Embracing the Mystical Dance: A Journey Through Spiritual Sabbats and Celtic Traditions!

I rely on a paper planner called The Full Focus Planner (FFP) which I’ve been using for about two years now. I absolutely love it! The planner is organized into quarters, making it easy to plan and synchronize with the Gregorian calendar. As I transition into the new year, I’m aligning my planners to start fresh on Samhain. Additionally, I’m embracing the Coligny Calendar, the earliest-known Celtic calendar. This remarkable calendar begins each month with the full moon and spans a 30-year cycle, comprising five cycles of 62 lunar months (and one of 61). Instead of weeks, each month is divided into fortnights, and the year is divided into thirteen months.

I’ve chosen Samhain (Samonios) as my new year for various reasons:

  1. It is a time when we honor our ancestral lineage. Given my connection with Hades and Hel, both deities associated with the World of the Dead (not death itself), paying homage to my ancestors is deeply woven into my practice.
  2. Samhain also symbolizes the death of the Wiccan God, paving the way for our survival throughout the winter. The God will be reborn during Yule, bringing with him the promise of renewed light.
  3. And, let’s not forget, I have always had an immense love for Halloween!

The intricate interplay of these elements makes Samhain an incredibly meaningful and cherished time in my spiritual journey.

The sabbats I celebrate have evolved throughout my years of practice. While I once honored all eight of them, my focus now lies on the cross-quarter days: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh. As my knowledge and spirituality have grown, I’ve embraced a green witch path strongly influenced by Celtic traditions. The Celts believed in dividing the year into four seasons, with each beginning marked by a cross-quarter day. These moments hold immense power, as they represent the peak of nature’s energy in each season before its decline.

Samhain, also known as the Witch’s New Year or Winter Night, originates from a Celtic term that loosely translates to “summer’s end.” This remarkable celebration takes place from the moment the sun sets on October 31st to the break of dawn on November 1st. Situated between the autumnal equinox and winter solstice, it serves as the gateway to the dark half of the year. As the world transitions into a period of hibernation, marked by Demeter’s mourning for her daughter Persephone’s reunion with her husband Hades, the earth itself seems to slumber.

During this sacred sabbat, the Fae retreat to their winter abodes and the ethereal veil masking the boundary between our reality and the Otherworld thins substantially. It is a time of profound introspection, dedicated to memorializing the past, harvesting the fruits of our efforts, and thoughtfully pondering upon the lessons we have learned.

In this tranquil moment of transition, I personally engage in the act of releasing all that no longer serves me, a symbolic shedding of burdens as I venture towards the forthcoming solar year. Additionally, I commune with my ancestors, honoring their memory through heartfelt connections. The ambiance is one of remembrance, abundance, and self-reflection, as we embrace the profound energy of Samhain.

Imbolc, also known as Imbolg, Oimelc, Disting-tid, Anagantios, St. Bridget’s Day, or Candlemas, derives from a Celtic term meaning “in the womb.” This celebration takes place from sunset on February 1st until midnight on February 2nd. Falling between the winter solstice and vernal equinox, it heralds the return of Mother Earth and the revival of light.

Although this time marks the depth of winter, life stirs beneath the earth as seeds prepare to sprout and animals awaken. It is a moment to honor the growing strength of sunlight, shed light on your fears, and nurture your spirit as you emerge from personal hibernation. Embrace Imbolc as an opportune time to sow the seeds of your ideas, perform rituals of spiritual cleansing and self-purification, reaffirm your spiritual commitments, and create space for new growth by clearing your home of physical and energetic clutter. Let the radiance of Imbolc illuminate your path as you embark on a journey of renewal and transformation.

Beltaine, also known as Beltane or Bhealltainn, derives its name from “balefire” and is observed from dusk on April 30th until midnight on May 1st, traditionally marked by bonfires. This celebration signifies the gateway to the lighter half of the year, positioned between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. Primarily, Beltaine is a festival of fertility, embracing the return of abundant vitality displayed in the blooming surroundings: longer days, blossoming flowers, and lush foliage. Moreover, it is a time when the boundary between our world and the realm of the Fae becomes porous, as they transition to their summer abodes. These joyous circumstances create an atmosphere of playfulness, carefreeness, and revelry. It is during this sacred occasion that we can pay homage to the harmonious fusion of intellect (head) and intuition (heart), empowering us to manifest our desires into tangible reality. Reflect upon the areas of your life that crave more fertility and contemplate the necessary elements for your personal growth and flourishing. As a metaphorical fire festival, Beltaine provides an opportunity to symbolically release negativity from oneself and their surroundings. Traditionally, ashes from the bonfires were spread across the fields to impart blessings and protection.

