Esbats - Moon festvals
An Esbat is in celebration of the Goddess, as a Sabbath is the celebration of the God. the Moon governs our emotions and is the gentle Mother of the sky. We see in the moon the cycle of a womans life as Maiden (waxing moon), Mother (full moon) and Crone (waning moon). In ancient times, the woman in many tribes and villages would share a menstrual cycle owing to the fact they were always so close to each other, their cycle would more often than not correlate with the Moons cycle. A womans cycle, shared or not is 28 days long, the same a lunar month. The Esbats are celebrated in sequence after Yule and follow thus:
1. The Wolf Moon: This full moon traditionally marks the deep of winter (winter solstice). Wolves appeared in homesteads mostly at this time of the year to seek food while the inhabitants struggled to keep warm and survive in their homes. We celebrate family, loyalty, realising your personal power and a good time to practice exatrasensory perception or lucid dreaming.
2. The Storm Moon: A time to celebrate and explore the mystery and power of duality. Balance is an essential component of Wicca. Polarities are revered and it is a time for cleansing to create power.
3. The Chaste Moon: Diana is pure and beautiful and spring time is upon us. Gaiea is fertile and overflowing with potential for the creation of new life. The Chaste moon is a time to honour purity and the balances of nature. It is time to celebrate nature and the mysteries of the Trinty of maiden, mother and crone; son, father and wiseman.
4. The Seed Moon: Spring is upon us and it is time to plant seeds and be joyful of the warming days and blooming earth. The powers of the five elements are particulary helpful at this time.
5. The Hare Moon: The Summer months have come and the creatures of nature bound about in gaiety and abundance. Many are in their mating season as nature brings forth new life. Advance toward your own goals at this time, balance your being and work on your surroundings. Fertility is the point of celebration on this joyous Esbat.
6. The Dyad Moon: The God and Goddess are united on this Esbat in the Great Rite, the Sacred union. We meet our yin or yang in perfect balance and in perfect harmony. "Let there be beauty strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence, within you."Earth and Heaven are unted, inner and outer realms are celebrated in their unity of opposite. We can explore shapeshifting, astral travel and personal growth. This is a good time for handfastings or uniting any to opposing forces in your life.
7. The Mead Moon: This is a time to mark and celebrate hard work. The symbol of which is the tough and dedicated worker bee. Frantically and tirelessly gathering its honey from which we make our mead. This is also a good time to perform involved ritual that requires alot of energy. Seance, practce lucid dreaming andthe outer realms, communicate with magickal creatures.
8. The Wort Moon: Time to gather those herbs. At this Esbat we celebrate the sacred circular journies of life. It is time to consolidate body and soul, thoughts and ideas.
9. The Barley Moon: Following on the Wort Moon we celebrate and remeber the mysteries of the eternal nature of life. Barley is used to symbolise that cycle. Everything that is has always been and forever will be. Attain your goals at this time and cultivate willpower.
10. The Wine Moon: This is an auspicious time to cultivate phsychic abilities. It is a time of healing with the five elements. At this moon divination is at its most potent.
11. Blood Moon: We communicate with our forefathers at the Blood moon. Unions would do well if solidified at this time.
12. Snow Moon: As the pure white snow begins to fall (figuretively speaking, we dont have snow in S.A) we remember that not many get far with negative beliefs. This is a time to freeze out all our negativity and cultivate the power of our Higher beings, our Deity within.
13. Oak Moon: The final moon of the year concentrates on rebirth and renewal. We bury grudges and old fights and make new plans for the year ahead. We focus on realising our full potential with review and revitalisation.
The Moon goes through many phases in her 28 day cycle. Each has its own purpose in casting (working magic). The four main phases always marked on a a Witches calender are as follows:
1. The Waxing Moon: During this phases, when the Moon is as a growing maiden, we put things into motion. Any constructive work is done at this stage. Seeds are sown to be reaped at the full moon. A time for building bridges
2. The Full Moon: Energy is abundant and limitless during a full moon. This is an auspicious time to call up energy, a good time for invoking the Quarters or Watchtowers of the five elements. At this time any workings done at the Waxing Moon can be expected to bear fruit.
