What Witches Do…The Esbats by Edain Mccoy

Altar

Altar

Altar
The second wheel of the year is made up of thirteen lunar cycles occurring within the solar year—called “esbats” by Pagans. Covens usually meet either on the full or the new moon and a few manage both. Solitary practitioners are urged to commemorate the moon’s journey through the sky at both times, but the merrymaking and festival night has always been that of the full moon. Never forget that the word “lunatic” means “moon madness.”

The great night light in the sky was humanity’s first calendar. In many pre-patriarchal cultures, it was considered a feminine symbol, representative of the Goddess due to the fact that its synodic, or relational, revolution around the earth takes twenty-nine days, twelve hours, and forty-four minutes, which closely matches the female menstrual cycle of twenty-eight to thirty days. Its waxing phase symbolized the virgin aspect of the Goddess, the full moon symbolized the fullness of the mother aspect, and the waning moon symbolized the aged and wise crone aspect.

In cultures that had male moon deities as well as or instead of female lunar deities, the waxing moon was the horned God of the woodlands and son of the Goddess, the full moon was the warrior and the father, and the waning moon corresponded to the hunter and teacher who was the elder God.

Many cultures have assigned names to each of the thirteen full moons that usually occur within our standard solar year. The Irish have one set of names, West Africans have another set, and North Americans have created several of their own moon names, some taken from the spiritual traditions of Native Americans.

However, the fact remains that thirteen lunar months is a longer period of time than our solar year of 365 days. Thirteen full lunar cycles takes approximately 374 days. Some traditions have divided their full moons into twenty-eight days, disregarding the moon’s phase just so the solar and lunar years will begin and end at the same time. This occurs frequently among North American practitioners using the Irish-Celtic lunar calendar. Other Witches will simply choose to acknowledge two separate New Year’s Days, or will use the Blue Moon—a second full moon falling within the same solar month—as a point to make any adjustments. For example, if the lunar months and solar months begin to diverge, they will acknowledge or ignore the Blue Moon. This keeps the Cold Moon from appearing in July, or the Harvest Moon falling in February.

For more than six thousand years, the Jewish calendar has allowed for periodic adjustments, while the Islamic lunar calendar makes none. The result being that in Islam a holy day can, and eventually will, fall within the corresponding season of the solar year.

No matter how hard we try, the two will never be an exact match, nor is there any reason they should be. In Witchcraft, we honor dual realities, why then can we not honor two separate and different, though equally important, wheels of time?

Honoring the Moon as We Honor the Sun
The moon should not occupy a lesser place in a Witch’s life than the sun, and forcing the moon’s thirteen cycles to match those of the sun is not only confusing, but by its very nature places the energy of the moon at the mercy of the sun.

Whatever method we choose to periodically realign the two calendars, we should never forget that the moon is as important as the sun and deserves our reverence just for being the moon. Worshiping beneath moonlight is an ancient practice, one that still motivates our primitive, atavistic centers and draws us into the moon’s spell. The oldest of the sabbats is said by many to be Yule or Midwinter, with evidence of its holy placement on the solar year dating back approximately twelve thousand years. By contrast, evidence of lunar calendars dates back nearly forty thousand years.

The Triple Goddess
The earliest humans honored the moon as a female deity. While lunar gods and solar goddess would eventually make themselves known, the obvious connection with the menstrual cycle tended to make people think of womanhood.

The three phases of the moon spoke to our ancestors of the cycles of death, renewal, and rebirth. Over the course of twenty-nine days, the moon seemed to mimic the familiar cycle of death and rebirth. Since birth was a feminine function, the moon became female.

The deity as a three-in-one god did not originate in Christianity. The moon’s three phases were correlated with the three phases of a woman’s life: virgin, mother, and crone. The moon embodied these three faces and gave rise to the worship of these three-in-one deities.

During the waxing phase, we have our virgin Goddess, adventurous, sexual, and able to traverse all worlds that open to her beauty and prowess. At the full phase, we have the nurturing mother, powerful, protective, and strong. In the waning phase, we have the crone, the elder grandmother moon with her wit, wisdom, and no-nonsense ways.

We honor all these aspects through our rituals and we can and do draw on each of these phases to assist us in our magick…

The Esbat Celebration
Many Witches who practice their faith alone will take advantage of both the new and full moons to celebrate, and will call both of these events an Esbat. Due to the many demands on everyone’s time, covens and other groups will usually choose one or the other, with the full moon being most popular.

The word esbat (pronounced ESS-bott) is derived from the same root as the word estrus, a Greek word meaning “of the month,” for the fertile heat periods of female mammals.