Lughnasadh, also known as the First Harvest, Elembiuos, Ceresalia, or Lammas, derives its name from a Celtic term meaning “bright or shining one.” This significant day falls between the summer solstice and autumnal equinox, marking the onset of the final quarter of the solar year. As the sun’s intensity wanes and the days shorten, Lughnasadh witnesses the maturation of the first crops such as barley, corn, oats, and wheat. Despite the lingering summer heat, the sun relinquishes its remaining energy to the Earth, bestowing upon us a bountiful harvest.

During this time, it is paramount to acknowledge and celebrate the Earth’s abundance and the vital spirit that resides within our physical beings. The focus on fruitfulness and fertility persists as crops continue to flourish. We embrace prosperity, generosity, ongoing success, and the rewards harvested from our labor. Gratitude is extended to the Sun for nurturing our crops and to the Earth for providing an abundance of sustenance during the forthcoming winter. Traditions include baking bread and cakes using the harvested grains, as well as offering bread to the spirits of the land and agricultural deities. If weather allows, picnicking with loved ones is encouraged. This opportune moment also calls for the renewal of promises, fidelity, magical practice, and the meticulous planning of the upcoming season.

In this celebration, we cherish all the blessings in our lives, recognize the vibrant spirit within us, and appreciate the plentiful abundance that surrounds us. Let us reflect on the actions necessary for a fruitful harvest in the cycles that lie ahead.

I also use the lunar cycle heavily within my practice. The phases of the moon are said to have different energies, which can be used to focus on different aspects of life. The new moon is a time for new beginnings, while the full moon is a time for culmination and release. The waxing moon is a time for growth and expansion, while the waning moon is a time for letting go and introspection. As I observe the waxings and wanings of the moon, I remember to stay flexible according to what life brings my way.

Here are some ideas for how I celebrate each phase of the moon:

  • New moon: Set intentions for the coming month. Plant seeds, both literally and figuratively.
  • Waxing crescent: Focus on growth and expansion. Start new projects, take risks, and reach out to new people.
  • First quarter: Reflect on my progress and make adjustments as needed.
  • Waxing gibbous: Continue to grow and expand. Set goals and make plans for the future.
  • Full moon: Culminate my efforts and release anything that is no longer serving me. Celebrate my accomplishments and connect with the divine.
  • Waning gibbous: Let go of old habits and patterns. Forgive myself and others.
  • Third quarter: Reflect on my experiences and learn from them. Make changes as needed.
  • Waning crescent: Prepare for the new moon and the start of a new cycle. Rest, relax, and rejuvenate.

The celebration of the cross-quarter days - Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh - has deeply enriched my spiritual journey. Embracing the rich tapestry of Celtic traditions and the wisdom they hold, I find solace in these moments of transition and renewal. From honoring our ancestors during Samhain to embracing the returning light during Imbolc, and rejoicing in the vitality of Beltane, each of these sacred sabbats becomes an opportunity for self-reflection, growth, and connection with the natural cycles of life. As I continue on my green witch path, I am grateful for the profound lessons and abundant energy that these cross-quarter days bestow upon me, guiding me towards an ever-deepening spiritual understanding. May we all find inspiration and transformation in the embrace of these ancient celebrations. Blessed be.

Weekly Witchy Challenge


You have an awesome challenge entry Amaris! I love it!


This is amazing! I am very curious to see how your year plays out with your calendars. I am not sure I could keep up! That might not be wholly accurate, I do see my year as beginning in August when school starts. I digress… I am eager to see how you manage honoring each calendar as the year unfolds!


As always, this is amazing- the thoughtfulness and wisdom you put into your challenge entries blows me away- it’s been a delight to read your exploration of your year and how you honor it, @Amaris_Bane! :pray: :heart:

I just have to say that I really appreciate how you introduced each of the Celtic fire festivals and shared how you personally recognize and honor them. As someone who connects more with the four other Sabbats (the equinoxes and solstices), it’s really inspirational to see how others treasure the cross-quarter days- you’ve given me a lot of great ideas! :blush:

Well-said! So mote it be :heart:

Thank you for this wonderful challenge entry!