3. The Waning Moon: Any destructive workings are best done at this time. For instance meditation on quiting an ugly habit will be most effective here or getting rid of bad influences in ones life. This is no time to start any new ventures.
4. The Void / Dark Moon: This time is very important to note. In the 28 day journey of the Heavenly Goddess, she slumbers at this time and will not be disturbed. Any working, rite or ritual performed at this time will either be unsuccessful or, at the worst, go irreparably wrong. This is the time to rest and reflect while allowing your energies to gather.
ESBAT: A regular meeting of the witches coven or circle that is traditionally held during the full moon approximately thirteen times a year. At an Esbat, the coveners exchange ideas, discuss problems and important issues, perform special rites, work magick and healings, and give thanks to or request help from the Goddess or Horned God. The Esbat should not be confused with the Sabbat, which takes place eight times within the course of a year and corresponds with the seasonal cycle of Sun and Earth. Esbats are a little different from sabbats. Generally, not as much preparation and ritual goes into celebrating them. Some Wiccans, like me, consider them to be the rituals held on the nights of the full moon throughout the year, for a total of 13 Esbats in all. Others believe them to be days or nights set aside for magickal workings. Here, any moon phase can be used for an Esbat, depending upon your need at the time. Since I generally hold to the full moon definition, I have included below the names, months and correspondences of each full moon throughout the year. The first list of moons, which is found directly below, is from Silver Ravenwolf's book To Ride A Silver Broomstick, and consists simply of month and moon names. The second list of moons is from D.J. Conway's book Moon Magick. This list contains names and correspondences for each moon and is therefore much more detailed. I have included both versions to demonstrate the variations and inconsistencies between different sources.
Wolf Moon - January
Storm Moon - February
Chaste Moon - March
Seed Moon - April
Hare Moon - May
Dyad (pair) Moon - June
Mead Moon - July
Wyrt (green plant) Moon - August
Barley Moon - September
Blood Moon - October
Snow Moon - November
Oak Moon - December
Blue Moon - variable
Wolf Moon (January)
Also known as: Quiet Moon, Snow Moon, Cold Moon, Chaste Moon, Disting Moon, Moon of Little Winter
Nature Spirits: gnomes, brownies
Herbs: marjoram, holy thistle, nuts, cones
Colors: brilliant white, blue-violet, black
Flowers: snowdrop, crocus
Scents: musk, mimosa
Stones: garnet, onyx, jet, chrysoprase
Animals: fox, coyote
Birds: pheasant, blue jay
Deities: Freyja, Inanna, Sarasvati, Hera, Ch'ang-O, Sinn
Power Flow: sluggish, below the surface; beginning and conceiving. Protection, reversing spells. Conserving energy by working on personal problems that involve no one else. Getting your various bodies to work smoothly together for the same goals.
Ice Moon (February)
Also known as: Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Month), Big Winter Moon
Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants
Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard
Colors: light blue, violet
Scents: wisteria, heliotrope
Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal
Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar
Animals: otter, unicorn
Birds: eagle, chickadee
Deities: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite
Power Flow: energy working toward the surface; purification, growth, healing. Loving the self. Accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans.
Storm Moon (March)
Also known as: Seed Moon, Moon of Winds, Plow Moon, Worm Moon, Hrethmonath (Hertha's Month), Lentzinmanoth (Renewal Month), Lenting Moon, Sap Moon, Crow Moon, Moon of the Snowblind
Nature Spirits: Mer-people, Air and Water beings who are connected with spring rains and storms
Herbs: broom, High John root, yellow dock, wood betony, Irish moss
Colors: pale green, red-violet
Flowers: jonquil, daffodil, violet
Scents: honeysuckle, apple blossom
Stones: aquamarine, bloodstone
Trees: alder, dogwood
Animals: cougar, hedgehog, boar
Birds: sea crow, sea eagle
Deities: Black Isis, the Morrigan, Hecate, Cybele, Astarte, Athene, Minerva, Artemis, Luna
Power Flow: energy breaks into the open; growing, prospering, exploring. New beginnings; balance of Light and Dark. Breaking illusions. Seeing the truth in your life however much it may hurt.
