When I was a baby witch, it was really difficult for me to understand the Sabbats and the wheel of the year. To help all my baby witches, I made a short summary to make it easier.
🎄 Yule (Date: on the winter solstice, dec. 20-23) 🎄
This is the Sabbat for celebrating rebirth. Many people celebrate it similarly to Christmas, with gift giving, feasting, and wreath making. People will often kiss a consenting partner under a sprig of mistletoe for good luck.
🐏 Imbolc (Date: feb. 2) 🐏
This Sabbat celebrates the return of spring. People make corn dollies and set them in a basket next to a symbol of masculinity. Many Witches will clean out their homes during Imbolc.
🐣 Ostara (Date: on the vernal equinox, Mar. 20-23) 🐣
This Sabbat celebrates the coming time of fertility. Egg decorating is common during this time.
🔥 Beltane (Date: May 1) 🔥
This Sabbat focuses on fertility. Many Pagans choose to conceive children at this time (or just to enjoy themselves sexually with a partner). Beltane festivals are often high energy, with plenty of dancing and bonfires.
☀️ Litha (Date: on the summer solstice, Jun 20-23) ☀️
A Sabbat for celebrating the longest day of the year, as well as for mourning the shortening days after. Some Witches burn bonfires or light candles to represent the Sun.
🌾 Lughnasadh (Date: Aug 1 -> 1 day before my birthday!) 🌾
I love this Sabbat but I’m not able to pronounce this name :). This is the first of the three harvesting Sabbats. There are festivals of grain and bread. People make gingerbread men during this time.
🍁 Mabon (Date: on the autumnal equinox, sep. 20-23) 🍁
This is the second of the three harvesting Sabbats. Witches give thanks to the Earth and the harvest. Celebraters will make and drink wine at this time.
⛄️ Samhain (Date: nov. 1) ⛄️
This is the last of the three harvesting Sabbats. It is also the festival of the dead. The veil is at its thinnest at this time. Witches will sometimes hold a big feast during Samhain.
Feel free to contact me if you have more questions!
Sabbat Altar and Celebration Ideas for the Solitary Witch
YULE Altar ideas: Put mistletoe and pine on your altar; put a candle up there to represent the Sun; keep your Yule log on your altar; use symbols of the Sun; decorate with red, green, white, blue, and yellow (red and green for holly, white and blue for snow and wintery colors, yellow for the Sun). Celebration ideas: Kiss a consenting person under the mistletoe for luck; give gifts; have a feast; make magickal wreaths with herbs corresponding to the spell intent (you might use lilac, lavender, and camomile for a wreath that brings peace into your home).
IMBOLC Altar ideas: Use candles to represent the return of spring; make a cute little corn dolly; put a Brigid’s cross on there to honor her; decorate with yellow and green to represent the Sun and return of spring. Celebration ideas: Clean your house; have a self-dedication ritual (to a particular path, deity, philosophy, standard of life, etc.); clean off your working altar and redo it; cleanse and charge any tools or crystals you need to.
OSTARA Altar ideas: Use fake eggs, rabbits, and other symbols of fertility or spring; put some potted plants on the altar; place some packets of seeds you might be planning on growing; decorate with purple, yellow, green, white, and other spring, pastel colors. Celebration ideas: Paint and blow eggs (take proper precautions when handling raw eggs, obviously, especially if you’re putting your mouth on them); if you have a greenhouse, want a potted plant, or it’s warm enough where you live to plant outside, plant some seeds; buy a potted plant; organize your herb shelf.
BELTAINE Altar ideas: Make a mini Maypole for your centerpiece; smack some candles up in there, especially beeswax, if that’s in your budget; put some faery symbols, like little statues or bells or something like that; a jar of honey or some beeswax is always dope; if you’re comfortable with it, some people like to put representations of genatalia on their altar. Celebration ideas: Light an awesome bonfire (also be very cautious with this because fire can quickly turn dangerous); leave offerings to the faeries; have a dance outside; this is a good time to plan to have a handfasting ceremony or wedding; cast any love workings you’ve been meaning to do; if you’re an adult and have a person/people who consent to it, you could choose to have sex during this time (but do be safe!); many people try to conceive children during Beltaine.
