- Celebrating the seasons as aspects of the earth cycle during a sabbat at its proper time.
One of the ways in which we cultivate a harmonious relationship with this earth energy, our Mother Gaaia, is through honoring and celebrating the seasons with sabbat rituals. We track the shifting of energies with The Wheel of the Year, which many times is a physical representation or calendar of the eight Wiccan festivals. These festivals are divided between the Major and Minor sabbats, The Major sabbats or cross quarter days are the midpoints between the solstices and equinoxes. They are Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnassa (or Lammas). The Minor sabbats are the solstices and equinoxes, which are referred to as the quarter days. They are; Yule, Ostara, Litha, and Mabon.
Each of the sabbats mark an important shift in earth energies and the changing of the seasons. Though many places on the earth do not see the physical manifestations of all four seasons there is still a shift in the energy that flows within the earth. Wiccans should honor and celebrate that shift regardless of how it manifests for them wherever they reside. During the Autumn when the seeds that were planted in the Spring are ready for harvesting, we celebrate that time with the harvest festivals of Lughnassa, Mabon, and Samhain. When the nights become shorter and the days become longer we celebrate the return of the Sun and light with the festival of Yule. When the first stirring of the seeds occur beneath the thawing earth we mark it with celebration on Imbolc. When the day and night finally become equal and when the first sprout breaks through the now thawed soil of the Earth we celebrate with the festival of Ostara. We celebrate the mating season, when all life is primed for bringing forth more life and sustaining new growth we mark that energy with the sabbat of Beltane. When the sun is at its peak in the heavens and the days become shorter and the long nights of Winter are upon us we celebrate with the sabbat of Litha, which then brings us full circle back to the harvest festivals.