Growing Moon (April)
Also known as: Hare Moon, Seed or Planting Moon, Planter's Moon, Budding Trees Moon, Eastermonath (Eostre Month), Ostarmanoth, Pink Moon, Green Grass Moon
Nature Spirits: plant faeries
Herbs: basil, chives, dragon's blood, geranium, thistle
Colors: crimson red, gold
Flowers: daisy, sweetpea
Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli
Stones: ruby, garnet, sard
Trees: pine, bay, hazel
Animals: bear, wolf
Birds: hawk, magpie
Deities: Kali, Hathor, Anahita, Ceres, Ishtar, Venus, Bast
Power Flow: energy into creating and producing; return balance to the nerves. Change, self-confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities. Work on temper and emotional flare-ups and selfishness.
Hare Moon (May)
Also known as: Merry or Dyad Moon, Bright Moon, Flower Moon, Frogs Return Moon, Thrimilcmonath (Thrice-Milk Month), Sproutkale, Winnemanoth (Joy Month), Planting Moon, Moon When the Ponies Shed
Nature Spirits: faeries, elves
Herbs: dittany of Crete, elder, mint, rose, mugwort, thyme, yarrow
Colors: green, brown, pink
Flowers: lily of the valley, foxglove, rose, broom
Scents: rose, sandalwood
Stones: emerald, malachite, amber, carnelian
Animals: cats, lynx, leopard
Birds: swallow, dove, swan
Deities: Bast, Venus, Aphrodite, Maia, Diana, Artemis, Pan, Horned God
Power Flow: full creating energy; propagation. Intuition, contact with faeries and other supernatural beings. Strengthen connection with supernatural protectors and beings around you. Power flowing from the Greenwood Gods and trees.
Mead Moon (June)
Also known as: Moon of Horses, Lovers' Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Honey Moon, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Moon of Making Fat
Nature Spirits: sylphs, zephyrs
Herbs: skullcap, meadowsweet, vervain, tansy, dog grass, parsley, mosses
Colors: orange, golden-green
Flowers: lavender, orchid, yarrow
Scents: lily of the valley, lavender
Stones: topaz, agate, alexandrite, fluorite
Animals: monkey, butterfly, frog, toad
Birds: wren, peacock
Deities: Aine of Knockaine, Isis, Neith, Green Man, Cerridwen, Bendis, Ishtar
Power Flow: full but restful energy; protect, strengthen, and prevent. A time of Light; Earth tides are turning. Decision-making, taking responsibility for present happenings. Work on personal inconsistencies. Strengthen and reward yourself for your positive traits.
Hay Moon (July)
Also known as: Wort Moon, Moon of Claiming, Moon of Blood (because of mosquitoes), Blessing Moon, Maedmonat (Meadow Month), Hewimanoth (Hay Month), Fallow Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon
Nature Spirits: hobgoblins (small, grotesque but friendly brownie-type creatures), faeries of harvested crops
Herbs: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop
Colors: silver, blue-gray
Flowers: lotus, water lily, jasmine
Scents: orris, frankincense
Stones: pearl, moonstone, white agate
Trees: oak, acacia, ash
Animals: crab, turtle, dolphin, whale
Birds: starling, ibis, swallow
Deities: Khepera, Athene, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Nephthys, Venus
Power Flow: relaxed energy; preparing; succeeding. Dream-work, divination, and meditation on goals and plans, especially spiritual ones.
Corn Moon (August)
Also known as: Barley Moon, Dispute Moon, Weodmonath (Vegetation Month), Harvest Moon, Moon When Cherries Turn Black
Nature Spirits: dryads
Herbs: chamomile, St. John's wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
Colors: yellow, gold
Flowers: sunflower, marigold
Scents: frankincense, heliotrope
Stones: cat's eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
Trees: hazel, alder, cedar
Animals: lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon
Birds: crane, falcon, eagle
Deities: Ganesha, Thoth, Hathor, Diana, Hecate, Nemesis
Power Flow: energy into harvesting; gathering, appreciating. Vitality, health. Friendships.
