Lughnasadh Sabbat 2016
As the author of the sabbat posts, I try to keep them separate from my being an instructor with the Inner Circle Sanctuary. Unfortunately, at times, it is too difficult, as it will be with this one.
The leader of our ritual was Lady Nashoba. Lady Nashoba Is Inner Circle Sanctuary's oldest first-year student. She is my oldest student. This was her first time leading a sabbat ritual. My heart swelled in love for her (and with a little pride). She is beloved by all of her peers and by her elders. Lady Nashoba has surpassed the standards we expect from students and shines a positive light on all the work we do as instructors.
So many of our members helped with the setup of the ring and were finished early enough so we could all relax and visit and revel in each others company before the ritual would start. Sitting in a round, there were stories and jokes, and great conversations. We were visited by the forestry service before the ritual was to begin and the visit was pleasant and informative. Our Lady Morgana had developed such a rapport with the rangers that we are always made to feel welcome. I am glad we continue the tradition to this day.
After the officer left, the familiar cry of "Robe Up!" rang through the air. The sea of white robes of our first years and the pepper of black and greens robes of those well on their way to second year prepared for ritual, helping each other get dressed, get belted, and with chaplet straightening.
After respects were paid, Lady Satthel swept the ring and cleared it of negative energy. I'm almost sure, in this environment, it was neglible, but she did an earnest and wonderful job. This was Lady Satthel's first leading role in a ritual. As a maiden, not only is she responsible for helping to make a sacred space, but for assisting the High Priestess in anything she may need. I'm sure Lady Nashoba truly appreciated having her friend as her maiden. (Lady Satthel is also one of my students and again, I was riddled with pride.)
The opening ritual was beautifully performed by Lady Nashoba and Lord Tanys. The quarter callers summoned the elementals, the Goddess and God were invoked and then the rest of the coven joined them so the ring could be erected. The Summoner, Lord Rand, in his role as leader and director did his job with excellence, as always, and served as another pillar of strength and comfort to his High Priestess and peer. (Lord Rand is also one of my students and again, pride crept in.) The triple ring was cast and then the Witches' Rune chant echoed through the dark. The energy built was electric and vibrated the walls of the ring by the time they finished. The High Priestess remarked that she felt like she 'had all this light coming out of every pore.'
The ritual ensued and after a tantalizing Love Chase and the sacrifice of the Holly King, the High Priestess' enchanting dance with her Bread of Life resurrected him fully, allowing him to sing the Song of Amergin with great depth and bravado. The Holly King took his rightful place as leader of the waning year.
Celebration afterwards consisted of songs, dancing, poetry and stories.
Our brethren are required to write a journal entry reflecting their sabbat experience, for their books of shadows mainly, but we elders get to read them.
"I remember starting the Charge, “Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full…….” and then….I have no idea what I said, or if I said anything at all until the end when “my love is poured out upon the earth.” I hope I said it correctly, because I seriously, have no idea. It’s like I wasn’t even there during that part."
"...my friend, my peer, my rock, the student I look up to and try to emulate the most was our High Priestess. I wish that Lady Nashoba could see herself through my and her fellow students’ eyes. There has not been anyone in our class, or in our group since I joined that has done any more for the group as a whole, for our craft and for her own growth as Lady Nashoba. I treasure her advice and friendship dearly and am proud to have been the summoner for her first sabbat as High Priestess. She is an amazing witch, full of empathy and an inner-strength ..we all knew she was going to kill it."
" I felt a part of this Sabbat, even though I did not participate in the ring. Being in or out of the ring is uplifting and food for my soul and I hope to be a part of many more. "
"Every sabbat I attend just reinforces my commitment to the Gods and this religion."
As an instructor and an elder of Inner Circle Sanctuary, I am wont to congratulate each and every student in their progress to becoming witches. In weekly classes we see that they comprehend the base material and their progress, academically, is visible and lauded. But it is at these sabbats, these celebrations, these close connections to the universe where we can measure the depth of their love of the Craft, their love of the Gods, and their spiritual growth. It is all their doing... we do not make them spiritual, and I know my 'pride' is unwarranted. The pride is theirs, for they have accomplished or are in the midst of becoming what they have longed for... I just carry it for now. Right up to their initiations.
The Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.