Saturday, May 18, 2024

Here now is a brief look at the 13 Esbat celebrations listed in the order of their occurrence.

The Esbat of the Blood Moon
During the season of the third and final harvest festival of the year. At the end of the turning of the Great Wheel of Seasons. Just prior to Samhain, the New Year in the tradition of the Old Ways.

The Esbat of the Snow Moon 
A time of contemplation on the Goddess as She waits for the birth of Her Son, the God who when born of Her will bring back
the Light to His children on Earth. Witches lay in the soft caress and cradling embrace of the Great Mother as they wait for the coming warmth. It is a time to prepare for Yule and the coming of the Holly King for some.

The Esbat of the Oak Moon
As Yule edges closer, so does the Light of the God. The eternal promise fulfilled is at hand. He is about to rise again from the womb of the Mother and She is laden with Her child. Thanks are given for the strength and perseverance to make it through the cold time of year.

The Esbat of the Wolf Moon 
Though the winter is long, the Sun comes closer and the Light of the God King is released onto the land. The Goddess aspect changes slowly from that of the Mother to the Crone. She prepares to regenerate anew. The God is young upon the Earth. He strives to grow and stretch and gain in strength. A time when Nature culls the weak and the strong emerge to survive.

The Esbat of the Storm Moon
A tempestuous time of year in weather. The God has grown stronger and ascended into His new aspect of Consort to the Goddess. She is slowly changing from Crone to Maiden and will soon join Him in the Dance of Spring. The weather fluctuates and there are breaks in the cold. The undercurrent of energy that is the God slowly awakens the Maiden. She stirs from Her frozen slumber and opens Her eyes. The time of change on the turn of the Great Wheel has come around.

The Esbat of the Chaste Moon
It is but a week and Ostara will be upon us. The crocus' are breaking through the crust of the Earth. The grasses are being rejuvenated.  Birds begin to return and lend their song to the air. Woodland creatures stir and find new food in abundance. The Maiden is pursued by Her Consort. While She does not fear Him, neither does She seek to control Him. Their Spiral Dance grows in its Power and vitality.

The Esbat of the Seed Moon
The planting has begun in earnest. The Moon sits higher in the sky and the winds are quieter. In this time of sowing, Witches celebrate the "sowing" of the seed of the God. With the growth of His union with the Goddess, the fields will swell and nurture the fruits of the planting. Surely now it is plain to all that the fires of the Sun are as the God and the resultant warmth of the nurturing Earth are as the Goddess.  There is much for Witches to give thanks for. We revel in this time.

The Esbat of the Hare Moon
We shake off the very last remnants of the icy grip of Winter. A second wave of planting is begun. Witches find it to be a time when they get together more frequently and in larger groups. The Sun warms our houses more easily than before. The palpable change in the elements brings a new feel to us as we practice our Magick in the Circle. The cauldron fire burns a little brighter.

The Esbat of the Dyad Moon
The lush green blanket of foliage surrounds we Witches as we gather in a Circle in the wood. Around the fire we dance deosil (clockwise) to the steady rythym of a chant. What is it that we chant? We chant an exultation of thanks and praise to the Old Ones. We invoke them and ask their help in sending our energy to its intended purpose. Midsummer is close and the heat of the Goddess and God increases steadily.

The Esbat of the Mead Moon
The fields, orchards and livestock pens are burgeoning with the fruits of the sowing season which have been tended and nurtured all Spring and Summer. As the name might imply, mead is often brewed at this time of year. The Mead Moon is one of the most beautiful and the rituals on this night are touched with that special presence that only a huge, slowly-rising bountiful Moon can bring. Truly this is Magick.

The Esbat of the Wyrt Moon
Now is the time for "Wort cunning", the knowledge of plants, specifically herbs, and their uses, Powers, methods of collection, preparation and storage. Plants all have their own vibrational rate and are useful in Magick. A Circle on this night might well include the charging of herbs and medicinal plants before they are prepared and stored.

The Esbat of the Barley Moon
The second wave of crops is almost ready for the harvest. Gatherings on this night are in keeping with the heightened sense of thanksgiving that the harvest season brings. The Sun continues to recede. The Earth grows a little colder everyday.

The Esbat of the Blue Moon
With only one week until the last of the harvest festivals to go, the year is coming to a close. The leaves have almost all turned with the shortening of the days. The cold is closer. The warmth of the Sun and the God's Light is fainter. The Mother grows harder and more frigid. The veil between the worlds is getting thinner. Rituals done now have a more quite focus. Samhain and the new year are approaching.
~from Maat's Book of Shadows