Harvest Moon (September)
Also known as: Wine Moon, Singing Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Haligmonath (Holy Month), Witumanoth (Wood Month), Moon When Deer Paw the Earth
Nature Spirits: trooping faeries
Herbs: copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap
Colors: brown, yellow-green, yellow
Flowers: narcissus, lily
Scents: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamont
Stones: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine
Trees: hazel, larch, bay
Animals: snake, jackal
Birds: ibis, sparrow
Deities: Demeter, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freyja, Ch'ang-O, Thoth
Power Flow: rest after labor; balance of Light and Dark. Organize. Clean and straighten up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter.
Blood Moon (October)
Also known as: Harvest Moon, Shedding Moon, Winterfelleth (Winter Coming), Windermanoth (Vintage Month), Falling Leaf Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Moon of the Changing Season
Nature Spirits: frost faeries, plant faeries
Herbs: pennyroyal, thyme, catnip, uva ursi, angelica, burdock
Colors: dark blue-green
Flowers: calendula, marigold, cosmos
Scents: strawberry, apple blossom, cherry
Stones: opal, tourmaline, beryl, turquoise
Trees: yew, cypress, acacia
Animals: stag, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion
Birds: heron, crow, robin
Deities: Ishtar, Astarte, Demeter, Kore, Lakshmi, Horned God, Belili, Hathor
Power Flow: to let go; inner cleansing. Karma and reincarnation. Justice and balance. Inner harmony.
Blue Moon (October 27-November 1)
Also known as: Moon of the Dead, Hunting Moon, Ancestor Moon, Hunter's Moon
Nature Spirits: banshees and other beings who carry messages between worlds
Herbs: ginger, hops, wormwood, hyssop, patchouli, mugwort, nutmeg, star anise
Colors: black, white, purple
Flowers: white lily, dahlia, chrysanthemum
Scents: rosemary, dragon's blood, lilac, pine, wisteria
Stones: obsidian, onyx, Apache tear
Trees: pine, cypress, yew, elder
Animals: bat, wolf, sow, dog, snake
Birds: owls, raven, falcon
Deities: Cybele, Circe, Hel, Nephthys, Cerridwen, Horned God, Caillech, Freyja, Holda
Power Flow: release, remember; communion with the dead. Prophecy. Releasing old negative memories and emotions.
Snow Moon (November)
Also known as: Dark Moon, Fog Moon, Beaver Moon, Mourning Moon, Blotmonath (Sacrifice Month), Herbistmanoth (Harvest Month), Mad Moon, Moon of Storms, Moon When Deer Shed Antlers
Nature Spirits: subterranean faeries
Herbs: grains of paradise, verbena, betony, borage, cinquefoil, blessed thistle
Colors: gray, sea-green
Flowers: blooming cacti, chrysanthemum
Scents: cedar, cherry blossoms, hyacinth, narcissus, peppermint, lemon
Stones: topaz, hyacinth, lapis lazuli
Trees: alder, cypress
Animals: unicorn, scorpion, crocodile, jackal
Birds: owl, goose, sparrow
Deities: Kali, Black Isis, Nicnevin, Hecate, Bast, Osiris, Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Skadi, Mawu
Power Flow: take root, prepare. Transformation. Strengthen communication with the god or goddess who seems closest to you.
Cold Moon (December)
Also known as: Oak Moon, Wolf Moon, Moon of Long Nights, Long Night's Moon, Aerra Geola (Month Before Yule), Wintermonat (Winter Month), Heilagmanoth (Holy Month), Big Winter Moon, Moon of Popping Trees
Nature Spirits: snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries
Herbs: holly, English ivy, fir, mistletoe
Colors: blood red, white and black
Flowers: holly, poinsettia, Christmas cactus
Scents: violet, patchouli, rose geranium, frankincense, myrrh, lilac
Stones: serpentine, jacinth, peridot
Trees: pine, fir, holly
Animals: mouse, deer, horse, bear
Birds: rook, robin, snowy owl
Deities: Hathor, Hecate, Neith, Athene, Minerva, Ixchel, Osiris, Norns, Fates
Power Flow: to endure, die, be reborn; Earth tides turning. Darkness. Personal alchemy. Spiritual paths. Reach out to friends and family, the lonely and needy.