LITHA Altar ideas: Symbols of the Sun and the Moon, feminine and masculine symbols if that’s a thing in your tradition; decorate with black and white to symbolize the night and day. Celebration ideas: Get up before the Sun rises and go to sleep after it sets, so you can experience the day and night; have a bonfire (again, safety is important); have a picnic; just spend a lot of time outside.
LUGHNASADH Altar ideas: Put bread and grain on the altar; maybe some apples and other autumn fruits; pinecones and leaves are fall symbols; decorate with red, orange, yellow, brown, and other colors of the season. Celebration ideas: Bake (especially make the cute little bread men); give an offering to the Earth; go to an apple orchard and pick some apples; share a feast with the family or your friends.
MABON Altar ideas: Wine, or grape juice if alcohol is unavailable for any reason; leaves and pinecones; apples; a money jar (see first celebration suggestion below). Celebration ideas: For a week or two before Mabon, put money you can afford to give up in a jar, and donate it to charity or a cause you support on Mabon; have another apple harvest; have another feast; do a ritual to honor the Earth.
SAMHAIN Altar ideas: Pop a few gourds in there, more apples if you want; pictures of the deceased; tools for divination and spirit contact; decorate with black, white, and orange. Celebration ideas: Divination, spirit communication (obviously only if you know what you’re doing); hold a seance or a dumb supper if that’s more comfortable for you; light a candle in the window for spirits (use a fake one if you want it lit all night); leave some milk and honey for the Fair Folk; give offerings to the dead; put up wards and shields if you’re one of the people who would prefer to avoid spirit activity.
Draco ignored Pansy’s pouting and dragged her along. What were the teachers thinking, hanging up all these mistletoes around the castle? There were so many, it was so hard to avoid them all. Also, it was only November 17th! Couldn’t they at least have waited until December?
Cursing under his breath, Draco turned to the corridor that was still mistletoe-free. Well, at least it had been this morning.
“Oh, come on,” Draco groaned as he suddenly found himself and Pansy standing beneath a gigantic ladder. Filch was on top of it, fumbling with the fateful plant Draco had come to loathe.
Since he was a child, he had been very superstitious. Ignoring the mistletoe wouldn’t do it. It was bad luck. And Pansy knew this very well, judging from her smug expression. She had been taught the same by her parents, but, unlike Draco, she chose to try her luck. At least she usually did.
“Well, go on,” she said, grinning at him. Exhaling loudly, Draco pinched the bridge of his nose.
“This is ridiculous,” he grumbled.
“I’m waiting.” Pansy’s grin only widened when Draco huffed and blew his hair out of his face.
“Alright, alright.” He leaned over to her reluctantly, but panicked, when she suddenly closed her eyes. She couldn’t be serious! Dear Merlin! Hastily, he planted his lips on her left cheek and immediately started walking again. There! Surely that would count!
“Hey! Draco,” he heard Pansy call after him. Nope, he would keep walking! He would keep walking and avoid these bloody mistletoes this time! Getting back to the Slytherin common room couldn’t be that impossible!
“… no, I remember you specifically told me- Ouch!”
“Hey, watch where you’re going!” Rubbing his nose, Draco glowered at the person he had just collided with. The Weasel. With Granger in tow. Magnificent!
“You bumped into me,” Weasley said in an accusing tone.
“Whatever, Weasel! Now get out of my-”
“Oh, mistletoe,” Granger interrupted him, pointing at the ceiling.
You’ve got to be kidding me!
Draco looked up, then back at the other two standing in front of him. Oh, damn it!
“Come on, let’s just go,” Granger said, taking Weasley’s hand.
“We can’t,” he whispered. “We have to kiss.” Granger rolled her eyes at him, but Weasley’s face turned serious. “No, we really have to kiss. It’s bad luck if we don’t.”
Huh. Weasley wasn’t as dumb as he looked after all. With an exasperated sigh, Granger pulled him down and kissed him for much longer than was necessary. When Draco cleared his throat, they finally stopped.
“What, you want one, too?” Weasley asked, arching his eyebrows.
