Esbats are ritual occasions celebrating the Full Moon. Throughout the ages people from all cultures have recognised and paid homage to this mysterious silvery orb in our skies.
From time immemorial we have been under the spell of the Moon. The mysterious pull she has on the Earth and on the lives of people continues today, perhaps even more so now, as more people are turning from the manufactured reality of modern life and looking once again to nature for answers.
A Full Moon occurs once every 28 days, so we normally have thirteen a year, generally one a month, but when there is a month that contains a second Full Moon that Moon is called a Blue Moon. This happens rarely – hence the expression ‘Once every Blue Moon.’ So there are thirteen Full Moons, and hence thirteen Esbats.
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If you have an interest in spirituality, are intrigued by astrology, fascinated by Tarot cards or captivated by Psychic abilities, then the next logical step is to look into the power of Magic.
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But each phase of the Moon brings with it a special energy for that lunar cycle. Everyone also knows the Moon affects the tides of the world’s oceans, and because our bodies are mostly fluid, these phases also affect us.
The Earth is made up of almost two-thirds water in the form of the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. We have a similar make up with two thirds of the human body consisting of water. Understanding the energy of the Moon and the effect it has on us, can help you to connect with and use those energies in your daily life.
Significance of the 13 Moons Esbats
To me and many Wiccans, practitioners of Wicca and Witches, the full Moon simply represents the peak of energy and therefore, should be treated with appropriate respect and reverence.
Most traditions of witchcraft teach that the full Moon is the single best time to perform rituals or Magic. I think of the full Moon as energy directly linking the Goddess and us. If you have the chance go outdoors on each of the Esbats and bask in the pale light, you are in a special place for seeking healing, transformation and prosperity.
Each year there are approximately 13 lunar cycles, in other words 13 opportunities to celebrate the full Moons. In various pagan traditions, different systems exist to explain the spiritual significance of each Moon. The following is one example to understand the meanings of the Moon.
The Honeysuckle Moon
The Honeysuckle Moon occurs under the influence of the zodiacal constellation of Aries (21 March - 20 April).This is the time for working on your temper, emotional flare-ups, and selfishness. The energy is flowing into creating and producing; a good time for change, self-confidence issues, taking advantage of opportunities, and realising self-reliance.The Thyme Moon
The zodiacal constellation of Taurus (21 April - 20 May) exerts its influence over the lunar phases of the Thyme Moon. This is the time for strengthening the connections with supernatural protectors and beings around you. The energy is in full flow making this a good time for intuition, propagating, and connecting with faeries and nature spirits.The Maythen Moon
The Maythen Moon comes under the time period of the zodiacal constellation of Gemini (21 May - 20 June). This is the time for decision making, taking responsibility for present happenings, working on personal inconsistencies, and for strengthening and rewarding yourself for your positive traits. The energy is in full, but restive, flow, the Earth tides are turning making this a good time for protection, strengthening, and prevention.The Oak Moon
The Cancer zodiacal constellation that covers the time period of 21 June - 21 July is known as the Oak Moon. This is the time for dream-work, divination, and meditation on spiritual goals and plans. The energy is slower and more relaxed, proper for success and prosperity.The Laurel Moon
The Laurel Moon comes under the influence of the constellation of Leo (22 July-21 August). This is the time for harvesting, gathering, and appreciating. The energy flow is slowing more and now is the time of vitality, health, and friendships.The Lavender Moon
Under the constellation of Virgo (22 August - 21 September) comes the Lavender Moon. This is the time for organising and straightening up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter. The energy flow is resting and Light and Dark are in balance and as such is one of the balancing Esbats to celebrateThe Hazel Moon
The Hazel Moon covering the period of the zodiacal constellation of Libra (22 September- 22 October). This is the time for inner cleansing. Meditate on the laws of Karma and thoughts of reincarnation. This is the time of letting go, justice, balance, and inner harmony.The Rosemary Moon
The constellation of Scorpio (23 October - 21 November) covers the time period of lunar cycle known as the Rosemary Moon. This is the month of transformation. It is time to prepare for the coming winter and a time to strengthen communication with the god or goddess closest to you. The energy flow is taking root and preparing to flow once more.The Sage Moon
The Sage Moon comes under the constellation of Sagittarius (22 November - 20 December) and is the time of Spiritual Paths. The Earth tides are turning and it is time to reach out to friends and family, the lonely, and the needy. This is one of the spiritual of all the Esbats.The Holly Moon
Under the constellation of Capricorn (21 December - 19 January) comes the Holly Moon. This is the time to conserve energy by working on personal problems that involve no one else. It is also a time for protection rites and reversing Spells. During this month the energy flow is sluggish and below the surface.The Elder Moon
The Aquarius zodiacal constellation that covers the time period of 20 January -18 February is known as the Elder Moon.This is the time for loving the self, accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. At this time the energy flow is working toward the surface; good for purification, growth, and healing and as such is one of the nicest Esbats to celebrate.The Willow Moon
The Willow Moon comes under the time period of the zodiacal constellation of Pisces (19 February - 20 March). This is the time for new beginnings, breaking illusions, and seeing the truth in your life however much it may hurt. The energy flow breaks into the open, a good time for growing, prospering, and exploring. Light and Dark are in balance now.The Blue Moon
This is a rare Moon and a is very special as far as Esbats go. A Blue Moon is the second full Moon in a calendar month. Usually months have only one full Moon, but occasionally a second one appears. Full Moons are separated by 29 days, while most months are 30 or 31 days long; so it is possible to fit two full Moons in a single month. This happens every two and a half years, on average. Use it to be spontaneous, do something you have never had the nerve to try, or do whatever else your wildest imaginations inspire you to do.
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On each of the Esbats you can choose to meditate on your wishes and desires, walk in the moonlight or just simply light candles and acknowledge the special energy flowing from the full Moon.
Along with the significance of the Full Moon Esbats other phases of the Moon’s cycle are also of great value to Spell work. It is believed that the Moon has a very tangible effect on all of us, and as it travels the sky, going from new to full and back to new, it represents the Wheel turning, the circle of life continuing on from birth, through life, unto death, and finally rebirth.
The differing phases of the Moon are more relevant for different Spell work, depending on what energies you wish to raise and what you would like to manifest.
The New Moon
This is the period when the light of the Moon disappears, when there is no Moon in the sky. This is the point before the Moon begins a new cycle in the sky. This should be a time to plan or introduce new beginnings or projects. This is a great time to think about a new career, house move, job, relationship or any new venture in your life.
The Waxing Moon
The period between the New Moon and Full Moon is called Waxing. This is the period when the Moon is growing larger in the sky, but hasn't yet reached the Full Moon phase and is a good time for Spells to be performed related to positive change, luck, beginning new things and for attraction.
The Full Moon
This is the period when the Moon has reached its fullest capacity within the sky and looks like a sphere. This is a time when the Moon is at its most powerful, and the Magic most potent. For Witches performing any positive Spell at this time will achieve good results.
The Waning Moon
The time between the Full Moon and the New Moon is called Waning. This is the period when the Moon is decreasing in it's size and is a great time for banishing and ridding negative entities such as bad habits or negative emotions.
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