I started my magical path as so many do, as a Solitary, with very eclectic practices. I began practicing Ceremonial Magick, and Witchcraft. I was in a dorm room on Nellis Air Force Base, and thanks to my gig with NAFB Honor Guard, was given a room to myself.
I did many of the exercises I found in my Wicca books, and some spells, but I don’t recall doing any Sabbats- if only I had kept a journal.
My first recollection of performing a Sabbat then, would be Imbolg 1991, with my soon-to-be first wife. I believe the Ritual itself was mainly a mix of Scott Cunningham and the Farrars. And wouldn’t you know my wonderful son was born in October of that year. “In the belly” (one of the more popularly understood meanings of the name of this Sabbat) indeed!
When I joined classes in the Temple of the Inner Circle, with our Founders Lady Morgana and Lord Mordred as my teachers was when my Witchcraft really kicked into overdrive. My first Sabbat with TOTIC was in fact Imbolg, with Lady Rochelle and Lord Karonis as the High Priestess and High Priest of the Ring. Our Sabbats have always been led by students, and after taking part in this particular one, my view of the seasonal practices of Wicca would never be the same.
We were in the desert near the lake and the glow of the fires lit strange shadows on all the rocky walls around us. The standard Sabbat set up for us in those pre-drought days included a fire in every quarter, and in the center, and one for Elders’ Row and one for Guests’ Row. The ring was immense, marked by a long rope, and even larger than the ring we had practiced in the weekend before in Lady Morgana’s front yard.
Lord Karonis was resplendent in the Black and Green robe of a First Degree Initiate, wearing a hugely horned helmet, and as he lit the Center Fire with a plumber’s torch, I thought to myself (and not for the first time in my burgeoning TOTIC career) “Wow, these people really know what they’re doing.” And when Lord Karonis delivers his lines, he proves this over and over again.
I remember Lady Rochelle also being an incredible earthly representative of the Goddess, in her robes and finery, and her voice ringing out into the night and one of the most Witchy deliveries I have ever heard. It gave me chills. Thankfully I got to see her do it again at Spring Equinox. These two were incredible leaders, and made my first Sabbat with Temple of the Inner Circle not only a game changer, but set the bar very high for Sabbat performance, which is a bar that to this day we try to reach and exceed.
“Wow, these people really know
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.