You might have heard of the Sabbat Fairies…but just in case you haven’t, or maybe because you have forgotten…I’ll tell you about them again. There are eight fairies that help us celebrate the turning of The Wheel of the Year.
Do you remember what The Wheel of the Year is? No?
Well, the Wheel of the Year is what we call the eight Pagan holidays that celebrate the cycles of Earth and the Sun throughout the year. Some Pagans celebrate other holidays along with the Wheel of the Year, and some Pagans don’t celebrate the Wheel of the Year at all. Also, some Pagans that celebrate the Wheel of the Year, might celebrate it for different reasons or in different ways than we do. There are four days when we celebrate the cycle of the sun–the Equinoxes and Solstices (Quarter days), and four days when we celebrate the changing seasons of the Earth (sometimes called Cross-quarter days, because they come in-between the Quarter days). The holidays are called a “wheel”, because a picture of them looks like the spokes of a wagon wheel (remember the picture of the wagon in Little House on the Prairie?). Sometimes these holidays are called Sabbats, as is the ritual that celebrates the holidays…which brings us back to our fairies.
The eight fairies are named Garnet, Citrine, Sapphire, Emerald, Aquamarine, Topaz, Amethyst and Opal, and they live in a magical forest with all of the nature spirits that visit our world, and with lots of other creatures and beings. They are called the Sabbat fairies because it is their job to help organize the celebrations for the cycle of the sun and the changing of the seasons, which happen on eight special days every year. You might remember that all the fairies work together to make the Sabbats special for all the boys and girls that celebrate them, but they take turns, so that each fairie is the Fairie-in-Charge on their favorite holiday.
- Yule, which is sometimes called The Longest Night, celebrates the Winter Solstice–the time when the Baby Sun King is reborn and it is night time for the longest time of the year. This is the favorite holiday of Garnet, who loves the snow and evergreens! You might remember that Garnet makes sure that the fairies pick up the presents from Santa early to deliver them to all the boys and girls that celebrate Yule instead of Christmas (since Santa is busy getting his sleigh packed).
- Candlemas, which is sometimes called Imbolc, celebrates the cross-quarter day between Yule and the spring equinox. It is a celebration of the changing seasons from winter to spring. The people of an ancient culture, called Celts, celebrated Imbolc as one of their fire festivals. Even though its still really cold out, beneath the surface, things are stirring and getting ready for spring. This is the favorite holiday of Citrine, who loves the shining light of candles and is even friends with Phil, the groundhog that predicts when spring weather will officially come!
- Ostara is the celebration of Spring Equinox and falls on a day when the day and night are equal. It marks the time of the Sun Prince growing into power, and is a celebration of the height of Spring. We even celebrate Ostara as First Blooming—the time when the flowers start to show off their beauty! It is the favorite holiday of Sapphire, who loves the bright colors of eggs, the soft fluff of newborn bunnies and the fresh scent of spring air.
- Beltane, which is sometimes called May Day, is a celebration of the changing seasons from Spring to Summer. The Celts considered this another of their fire festivals. When your grandma was a little girl, people used to celebrate May Day by taking bouquets of flowers to neighbors, ringing the doorbell, leaving them on the porch, and running away as fast as possible. Beltane is the favorite holiday of Emerald, who loves to dance around the Maypole!
- Midsummer, which is sometimes called Litha or The Longest Day, and celebrates the Summer Solstice–the time when the sun shines for the longest and when the Sun King is at his strongest, is the favorite holiday of Aquamarine. Aquamarine loves to play outside, especially if she gets to visit the beach. She also likes a good barbecue on this day, and to do all sorts of Summertime things!
- Lammas is the celebration of the First Harvest and is another of the Celtic fire festivals. Sometimes it is called Lughnasadh and it is a time where lots of people bake breads in thanks for grain crops. We celebrate Lammas as the time of Summer’s Bounty, because its when we can get all sorts of our favorite tasty treats from the farmer’s market. Lammas celebrates the start of the transition to autumn. It is the favorite holiday of Topaz, who loves the smells of baking bread and a good deal on healthy foods from the market!
- Mabon is the celebration of the another time when day and night are equal–the Autumn equinox. We celebrate this day as the transition of the Sun King to the Wise Old King and as the height of the harvest time–for us, this is the Apple Harvest. This is the favorite holiday of Amethyst, who loves to go apple picking!
- Samhain is the celebration of the Last Harvest, and is another of the Celtic fire festivals. We celebrate this day as Remembrance Eve. a time to remember our family and friends that have passed on before us. Many people celebrate this day, which they call Halloween, by dressing up in costumes, visiting their neighbors who hand out treats, and having parties! This is the time when the season starts shifts from autumn to winter. It is the favorite holiday of Opal, who loves to help her animal friends prepare for the winter–by helping them gather acorns or tucking them into hibernate. Opal also loves the celebration of Halloween, and is always keen to create a new and fantastic costume!
Now do you remember the Sabbat fairies? Good!
Next time, I’ll tell you the story of Topaz, and her favorite holiday, which will be here soon! If I remember…its one of your favorite holidays too, because we get to make COOKIES!
(As told to Chickadee and Sharkbait (with help from Chickadee) by mom and dad)