Best Known Sabbat
This is probably the best known of all the Sabbats - celebrated by millions
across the world. It is, of course, Halloween. Celebrated by millions
of non-pagans it's nice to know that at least some of the old ways are
in this world. OK, so it may not be the way we might celebrate, but
so what? At least our friends will have something in common with.
The Beginning of the Year
It is a very important Sabbat for Witches because it marks the beginning
of the new year. Like the traditional Christian new year, it is a great
time for a big party! So as part of your celebrations, why not invite
all your friends over and apple-bob! It is the night for messing around
and having fun, as well as paying our respects for all those who have
passed over. It is supposed to be the best night of the year for divination.
Some Witches get upset that this night has been 'hijacked' and turned
into a commercial gain. They dislike children being dressed up as wicked
witches. All I can say is, lighten up! It's just a bit of fun, after
all. The kids can't be blamed because they don't know the truth and
probably neither do the parents. Just look on it as a bit of piss taking.
All sorts of groups of people
all over the world are laughed at, we shouldn't take it to heart. There's
a big difference between humour and being malicious - if you don't know
what witches are, then you can't be malicious. Over time, people will
come to respect us as more of us come out of the broom closet and more
still join us.
However, I don't think that
the traditions or fun of Halloween will ever be forgotten, so I think
we should just go with the flow and enjoy ourselves - it is what the
Craft is all about, after all!
Traditions and Superstitions
In Belgium, white cakes are cooked called 'cakes of the dead'. One cake
is eaten to every spirit honored. Lighting an orange candle at midnight
and allowing it to burn until sunrise will bring you good luck. It is
considered to be bad luck to bake bread or travel after sunset on Samhain.
Of course, this may be difficult for those of us who work and then have
to go out to a friend's house or a wood to celebrate the Sabbat! Stand
in front of a mirror and make a secret wish and it will come true -
so wish carefully!
The Goddess can be celebrated in her Crone aspect, such as Hecate. She
is sometimes referred to as the 'Queen of the Witches', presumably because
of the enormous powers and wisdom that she has achieved. Many people
see Hecate as the ultimate in wicked witches.
These stories are perpetuated
through a fear of Her huge powers. She should not be viewed in this
way. Indeed, she could probably give you a very evil eye and curse you
to death but she isn't likely to. Wisdom gives power and knowledge.
The knowledge and power not to curse for the sake of cursing. The Goddess
knows how to punish those who do wrong.
Today is considered
to be the most powerful time of the year. This is not surprising seeing
as Crones have studied the Craft for many years. Crone, of course does
not necessarily correspond to the years that they have been alive. An
older member of the Craft may be in her Maiden aspect if she has only
studied for a couple of years.