Wicca 101

Weeks 19 - 31

Major Sabbats, Meditation, Dreams, Minor Sabbats, Rites of Passage

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WEEK 19 - Major Sabbats

The Major Sabbats are no more important than the Minor Sabbats - the name comes from the fact that they are the earliest of the Sabbats. They mark the change in seasons  In the beginning we only had two seasons Summer and Winter.  Samhain was the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. Beltaine the end of Winter and beginning of summer.  Latter Samhain became the end of Fall and the beginning of Winter, Imbolg the end of Winter and the Beginning of Spring, Beltaine the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer and finally Lughnasadh is the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall.

As we study each Sabbat we will see their importance in days gone by and on this page we will tell of some of the things we have done at Dragon Palm on the Sabbats.


  1. What are the Major Sabbats?
  2. Why are they Major Sabbats?
  3. Name the Major Sabbats.


Discussion: The Major Sabbats and their place on the Wheel of the Year. Give your views of the Sabbats and send information to the list.

NEXT WEEK: read pages 121 - 136 Witches Bible part 1


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This is considered the most important of the Sabbats. The old year ended on October 30 and the New would start on November 1.   This would leave Samhain on the 31 - a day between years. (This is why it takes a year and a day to become a Witch) 

The vail is at its thinnest at this time and its a time when  we can invite to visit friends and family who have passed over. A door in the circle can be opened for them in the West. During the Samhain celebration their can be a meal for the dead, where you set places for them at the table - If you have a large amount coming set one place for all - with pictures surrounding the plate.   Many celebrate this meal dumb, but at Dragon Palm we have several Coveners who couldn't last a whole meal without saying something - so we allow talking.

Here are some pictures of our Samhain in 1998 and 2000.


  1. What is the date of Samhain?
  2. What is a Pooka
  3. What is one the main things Samhain is known for.
  4. What are some other names for Samhain.


Discussion: Origins of Samhain

Why we celebrate Samhain - make sure you send discussion to the list.

 NEXT WEEK: Read pages 80 - 92 Witches Bible part1


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(b' y ol - tinnuh) (b'yal-ten)

Bealtaine is on May 1st and this is where we get the May Pole dance. Today it is just a fun dance to do.  In early Bealtaine festivals the Dance would be used to pair up couples for the night and at the end of the festival there would be many year and a day handfastings. This is the last of the Spring sabbats and it ushers in Summer.  At Dragon Palm we usually have a mystery play about the  King and the Goddess - then we have fire jumping.  If we are lucky enough to have a fire pit we use it. (making sure it is small enough for all to jump)  If we don't have a pit, we have a small cauldron that we place a fire in and jump over.  Then its time for the May Pole Dance - you either dance or drum. Everyone has a lot of fun!


  1. What is the date of Bealtaine?
  2. What is a Bel-fire
  3. Modern name of Bealtaine.


Discussion: Maypole Dance, Greenwood marriages, and the Last spring Sabbat.

NEXT WEEK: Read pages 61 - 71 Witches Bible part 1

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(I m mol'g)

The first of the Spring sabbats and it marks the end to Winter.  The candle is the center to this Sabbat - the more candles the better. (at one time you were to light all your candles - considering the amount some Witches have in stock today, this would not be realistic)  The mystery play for this Sabbat has the Maiden, Mother, Crone in it.  The Mother wears a crown of candles. This is where it can become fun, as you do not want to catch the Mother on fire (We have twice, not badly - but some burnt hair)  If you do your rituals skyclad make sure the Mother is wearing something to protect herself from hot wax.  There is a lot of different ways of having fun with the lighting of the candles.  One time we started the ritual in total darkness and the HPS lit one candle and said that the Sabbat had begun - a person at each quarter called the quarter and lit a quarter candle - the circle was created with the Maiden following the HPS holding her candle - the God and Goddess are then called and their candles are lit, then each Covener lit a candle and then they lit other candles until all the candles were lit - we had candles on the alter and candles in the trees - it was a very pretty site.


  1. What is the Christianized name of Imbolg
  2. What is the date of Imbolg
  3. Who is Brid.


Discussion: Imbolg, first of the spring sabbats.


Read pages 102 - 115 Witches Bible part 1


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WEEK 23 - Lughnasadh

(l00 - nus - uh)

Lughnasadh is the first of the Fall sabbats or Harvest Sabbats.  This sabbats mystery play is once again about the king and the Goddess and what needs to be done to save the crops and human kind.  It is also a  time when one of the Wiccan Mysteries is revealed.  All Wiccan Mysteries are about the same thing - Birth - Death - Rebirth, the circle of life.  The object used at this time is wheat, since wheat is part of the first harvest. The wheat should have a place of honor and it should be passed for everyone to see.