The dark, new moon esbat is a chance to worship the darker aspects of the Craft. This is not to be confused with evil or negative aspects. The dark is simply that which is hidden, that which is in shadow rather than in light, and closely reflects our inner lives in the same way the sun reflects our light outer selves.

The full moon esbat tends to be a ribald, frenetic celebration—suitable for the “lunatics” who were once believed to display their insanity under the light of the full moon.

Magick for all manner of needs is enacted during esbat rituals, both in group settings and by solitary practitioners. Spells for increase or gain are usually done during the waxing phases, and spells for decrease or loss are performed during the waning period. The full moon is used for spells for wholeness, children and mothers, families, psychic enhancement, and some love spells.

The two major components of any full-moon esbat are two rituals that you must become familiar with if you want to call yourself a Witch. These are Drawing Down the Moon and the Ceremony of Cakes and Ale.

Drawing Down the Moon
Until you have some experience channeling outside energies, you will probably be only a witness to this powerful ritual of invocation. Even so, the experience can be a profound one, if you can observe a coven that is able to enact this ritual with ease.

The idea behind it is to draw the essence of the Moon Mother, or lunar Goddess, into the body of a coven member. The person chosen is usually a priestess or leader, but this is not always the case. Even men may have the lunar Goddess—or God, if you prefer—occupy their physical bodies. You’ll find a lot of experiments with androgyny in Pagan ritual the deeper into it you go.

Drawing Down the Moon can also be enacted by a solitary practitioner, but the ceremony has more meaning and, well, just more grandeur, when performed by a group outdoors under the moon’s fullest light. Through the body of the priestess, the Goddess speaks to us. She may answer questions or give instructions. She may offer someone who needs some extra attention or a special blessing from her. Or she may just pour her loving energy into the circle and lead you in a merry spiral dance.

How do we know that this is the Goddess leading us and that this is not some play-acting done to heighten the ego of a priestess? When you start working with energies outside yourself, when you learn to draw from and channel them, you become an expert at sensing what is sacred and what is Witchcrap. Any priestess faking the Goddess within would be quickly unmasked, and most would never resort to trying such a game.

The transfer of Goddess to Witch is made by having another person experienced in drawing and channeling energies pull down the lunar energy. If the person into whom the Goddess will be drawn is a woman, then a man is usually chosen to do the drawing. Likewise, if the energy is to be channeled into a man, a woman is likely to be the one who will

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1722

New Moon Time…

Happy New Moon, my Silver Sage Family!

Use this time wisely, for it’s an incredibly powerful manifesting time for you!

Facts

People Born On January 12: Zodiac Sign Is Capricorn

JANUARY 12 birthday horoscope predicts that you are charismatic! You bring a higher level of expectations to the table. In business, you fare better with the smaller companies so you can retain relationships to some degree. Your personality is that of a social butterfly. You charm everyone you meet with your playful and flirtatious ways. The star sign for today January 12th is Capricorn. The January 12 born person certainly is very charming and motivated!

What your birthday says about you, is that you tend to motivate everyone. Your excellent sense of duty includes being able to help people. This can become somewhat overwhelming at times, but you understand people. This is why they flock to you. On the other hand, you may be guilty of giving out the impression that you are more interesting that you are.

Choosing a partner for romance can be tricky predicts your love compatibility by birthday analysis. You have a tendency to be very selective about whom you share your space and time. Nevertheless, you are a passionate and devoted mate. Capricorn, if you are looking for love or a life partner, then zodiac birthday under Virgo and Taurus make a good choice.

Like a long-term relationship, those zodiac signs would provide a secure foundation. The signs work well together while balancing out Capricorn’s energy. You could learn to accept things without looking for motives.

The January 12th horoscope shows you can relate to people as long is it in the scope of business. The brief romantic period has since passed, and you may find yourself so busy that you will have to make appointments to pamper yourself. You and your partner have settled into a routine that is only sexually satisfying.

In relationships, Capricorns can be a bit suspicious and will start to question the efforts of their partner. Capricorns born on January 12 birthday can be a little deceptive themselves. It is easiest to respond logically rather than with any emotion or feeling. Stop doing that. The two relationships are very different, and you should treat them as such.

According to your January 12 horoscope, the last work projects had favorable results. This phase starts out with a breath of fresh air. Born on January 12, you tend to struggle to make even friendships. But now your interpersonal relationships will show signs of stable activity. Take advantage of this window, and you will be surprised at the outcome. When the planets take control, you will find it hard to deal a losing hand. People with Capricorn birthdays have the Midas touch.

