Keeping the Sabbats

I like to hope that I am not alone in having difficulty in keeping the Sabbats as I move through the year.

Traditional Wheel of the Year

Traditional Wheel of the Year

I view Sabbats as times to be celebrated with ritual, but to be very honest I’m just not much for making a big hullabaloo. It’s not that Sabbats pass by and I realise 3 days later “Oh, wow! It was the Sabbat and I forgot.” No, I do remember it’s there and I will start paying attention to what is happening in the world a bit more. Looking at what foods are coming into season, at the weather, and at what is currently growing and blooming around me.

It could be that were I part of a coven group I would make more of an effort to do more formalised ritual celebrations. It could also be that if I were to be living a more agriculture-centred life I would take more notice and find need to make a formal acknowledgement.

But neither of these things is true for me. These days it’s me and sometimes my youngest son joins me as we honour our Family Gods. And while I have roots in farming (my grandparents and their parents going back many generations before them were all farmers and or raised livestock), my contact with nature these days is to be found within the cracks of an urban pavement or the nearest city park.

The thing to ask myself at this point is “Do I feel that something is missing from my life because I don’t hold formal rituals to celebrate the Sabbats?”

And the answer here, is “No, I don’t.”

I am quite content to keep the Sabbats by observing the seasonal changes of the earth around me – The blooming of the May tree (hawthorn) signals the arrival of Beltane, while the emergence of crocuses and snowdrops signals the arrival of Imbolc. The arrival of locally grown asparagus and strawberries in the shops indicates that the Summer Solstice will be coming soon.When winter squashes come into season that is my indication that Autumn is well under way. Darkening skies at 4pm tell me that Winter is coming and it will soon be the Winter Solstice, while the sun still shining in the windows after 9pm tell me that Summer is here and it will soon be the Summer Solstice.

Since Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the Julian calendar, thetimes these things occur can be days or even weeks vefore or after the official Sabbat date.

So what can I do? What do I do?

  • I offer up a quick hello to the world. Hello Earth, I see the world changing as we move through the year.
  • I try to eat local, seasonal foods as much as possible. Besides, these are healthier, better for the environment and the local economy, and less expensive.

It may be that in years to come I may become part of a group again, or I may decide to invite friends and family round to celebrate. For now though, I am happy and content to keep the Sabbats in my own simple way.

How do you Keep the Sabbats?


One thought on “Keeping the Sabbats

  1. I too, have trouble with observing rituals for holidays as a solitary. But you know what? What works & is meaningful to you (and your family) is perfectly valid. As I’ve researched more about holidays, I’ve learned that they are more about seasonal activities & customs than formal ritual- I think the emphasis on formal ritual comes more out of ceremonial magic. I’ve been focusing more on doing those things- and participating in other community celebrations- for ex: I went to a Swedish Midsummer celebration on Saturday which was very pagan-y even if most of the people there were not Pagan-identified.

I enjoy reading your responses, so please let me know what you think.

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