When you enter the world of witchcraft and paganism you’re bound to hear things about the wheel of the year at some point.
The wheel of the year is a cycle of eight holidays, called sabbats. These celebrations generally have Celtic or Germanic origins and are most popularly celebrated by practitioners of Wicca.
Four of these holidays are marked by the solstices and equinoxes, with the other four being at the midpoints between them.
Eventually I’ll put together a post that explains all of the sabbats, but I want to discuss something different today…
If you’re not paying attention to the dates of the holidays and have them marked as something to focus on in your practice, they tend to sneak up on you. Especially when you are first starting out.
Combine this with posts asking “What are you doing for [insert sabbat here]???” And you can feel pretty overwhelmed and like you’re missing out on a huge part of being a pagan/witch.
I have something important I want you to remember:
You are no less of a pagan/witch if you don’t celebrate sabbats.
One of my favorite things about finding my own pagan path is that there are no rules. It is all about finding what I connect to, what I enjoy, and what resonates with me.
That includes making decisions about what to celebrate.
Form your path with what you want
If you love all of the sabbats and want to celebrate them, go for it!
If you only connect to some of them, only do something for those!
Maybe you don’t connect to any of them, that’s okay!
Maybe there are other pagan celebrations that will fold into your personal yearly calendar.
You might want to celebrate the moon cycles every month.
Maybe you really want to celebrate the sabbats but you’re just too overwhelmed, stressed, busy, sick, etc. That’s okay! Celebrate a couple days later, do something simple, or just acknowledge it in your mind and heart and know there’s always next year.
There are soooooo many valid reasons for both celebrating and not celebrating these holidays.
Do whatever resonates with you, don’t give in to any pressure you may feel to follow the whole wheel.
Why I don't celebrate the sabbats and what i do instead
Like most witchy noobs I definitely felt pressure initially to celebrate sabbats. They were always sneaking up on me and I never had anything prepared.
At first it made me a little stressed. I felt like I was missing out on something important.
But then I realized I didn’t need to celebrate them if I didn’t want to.
And I didn’t want to.
I still don’t.
They just don’t feel like something I need.
I also feel like they’re… Forced? Distracting? For me, it disrupts my personal exploration. I’m sure they wouldn’t if I planned for them. But that’s just not how I roll.
I also am not a fan of how the wheel of the year is presented as one cohesive thing that has always been that way when in fact, it’s a hodge podge of celebrations from different cultures.
Not that that’s a bad thing, It just makes it feel unnatural for me.
So I don’t celebrate the wheel in the same way that a lot of other witchy folk do, that doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate things at all!
What I do like about the wheel of the year is the way it recognizes the yearly cycle. I think that as people who are especially connected to nature it is important for us to observe her ebbs and flows.
I do like to take moments to at least take note of the solstices, equinoxes, and visible transitions between seasons. Usually all this looks like is spending a little more time outside observing, breathing, and feeling the shift in energy.
I also feel particularly connected to the moon and make a point to observe it regularly. Sometimes this looks like a simple ritual, sometimes it’s divination or intention setting. But usually I just focus on being outside and observing.
I have absolutely nothing against the wheel of the year. Some people love having things laid out for them, they find freedom in the structure. And I see plenty of people that really do love and connect to the sabbats!
For me, at least right now, it just doesn’t work and I’m okay with that.
Maybe one day I’ll form my own wheel of celebrations!
What are your thoughts on the wheel of the year?