal magick.
 
August
    One day at mid-month we realize that the robins and wrens that were nesting nearby have simply vanished. Their lovely songs have been replaced by the shrill calls of the bluejays, who were so silent during the nesting season. As August progresses the days are still hot but nighttime temperatures are beginning to cool, and the late afternoon thunderstorms that bring the cooler air also bring about the ripening of tomatoes. In the fields and meadows and along roadsides now there are wild herbs to be gathered.
 
There are goldenrod, Queen Anne's lace, and milkweed - all awaiting the natuaral dyer who can extract from them tan, green, and bright yellow respectively, for dyes and for natural inks for talismans. Among the medicinal herbs to be collected at this time is boneset, which does not help broken bones toheal but is a febrifuge that was used as a remedy for "Breakbone Fever"in the 1840s. Milkweed pods with their silken fluff, goldenrod, and wild grasses and grains gathered now will be dried in time to adorn the altar at the Autumnal Equinox. As the aromic herbs begin to fill the rafters in the dry heat of theattic, and the braids of onions and garlic fill the cool darkness of the root cellar, the golden grain and yellow corn ripen in the fields under the waning August Sun.
 
To the Ancients this was the Barley Moon, a time to contemplate the eternalness of life. Just as we are descended from the first woman and the first man, who descended from the Gods, so is the grain of the bread that we eat descended from the first grain ever gathered. By ritually eating the Lammas bread we are participating in a chain of events that stretches back through time to the Gods themselves. And here before us in the ripening fields is the promise of the future.

Everywhere there is abundance - in herb garden, the vegetable garden, the field, and the orchard. The pantry shelves are lined with glistening glass jars that are filled with colourful fruits and vegetables preserved for Winter days; quarts of red tomatoes, cucumbers in slices or spears, dark red beets with cloves and cinnamon sticks, the yellow of corn, the orange of carrots - a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The house is filled with delightful aromas as pickling spices are added to crocks of brine and exotic chutneys simmer on the stove. But the time of abundance is drawing to a close. The fireflies of June and July have given way to katydids, whose scratchy calls to one another fill the evening air of August with the promise of frost in six weeks.
 
September
    Since wine was, and is, such a sacred fluid, the Pagans of old naturally named this Lunar month the Wine Moon. As you celebrate the night of the Full Wine Moon and dance the magickal round in the moonlit Circle, pour some white wine in a silver cup. Before the rite is ended, if possible, catch Her reflection in the liquid, then take a sip. As the Moon-blessed wine casts its inner glow, sit quietly and feel your own spirit, of which the wine is a symbol. As the body is stilled and the spirit soars, feel on this night of magick a sence of the kind of transformation that takes place during true spiritual initiation.
 
Today the term Harvest Moon is applied to the Full Moon nearest to the Autumnal Equinox. This is because, it is said, in other times when harvesting was done by hand, as the days grew shorter farmers were able
to work into the night in the brightness of Her light.
 
October
    At this time of year the abundance of fruit and vegetables begins to slow. It is a time when our ancient ancestors gathered what they could store and then supplemented their Winter diets either by hunting wild animals or by slaughtering domestic ones. So this Lunar month is called the Blood Moon.
 
As you cast the Esbat Circle on this moonlit Autumn night and fill the cup with blood-red wine, know that you will be joined in the sacred dance not only by the unseen presence of departed friends and family so close at this time of year, but also by the spirits of animals as well, perhaps of those that have died so that we may have food. In this age of assembly line slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants, it is especially appropriate that on this night of the Blood Moon we who are on the Pagan path ritually ask the understanding of our animal sisters and brothers, bless them, and bid them merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.
 
November
    As the Winter Sun wanes and the Snow Moon waxes full, cast your Circle in the warm glow of candlelight. Salute the Moon in Her snowy whiteness and breathe in the coolness of Her light. Become as still as this Winter night, and know that the activity of the warm light months is behind us. Ahead are the dark months of the year. The Spirit is most active when the body is most still.
 