The January 12th birthday horoscope predicts that you especially need to take care of yourself when it comes to your health. Eat right, get your rest and cut back on the alcoholic beverages. Smoothies have lots of vitamins and fresh veggies. Rid your kitchen cabinets of gadgets that serve no purpose anymore and invest in a good juicer or food processor.

Making your protein shake is a great way to tap into your domestic side. Besides, you need to start new positive habits, and this will kick off your campaign to do things right. Do not be so aloof about health issues. You are an awesome being. While this is true, you are also human. The future of person who born on 12 January will be based on how disciplined you are today.

The January 12 horoscope asks you to take measures to ensure a long and healthy life. Feeling good and looking good should mean that you are in good health but it does not necessarily work that way. You have to make an effort to be good!

The January 12 birthday personality probably have a few hidden talents. Concentrate more on what you are capable of rather than what challenges you. Change your eating habits to include more organic foods and veggies. Your birthday assigns your notoriety. You work hard and usually have a checklist for your course of action. Take care of yourself.

 

Famous People And Celebrities Born On January 12

Amerie, Kirstie AlleyJoe FrazierRush LimbaughJack London, Pixie Lott, Charles Perrault, Howard Stern, Dominique Wilkins

See: Famous Celebrities Born On January 12

This Day That Year – January 12 In History

1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society, London comes into being.
1932 –  The first woman to be elected to the United States Senate is Hattie Caraway.
1959 – Rediscovery of the Caves of Nerja in Spain.
2004 – RMS Queen Mary 2, world’s largest ocean liner, makes its first voyage.
2010 – 316,000 people were killed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake that destroyed the capital Port-au-Prince.

January 12 Makar Rashi (Vedic Moon Sign)

January 12 Chinese Zodiac Ox

January 12 Birthday Planet

Your Ruling planet is Saturn represents restriction in the sense that you will have to learn many lessons before reaching your goals.

January 12 Birthday Symbols

The Horned Sea Goat Is The Symbol Of The Capricorn Horoscope Sign

January 12 Birthday Tarot Card

Your Birthday Tarot Card is The Hanged Man. This card represents rebirth and sacrifice. Do not waste your energies on mundane issues. The Minor Arcana cards are Four of Pentacles and Knight of Swords.

January 12 Birthday Compatibility

You are most compatible with people born under Virgo: A stable and secure relationship between two like-minded individuals.
You are not compatible with people born under Aries: This contentious relationship between the fire sign and the earth sign that has no future.

See Also:

January 12 Birthday Lucky Numbers

Number 3 – This number shows optimism, motivation, and freedom of thinking.
Number 4 – This is a very organized number with high morals and practical nature.

Read about: Birthday Numerology

Lucky Colors For  January 12 Birthday

Black: Flexible thinking and adaptability to all situations.
Purple: This is a pure color that stands for creativity, wisdom, and royalty.

Lucky Days For January 12 Birthday

Saturday – This is Saturn’s day that stands for efficiency, preparation, and completion of tasks.
Thursday – This is Jupiter’s day and represents productivity, enterprise, and expansion.

January 12 Birthstone Garnet

Garnet signifies love for people, passion, faithfulness, and purity.

Ideal Zodiac Birthday Gift For People Born On January 12

Guitar classes or a new hobby class for the men and ballroom dancing classes for the women. The January 12 birthday analysis shows that people born on this day love trying out new things.

Click here to read anyone’s birthday horoscope 

12 January Moon Goddess’ Current Phase

Today the Moon will be in a Waning Crescent phase. In this phase the Moon’s illumination is growing smaller each day until the New Moon. During this part of the Moon cycle, the Moon is getting closer to the Sun as viewed from Earth and the night side of the Moon is facing the Earth with only a small edge of the Moon being illuminated. This phase is best viewed an hour or 2 before the sunrise and can be quite beautiful if you’re willing to get up early. It can also be a great time to see the features of the Moon’s surface. Along the edge where the illuminated portion meets the dark side, the craters and mountains cast long shadows making them easier to observe with a telescope or binoculars.

Visit the January 2021 Moon Phases Calendar to see all the daily moon phase for this month.

Today’s Waning Crescent Phase

The Waning Crescent on January 12 has an illumination of 1%. This is the percentage of the Moon illuminated by the Sun. The illumination is constantly changing and can vary up to 10% a day. On January 12 the Moon is 28.79 days old. This refers to how many days it has been since the last New Moon. It takes 29.53 days for the Moon to orbit the Earth and go through the lunar cycle of all 8 Moon phases.

From Moongiant.com 

You can use this link to go forward or backward in time for Moon phase information. If you are curious you can even find out what phase the Moon was in when you or anyone else, you know was on the date the person was born.