  1. What date is Lughnasadh on?
  2. Another name for Lughnasadh
  3. Who was Lugh
  4. Lughnasadh is the Autumn parallel to what Spring Sabbaths


Discussion: Lughnasadh, the first of the fall Sabbaths.


NEXT WEEK: Read Pages 79 - 85 Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft

Read Pages 61 - 74 To Ride a Silver Broomstick

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WEEK 24 - Meditation

There are many types of meditation and there are different times when they can be used.  We use meditation as part of Drawing Down the Moon.  It gets the HPS in the correct mood to receive the Goddess.  It can be  used to commune with the Gods, it can be used to relax, it can be used for past lives, channeling, and many other things you will do within the craft. In many cases you need to focus yourself on the task at hand. And you need to try and not put yourself asleep.

A form I use a lot when I have no task at hand is the Happy Place Meditation.  I  have several different "Happy Places" and when I want to meditate I place myself into one of them. The only draw back of this form is it can lead to sleep - but that is not always bad if you are doing the meditation to relax.


  1. Name the Chakras
  2. When should you meditate
  3. What is an affirmation




Discussion: Types of meditation

Self Worth


NEXT WEEK: Read pages 84 - 88 Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft

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WEEK 25 - Dreams

Dreams come in several types and forms. The most normal Dream is just that, a Dream, it means nothing. Now my name is Dreamweaver and much of what I can do comes from Dreams - both asleep and awake.

Dreams that mean something can come in several forms.  One form tells you like it is. The other uses symbols and they can come mixed using both real and symbolic meanings.  You should keep a book by your bed and if you wake form a Dream that you think is important write it down. Then latter try and figure out what it means - keep a copy in your BOS or a dream journal - leave space to write down what happens, if anything.  Some Dreams can come years before they happen others happen right now. 

Others are the Gods trying to tell you things - this can happen in the form of a Dream when you are asleep or when you are awake.  Personally I have found all most all awake dreams mean something.   Pay attention to these Dreams.  If you are driving along and something flashes not to take a certain road - don't...

Repeating dreams always mean something.  If its symbolic try and figure out what it means. There may be no way of changing it, but at least you can prepare for it.  When it happens don't let it scare you into non-action.


  1. What is a dream?
  2. What universal symbol does the apple stand for?
  3. What should you do to help remember dreams
  4. What does a repeated dream mean?
  5. What is a group dream?


Discussion: Types of dreams you have had.


NEXT WEEK: Read pages 88 -93 Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft.

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WEEK 26 - Minor Sabbaths

The minor Sabbaths you will notice are the modern change of the seasons. They are also the equinoxes and solaces.  They came in latter when man started watching the stars more and seeing seasonal changes in them and that the days were equal on certain days of the year and longer and shorter on others.  Many modern Christen holidays follow the minor Sabbaths.  Minor is used because they came second and to the early man were minor to the others, but today - all the Sabbaths are equal.

Second Book review is due.


  1. What are the Minor Sabbaths?
  2. Are Major Sabbaths more important than Minor Sabbaths?



Discussion: Which came first the Major or Minor Sabbaths?

We are at the mid-point of the 101 course. Reflect back on what you know now that you didn't know at the start of the course.


NEXT WEEK: Read pages 72 - 79 Witches Bible part 1


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WEEK 27 - Ostara - Spring Equinox

Ostara is one of the sabbats that have some Pagans wondering how to handle it. It is the second Spring Sabbat and it is celebrated with color eggs and rabbits.  It about the return of the SUN GOD.  Traditionally it was a holiday that had a sunrise ritual as part of it.  Some Pagans feel that this is too much like Easter and we shouldn't celebrate it this way. Well let see the eggs and rabbits (or hares) can be traced to the Pagan rituals of this time - what do they have to do with the Christian Easter - in fact why is Easter celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox?  The early Christians wanted the celebration of the "Son of God" return to be around the time of the the   Sun Gods return, but they didn't want it on the same date, nor did they want it on a full moon.  It made it easier to convert early Pagans to this very similar holiday.   We should celebrate it very much like Easter in many ways - with all the eggs and bunnies out, this part is easy to come upon.  Flowers should be on the alter and this is also a fertility festival - a time for the Great Rite. (The Witches Bible tells of a symbolic way of doing the Great Rite)


  1. What Christian holiday is a reworking of Ostara.

2. Eggs were originally from what animal


Discussion: Ostara - night is equal to day - the sun is reborn.