December
    The Full Moon nearest the Winter Solstice is the Oak Moon, the Moon of the newborn year, the Divine Child. Like the Divine Child who is born to die and dies to be reborn anew, the ancient Oak has its trunk and branches in the material world of the living, while its roots, the branches in reverse, reach deep into the Underworld, symbolic land of the Spirit. As the roots probe downward into the gravelike darkness of the Earth, its branches grow ever upward toward the light, to be crowned by sacred Mistletoe.
 
At this most magickal time of the year, as the light of the old dying year wanes and the Oak Moon waxes to full, cast your Circle wearing Mistletoe in your hair. Let this token remind you that like the Oak, we too dwell simultaneously in two worlds - the world of physical matter and the world of Spirit. As you invoke the Goddess of the Moon, ask that you become ever more aware of the other side of reality and the unseen forces and beings that are always among us.
 
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Autumn_Heather
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RE:Esbat Info & More!
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 20:51 PM)

The Moon - History, Ritual and more

The Moon. For Wiccans, it is far more than a heavenly body that might catch our eye as we drive home late at night, its fullness shining through trees or brightly overhead. For many Wiccan, she is the embodiment of the Goddess, she is Maiden, Mother and Crone. It is also an important source of natural energy that is essential in magick, if you preform your spells and rituals at the right lunar phase. Preforming spells during the wrong phase of the moon can seriously debilitate the spell, producing no result or possibly the wrong result. The Wheel of the Moon, is approximately 28 1/2 days long, waxing to Full Moon and waning to New Moon.

Waxing Moon means the moon is getting larger in the sky, moving from the New Moon towards the Full Moon. This is a time for spells that attract, that bring positive change, spells for love, good luck, growth. This is a time for new beginnings, to conceptualize ideas, to invoke. At this time the moon represents the Goddess in her Maiden aspect, give praise to Epona, Artemis or one of the other Maiden Goddesses. The period of the waxing moon lasts about 14 days.

Full Moon is when the moon has reached its zenith, it forms a perfect silvery sphere in the sky. This is a time for spells that transform, increase pyschic ability, for fertility spells and invocation to lunar goddesses. This is a time of strength, love and power. At this time the moon represents the Goddess in her Mother aspect, give praise to Cerridwen, Isis or one of the other Mother Goddesses. The period of the Full Moon lasts from about 3 days before to 3 days after the actual full moon.

Waning Moon means the moon is decreasing in size, moving from the Full Moon towards the New Moon. This is a time for spells that banish, release, reverse. This is a time to break bad habits or bad addictions, to end bad relationships. This is a time of deep intuition and a time for divination. At this time the moon represents the Goddess in her Crone Aspect, give praise to Hecate, Morrigan or one of the other Crone Goddesses. The period of the waning moon lasts about 14 days.

As the Wheel of the Moon continues on its never ending course, the moon also travels through the different astrological signs, just as the sun does, only more rapidly. When the moon resides within the various signs, the sign influences the magickal aspect of the moon.

EARTH spells should be preformed when the moon is in one of the astrological signs governed by that element: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.AIR spells should be preformed when the moon is in one of the astrological signs governed by that element: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.FIRE spells should be performed when the moon is in one of the astrological signs governed by that element: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.WATER spells should be preformed when the moon is in one of the astrological signs governed by that element: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.

Moon in ARIES is the best time for spells involving authority, rebirth, leadership; healing spells of the face and head.
Moon in TAURUS is the best time for spells involving love, money, acquisition; healing spells for the throat and neck.
Moon in GEMINI is the best time for spells involving communication, writing, travel; healing spells for the arms, hands, and lungs.
Moon in CANCER is the best time for spells involving the home and for honoring lunar gods and goddesses; healing of the chest and stomach.
Moon in LEO is the best time for spells involving authority, courage, fertility; healing of the upper back, spine, heart.
Moon in VIRGO is the best time for spells involving employment, health, diet; healing of the intestines and nervous system.
Moon in LIBRA is the best time for spells involving justice, unions, balance (spiritual and otherwise), artistry; healing of the lower back and kidneys.
Moon in SCORPIO is the best time for spells involving power, psychic growth, sex; healing of the reproductive organs.
Moon in SAGITTARIUS is the best time for spells involving travel, sports, truth, horses; healing of the liver and thighs.Moon in CAPRICORN is the best time for spells involving organization, ambition, career, politics; healing of the knees, bones, teeth, skin.
Moon in AQUARIUS is the best time for spells involving science, freedom, friendship, breaking bad habits or addictions; healing of the calves, ankles, blood.
Moon in PISCES is the best time for spells involving music, art, telepathy, dreams; healing of the feet and lymph glands.

