I cancelled Christmas for my kids – but this is what we do instead! In this episode, discover what the sabbats are and how to celebrate these with your family.
Listen or watch this episode on Apple, Spotify, Youtube or wherever you listen to podcasts.
In today’s episode, you’ll discover:
* What are sabbats and solstices?
* The wheel of the year, and how this is different in the Northern vs Southern Hemispheres
* How my family celebrates the sabbats
What exactly are the sabbats?
The sabbats are seasonal celebrations that acknowledge the turning of the wheel of the year. There are 8 sabbats throughout the year – falling on the days of the solstices, equinoxes, and the cross-quarter days.
The wheel of the year starts with Yule, which is the winter solstice. This occurs around 21st December in the Northern Hemisphere, or 21st June in the Southern Hemisphere. Yule marks the longest night of the year, but we know from this date that the days will begin to get longer. We feel hopeful as we look to the year ahead. This is often a time of joyful feasting with loved ones & exchanging gifts.
The next sabbat occurs halfway between the winter solstice & spring equinox. This is Imbolc, which occurs around 1st February (Northern Hemisphere) / 1st August (Southern Hemisphere). Imbolc is a time to light a candle and make a wish for the year ahead. Candles and fires are often associated with Imbolc, ushering in more light & warmth as the winter months come to an end.
The spring equinox is when we celebrate Ostara, which is like the pagan Easter. This occurs around 21st March (Northern Hemisphere) / 21st September (Southern Hemisphere). Associated with fertility, balance & new life, this is the perfect time to begin sowing seeds or leave offerings for wild animals & spirits outdoors.
Beltane is celebrated on the cross-quarter day between the spring equinox & summer solstice, which occurs around 30th April (Northern Hemisphere) / 31st October (Southern Hemisphere). A festival of fire, union & love, this sabbat celebrates the height of spring. This is a great time for celebrating outdoors, handfasting, or manifesting love & prosperity.
Litha is the summer solstice celebration, which occurs around 21st June (Northern Hemisphere) / 21st December (Southern Hemisphere). This is a time of feasting on the summer harvest and celebrating outdoors. It’s a great time to head to the beach to cool off, or go camping in nature. Gratitude is the theme of this sabbat, giving thanks for the abundance we’ve received this year.
Lammas occurs between the summer solstice & autumn equinox, which is around 1st August (Northern Hemisphere) / 1st February (Southern Hemisphere). Lammas is a harvest festival, as we harvest the last of our summer crops and get witchy in the kitchen. Bake some bread, make preserves, and decorate your home with late summer flowers, dried grasses or sheaths of grains.
Mabon is the autumn/fall equinox celebration, which falls around 21st September (Northern Hemisphere) / 21st March (Southern Hemisphere). A time of balance, the days begin to get shorter after this day. Share an autumn feast with loved ones to celebrate.
Samhain is the end of the pagan year, occurring around 31st October (Northern Hemisphere) / 30th April (Southern Hemisphere). This is when the veil between worlds is at it’s thinnest, making communication with spirits a bit easier. Samhain is when we acknowledge the past, our ancestors, and let go of the things we don’t wish to bring into the new year.
I started celebrating the sabbats as a way to connect to nature & the natural cycles of life. Living in Australia, I really resonated with this idea of nature-guided celebrations. I’ve often felt so disconnected from “mainstream” holidays like Christmas and Easter, so when I discovered the sabbats it made more sense about celebrating seasonally.
Which leads to me to my next topic…
Why I cancelled Christmas for my kids
Yes, I cancelled Christmas! In 2020, I decided to try something different. Christmas has always been pretty low-key with my little family, and as the kids grew up it started to become more commercialised.
Christmas felt unaligned with my soul.
So I suggested we celebrate the summer solstice instead of Christmas, and the family agreed!
So instead of celebrating Christmas on the 25th December, we now celebrate the summer solstice on the 21st or 22nd December.
We exchange gifts on the summer solstice, have a feast, and spend time outdoors together as a family. It’s such a fun time for the whole family!
And it’s so much less stress. I try to keep it chilled and relaxed, with a focus on gratitude rather than buying extravagant gifts. I feel this is important to teach my children.
On Christmas Day, we’ll still celebrate with our extended family, but for our little family our main celebration is on the summer solstice.
THEN we also celebrate Yule (around 21st June) like Christmas! This is when we set up the Christmas tree, advent calendars, exchange gifts (again!) and do other Christmas-y stuff. Which is a bit weird, but so much fun. It brings more light into our lives during this dark time of the year.
Never miss a sabbat!
The 2022 Moon Manifesting Planner will guide you through all the important astrological dates of the year so you can align with the energy of nature.
+ Available in Australia / US / UK timezones +
+ Daily astrological guidance including transits, retrogrades, moon phases and VOC moon times +
+ Rituals and tarot spreads for every full & new moon +
Comment below and let me know: Do you celebrate the sabbats? Do you feel called to celebrate the solstice instead of Christmas?