Compare Ostara to the Christian holiday

NEXT WEEK: Read pages 93 - 101 Witches Bible part 1

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WEEK 28 - MIDSUMMER - Summer Solstice


Ah, the summer Sabbat.  We always try and start this early in the day - an old fashioned cookout. And after dark we end the holiday with a Ritual and within the Ritual will be the fight between The Oak King and The Holly King. A fight that will be fought every Midsummer and every Yule.  We have had the rituals from time to time during the day and they work fine this way also.  A nice fire in the evening to sit around and to jump.   Remember that this day is the longest day of the year.


  1. The importance of the Oak King and the Holly King.
  2. What is in the Cauldron on Midsummer.


Discussion: The longest day of the year.

NEXT WEEK: Read pages 116 - 120 Witches Bible part 1

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WEEK 29 - MABON - Autumn Equinox

The second Harvest Sabbat - Harvest Home... This is the time to reveal the second of the Wiccan Mysteries. This time it is an Apple.  You take two apples and cut them in half - one vertically and the other horizontally.  The one horizontally will reveal the five pointed star and the one vertically it shows the female genitalia !! No wonder the early Christians considered this the fruit that Eve ate in the garden!

This Sabbat also marks the Descent of the Goddess to the Underworld. Which shows that winter is nearing.


  1. What is the bird of the Equinox
  2. What harvest is Mabon?

Discussion: The middle Harvest feast.

NEXT WEEK: read pages 137 - 150 Witches Bible part 1

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WEEK 30 - YULE - Midwinter -Winter Solstice

A time for the Yule tree and presents.  A time for friends and family to get together and rejoice over the coming season.   This is the time of the rebirth of the Sun God.  It is also the time for endless fight between the Holly King and the Oak King.  Again we can see things that are now part of the Christen Holiday Christmas.  Again because of this some Witches don't want to celebrate it the way it should be.  But again the pagan ways predate the Christens. Again a Christen holiday was placed at the time of several major  pagan holidays.

At Dragon Palm we celebrate the season.  We start at Yule - we decorate the tree - then the ones cooking will go in and finish cooking as the rest finish the tree - we then have our feast - next the ritual with fight between the Holly King and the Oak King.. then we give out presents to all.  Then we hold a small ritual each night giving a different person to run each ritual.  On Christmas we hold a potluck dinner for all who have no Christen relatives they have to go to and attend (usually following a movie).  We have a new years eve party on NYE (Yes Samhain is our religious New Year, but we also celebrate the changing of the dates) and on New Years Day we have the Tree Ritual in which we take down the tree and then we cut off all the limbs of the tree which are used in the fires of each of the Sabbats, the tree trunk is now saved to Bealtaine and used as the May Pole and is then cut up to used as the Yule log the next year.


  1. What aspect is the Goddess
  2. Who in Christianity undid Jesus treatment of women
  3. Who are the Oak King and the Holly King




  1. The Robin Hood aspect in Yule
  2. Why is the Winter Solstice such a popular holiday


NEXT WEEK: Read pages 97 - 101 Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft

Read pages 153 - 173 Witches Bible part 1

Book Reviews: Two more are due by the end of course.

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WEEK 31 - Marriage, Birth, and Death

The Rites of Passage:

HANDFASTING: There are two types of Handfasting - "Year and A Day" and "As Long As Love Last".   The first is just within the religion.   It was also known at one time as Greenwood Marriages. Children born under this type of marriage were the responsibility of the village if the Marriage was not renewed to one "As Long as Love Last"  Today this type of Marriage would be considered as a trail marriage and should not be taken lightly.  At the end of the Marriage they should return to the HP and HPS that did the handfasting and do another handfasting or a Handparting.

The "As Long As Love Last" handfasting is looked on two ways.   One is that the couple will stay married as long as they love one another and then they will get a Handparting and go there separate ways as friends taking care of all things that happened during the marriage. (Many HP and HPS are Ordained Ministers and can perform legal handfastings, but can not perform legal Handparting).  Others look at this as they will be together in many life times and will always find themselves.   Hopefully all handfasting will be the last type.

WICCANING: This is a ritual in which the parents take an Oath that the children will be raised with Love and care.  That the children will be raised within the religion, but will always be exposed to other religions, so that when they come of age, they will be able to choose their own path.

CROSSING OVER: This is a time of letting go.  We all know that the   person who crossed over is in a happier place, this doesn't always help the ones left behind.  This can be anything from a good wake to a personal conversation of a love one with the departed.


  1. What is the Wiccan word for marriage?
  2. What is the main difference between a Wiccan and Christian marriage?
  3. What is a hand parting?
  4. What is a Wiccaning
  5. What is crossing the bridge?




  1. There are several different types of handfastings, what are they and how are they different.
  2. How do parents pledge to raise there children in a Wiccaning.


NEXT WEEK: Read pages 101 - 107 of Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft.

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