In magick, timing is very important. In the calendar are listed the times of the New Moon, Full Moon and when it enters a new quarter, as well as the times when the moon enters the various astrological signs, but these times are general Eastern Standard Times. For those residing in the United States, an accurate listing of the Full and New Moon, Sun and Moon rises and sets, as well as times of Planet rises and sets, I highly recommend checking outThe Old Farmer's Almanac Home Page. This page can be very helpful, especially for those of us that don't have a clue what the difference is between a degree and a minute. Explore the page and you will also find some of the most interesting tidbits of Americana. Enjoy.

Lady Luna, Diana, Selena...
and a thousand other names
Goddess of Silver Love
Shine upon me in your fullness
Turn my darkness into light

I draw you down...within...
that I may share your wisdom
with my sisters,
my brothers of the earth.

I offer you my prisms, my amulets
and I beseech you,
charge them with power
that only you can emit.

Hear me,
Goddess of the Moon!

Reveal to me the mysteries
Of starlight and moonbeams
Of Universal Light
Of faeries and gnomes and angels
This is my will.
So shall it be done.

Spellwork by Lunar Phase
Abundance: waxing to full moon.
Addictions (TO END): waning moon.
Artistic Creations: waxing to full moon.
Bad Habits (to break): waning moon.
Bad Luck (to reverse): waning moon.
Beauty and Health: full moon.
Bindings: waning moon.
Blessings: full moon.
Career Advancement: waxing moon.
Communication: full moon.
Curses, Hexes (to break): waning moon.
Divinations: waxing and full moons.
Energy Raising: waxing moon.
Exorcisms: waning moon.
Fear (overcoming): waning moon.
Fertility Rituals: waxing and full moons.
Forgiveness: new moon.
Friendship: waxing moon.
Garden Planting Spells: waxing moon.
Goals (attainment of): waxing to full moon.
Good Luck: waxing moon.
Growth (of an kind): waxing moon.
Harmony: waxing moon.
Happiness: waxing and full moons.
Healings (to increase health): waxing moon.
Healings (to end sickness): waning moon.
House Blessings: full moon.
Inspiration: waxing and full moons.
Intuition: full moon.
Jinx-Breaking: waning moon.
Judgment: waxing and full moons.
Liberation (to free oneself from something): waning moon.
Love Magick: waxing and full moons.
Love Spells (to reverse): waning moon.
Lunar Goddess Invocations: full moon.
Money Matters (to increase wealth): waxing moon.
Negativity (to banish): waning moon.
Nightmares (to banish): waning moon.
Obtaining (things and goals): waxing and full moons.
Omens: full moon.
Overcoming: waning moon.
Peace (to end hostility, war): waning moon.
Power: waxing and full moons.
Prophetic Dreams: full moon.
Protection: waxing moon.
Psychic Powers (developing, strengthening): full moon.
Quests: new moon.
Real Estate (to buy): waxing moon
Real Estate (to sell): waning moon.
Sexual Desires (to stimulate, increase): waxing moon.
Shapeshifting: full moon.
Spirit Conjurations: full moon.
Strength: waxing moon.
Teaching: waxing and full moons.
Transformations: full moon.
Travel: waxing moon.
Unions (marriages, business partnerships): waxing and full moons.
Weatherworkings (to bring forth): waxing moon.
Weatherworkings (to quell): waning moon.
Weight Gain: waxing moon.
Weight Loss: waning moon.
Wisdom (to increase): waxing and full moons.
Wish-magick: waxing and full moons.  


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