An esbat is a time of gathering and magick for the New Moon and Full Moon. Full moons are a time of increased power and are considered potent for bringing things into your life. New moons are a time to banish unwanted things from our lifes.
Sabbats are the 8 holidays observed by many Pagans as they move through the Wheel of the Year.
Samhain (pronounced sow-in): October 31st, halloween, the night when the veil between the worlds are thinest. This is considered the New Year and is a time of celebration of the other world. Rituals consist of setting a place for the ancestors to return and join in on the silent feast.
Winter Solstice: December 22nd, Yule, is the time of rebirth of the Sun God. It is a time of celebration of the return of light and oak, most commonly represented by a Yule Log.
Imbolc (im-molc): February 2nd, the time for life to begin again and is called a light festival. Rituals may include lighting a large amount of candles to welcome the warmth and light back to Earth.
Spring Equinox: March 21st, Ostara (o-star-a), is the time of equal light and dark. The young God is growing into manhood at this time.
Beltane (bell-tane): April 30th, Mays eve, celebrates the union of the Goddess and God. Rituals may include dancing around the maypole.
Summer Solstice: June 22nd, Litha (leetha), light reaches its peak at this time, the longest day of the year. The Goddess changes from Maiden to Mother. The Oak God is slain by the Holly King to reign over the other half of the year.
Lughnasadh (loon-na-sah): July 31st, Lammas, we give thanks for the first harvest. The God enters the underworld until being reborn as the plants are harvested.
Autumn Equinox: September 21st, Mabon (may-bin), once again light and dark are equal. Once again it is time for the second harvest. Make goals to be completed before the New Year.
This is something you should do by yourself. You are pledging to the Goddess, the God, Elemental Spirits, or whatever your beliefs deem appropriate. Most of all, you are pledging to yourself to follow this path with loyalty and heart. You are saying that you want to mark your readiness for the magickal world. Many do this ritual on an Esbat or Sabbat to mark the occasion. Below you will see a sample dedication ritual. I encourage you to write your own according to your alignments and/or tradition.
wine or juice
a bowl of water
dish of salt
Set these items on your altar or in a circle on your floor. Light the incense and candle and cast circle as you normally would.
Pick up the dish of salt and say,"Earth, I ask for your blessing to be able to sense the magick in the world."
Pick up the incense and say, "Air, I ask for your blessing to be able know the wisdom of the magickal world."
Pick up the candle and say, " Fire, I ask for your blessing to be able to will the magickal of the world."
Pick up the bowl of water and say, "Water, I ask for your blessing to be able to feel the power of the magickal world."
Now pick up the cup of juice or wine and say, " Goddess of the moon and stars
God of the sun and planets
The spirits of Earth and Air
The spirits of Fire and Water
Hear my call
Know thy prayer
I dedicate myself to you now
Your knowledge, Your spirit
Your magick true
Lend me your wisdom
and your blessing too!
Now drink the juice or wine and close circle as you normally would.
Drawing Down the Moon
All women are priestess' and all men are priests. Drawing down the moon can be performed by any priestess. Drawing down the moon is a form of invoking the power of the Goddess and should be approached carefully. It is an act of worship and is used to amplify the wants and needs in the ritual.
It is best to be done on the night of the full moon, closest to the actual time as possible.
Try This: Using your athame, draw an invoking pentagram (starting at the North point, down to West, up to the East, across to West, down to the East, and up to the North point) over the moon. Then draw a straight line down to your heart. I personally like to visualize hovering over the ocean with the moonlights reflection on the waters. I envision standing before the moon seeing the silvery-blue riples of the waters surface. Next give an invocation to the Goddess. Whether personally unique or just saying the Charge of the Goddess is highly recommended to feel the whole effect. You should feel the Goddess flowing through you and allow her to give any messages that may come. There are many ways to draw down the moon depending on traditions. This is the one that is used in my coven. After you have completed the ritual, you must ground the energy.
Drawing Down the Sun
All priests can draw down the sun. This is done in the same way as the drawing down of the moon. Stand before the sun and draw an invoking pentagram over it and pull it down to your heart. Feel the energy of the God flowing through you and give an invocation. The Charge of the God is recommended or you can write your own. Once again it is very important to ground after you are done.
This is all I have at the present time...Thanks..Donna Worby 2/7/01