“Well, I was standing under the damn thing, too, wasn’t I?”
Understanding hit Weasley’s face and Draco would have loved to take a step forward and slap him. His dumb face was just so infuriating. Before Draco could do anything, however, Granger shoved her boyfriend and he stumbled forward.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Weasley asked, turning his head.
“Well, obviously, you two are the ones with the superstitions. And I already kissed you, so you can go and kiss him.” The way she said it was so nonchalant, it made Draco gape at ther. Okay, so he definitely didn’t want to kiss her. But did she understand how revolting it would be to kiss the Weasel? Well, of course not. She did it willingly. On a regular basis. Yuck!
When Weasley turned back around to Draco, his face was so pale, Draco thought he might faint.
“Ugh, let’s just get this over with,” Draco murmured.
“No, please, Hermione, no, please don’t make me do this!”
“I’m not making you do anything! You were the one who said you have to kiss under the mistletoe.”
“She’s right,” Draco said through gritted teeth. He closed the gap between them and wrinkled his nose. “Just… hold still.” Draco placed both his hands on Weasley’s shoulders and tried to ignore the way his bottom lip was quivering. His lips looked very chapped.This was going to be worse than he had thought!
If he hadn’t already cheated when he had kissed Pansy on the cheek, Draco would have done the same with Weasley. But he couldn’t cheat fate twice in one day! Ugh!
Just a quick peck. Light. Very light. Lips barely touching. Yeah, that wouldn’t be so bad, right? Ugh, if only it weren’t Weasley!
“Merlin, Malfoy, just do it already,” Weasley groaned. Clicking his tongue once, Draco stood up on his toes and gave Weasley the quickest kiss in history of all kisses.
“Ugh! Now excuse me, I need to go wash my mouth,” Draco declared and started hurrying off.
“Ron. Ron? Are you okay? Are you crying? Oh, you’re gagging. Come on, stop it!” Granger’s voice slowly died down behind him as Draco ran down the stairs to the Dungeons. No, wait, he couldn’t walk down that corridor. There were at least three bunches of mistletoe down there. The one on the left had only one. That he knew of. And he’d have to walk through half the castle again. But one was still better than three. Okay then.
As he walked, Draco kept his eyes to the ceiling. He wouldn’t let himself get into another situation like that. Yuck! Weasley! Disgusting! He’d probably never forget it. November 17th, the day he had kissed Ron Weasley. Why? Why??
He wiped his lips with the back of his hand and began running when he spied the bunch of mistletoe he had been dreading. Luckily, no one else was in the corridor. Heaving a sigh of relief, Draco slowed down when he suddenly heard footsteps approaching.
“Potter!” Draco narrowed his eyes. “Wandering the corridors all alone?”
Why couldn’t it have been Potter? Why couldn’t he have bumped into him under the mistletoe? This really wasn’t fair! Draco was doing everything, but still he had the worst luck! This was just infuriating! And honestly, it was kind of Potter’s fault he’d had to endure kissing Weasley. If Potter had been with his stupid friends, it might have gone very differently.
“Why aren’t you with the rest of your little trio? Tired of being the third wheel?”
“I am, actually.”
This was no fun when Potter was being honest.
“What about you? You look a bit ill. Are you okay?”
Draco tried very hard not to think about his lips touching Weasley’s. This would probably haunt him for a very long time. Instead, he rolled his eyes.
“How sweet. Nice to know the Saviour cares.”
Potter was about to respond, when his gaze fell to the ground.
Draco followed Potter’s gaze and almost choked. Was that mistletoe? Growing, actually growing out of the cobblestone while they were standing there? But mistletoe usually grew on trees!
“You can’t be serious,” Draco muttered. This was insane. But… he was with Potter. This would be the perfect opportunity to steal a kiss without having to reveal his feelings for the stupid git. “Ugh, can this day get any worse?” Draco moaned. Yes, yes, act like this is the worst thing that could have happened right now! He watched as Potter slowly examined the plant.
“Yeah,” Draco said, trying to sound as displeased as possible.
There was a brief silence, in which they both avoided the other’s eyes.
