One of your best friends is a Wiccan, and you've decided it might be a nice
idea to show them that you support their religious choices (whether you share
them or not). So, you've decided to send them a Wiccan greeting card for a
Sabbat. What a great idea! Only problem is, you might not KNOW what a Sabbat
is, WHEN a Sabbat is, or what they're called. Don't worry, we can help.
A Sabbat is essentially a Holy day, similar to Easter and Christmas for
Christians. They follow what Wiccans call the "Wheel of the Year"
whose turning bring the seasons, and with them, the Sabbats. The word "Sabbat"
comes originally from the Latin "sabbatum" which means "to
rest." Note that Sabbath and Shabbat come from the same root.
There are eight Wiccan Sabbats, and they include two Solstices per year, two Equinoxes, and four Sabbats that are known as "cross quarters." Their timing can be a little bit tricky, but in general, if you send a card just before the Sabbat, most people are very happy to receive them, and if you get a "but the day was YESTERDAY and you must be a nincompoop who can't figure out how to figure out when the sun reaches 15 degrees in Leo" then don't give them a card again because they are being too anal to deserve one. (If you're a Pagan who receives a card on the "wrong" day, Kestra urges you to sincerely thank the person for thinking of you and for their gesture of goodwill).
So what are the Sabbats? If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, here they are, with APPROXIMATE dates. Given that most Wiccans celebrate the Sabbats when convenient (generally on a Friday or Saturday night) figure that if THEY can move the Sabbat times around, you are certainly justified in giving a card that is not on the exact hour and minute that the Sabbat happens to fall:
Samhain (pronounced Sow-when) is the Pagan New Year, between October 31 and November 1, (or whenever the sun reaches 15 degrees in Scorpio)
Yule Remember the Yule Log and the decorated tree and all that stuff? Well, that's Yule :-). It is also known as Winter Solstice and occurs between Decembert 20 and the 23rd, during the shortest day of the year.
Imbolc This occurs during February First or Second, when the sun reaches 15 degrees in Aquarius. It is also called Candlemas, and is often celebrated with lots of candles.
Kestra is a Wiccan Priestess, Master Herbalist, and Reiki Master, offering the best in practical information, unique and useful altar tools and ritual supplies. Please check out her offerings at www.enchantedworks.com. Guaranteed to not be your "same ole" Wiccan shop.