“Well, since we’re not exactly standing under it… Let’s just ignore it,” Potter babbled. Draco’s heart fell. This was his opportunity! Why was Potter being so difficult?
“We can’t just ignore it. It’s bad luck,” he mumbled. He felt so stupid. Potter was probably seeing right through him. From the corner of his eyes he saw the Gryffindor shuffling his feet, while his eyes were still glued to the ground.
“That’s just some stupid superstition, isn’t it?” Potter said with an arched brow.
“It’s not,” Draco insisted. “People… people have died after ignoring it.” It was utter bollocks. And Potter probably knew it. Draco considered just walking away. Potter was right, they weren’t standing under the mistletoe, so the rules probably didn’t apply here.
“Oh.” Potter paused while Draco suppressed the urge to kick the mistletoe. “Well, if it’s that serious… we better not risk it.”
Draco’s head snapped up. What? Had Potter just… What?
lance and keith ending up under the mistletoe together and lance pestering him going ‘it’s tradition keith we’ve gotta kiss!’ and keith, red-faced and initially refusing but eventually giving in and sharing a quick, awkward, heart-flipping kiss is all good and well but consider,
lance and keith ending up under the mistletoe and lance jokingly trying to annoy keith with ‘hey looks like we’ve gotta kiss!’ but keith grinning like the devil on earth and lowering his voice and going ‘sure, okay. kiss me then’ and lance turning red and thinking holy fuck i didn’t think this was gonna work before they share a kiss that’s got the rest of the team groaning and telling them to get a room
Summary: When your boyfriend cheats on you you’re left heartbroken and lost all hope in relationships. Santa says you’ll find love soon, but what do you do when you’re beloved cat turns into a beautiful grown man?
A sacred plant of pre-Christian religions, the parasitic mistletoe was believed to hold the life of the host tree when the tree appeared to be dead in winter. It had an even greater significance when it grew on the oak which the Druids worshipped. Apparently the viscous, pearly berries were regarded as the seminal fluid of the oak and therefore of the oak-tree god or spirit. For this reason, it was held to be a charm to to induce fertility, and the present-day custom of kissing under a sprig of mistletoe probably derives from this. White-robed Druids ceremoniously cut mistletoe with a golden sickle on the sixth day of the moon. The mistletoe was then divided among the people who fastened it above their doorways to protect their houses from thunder, lightning and all evil. The sprigs were regarded as a symbol of hospitality, and the plant was the base of so many remedies that for centuries it was known by the alternative name of all-heal.
A primrose blooming in winter augured death; so did a single primrose bought into a house. If fewer than 13 were gathered in the first spring posy, the number picked would equal the chickens each hen would hatch that year.
The leaf was believed to give the bearer the power of invisibility. The plant also had the ability to open locked chests, though this could only be done on St James’s Day (25th of July). It was essential to use a golden knife while holding a chicory leaf against the lock. The lockpicker had to work in silence, however; if he spoke, he would surely die.
In one account, the Pied Piper lured the rats from Hamelin with a pocketful of valerian. Rats and cats are attracted to the plant, which is also thought to arouse love in humans.
The name of this flower derives from ‘folk’s-glove’, because foxgloves were believed to have been worn by fairies.
A mass of superstitions were associated with parsley, most of them concerned with death and disaster. It should never be transplanted, or given away, or cut by a person in love.
An old belief was that snakes ate fennel to help them slough their skins and to improve their short sight. It was said that an unwilling horse could be caught if it were offered fennel-flavoured gingerbread.
In the Fens, vervain oil was used to locate drowned bodies. It was believed to attract eels to the spot in the stream were the body lay. Vervain was supposed to have been used to staunch Christ’s wounds on Calvary, and it was never gathered without first making the sign of the Cross.
It was believed the plant grew only where the woman ruled the house.
10. St John’s worst
Midsummer was celebrated as a festival of the sun by our pagan ancestors, and this golden flower was an emblem of the sun god. Later, Christians dedicated Midsummer Day to St John the Baptist, and the sun-god’s flower became St John’s wort. Bunches of the flower were hung over doors to ward off evil spirits. The plant was believed to be able to move about to avoid having its flowers picked.
all extracts taken from Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain published by Reader’s Digest.