The Esbats of Wicca
Esbats are the full or new moon celebrations determined by the phase of the moon. It is a convenient meeting time for wiccans who are members of covens to meet up. Esbats are seen as times for magical workings.
The moons phase has implications for the type of magic done, between new moon and full moon (waxing moon) there is work of a constructive nature. The Full moon to new moon (waning moon) is of a banishing nature, i.e. the banishing of an illness.
Full Moon magic is the best for the banishing of unwanted influences, and protection whereas the New Moon (Dark Moon) is used for inner reflection, healings and initiation of a new project.
This is not to say that a constructive ritual can't be done in a waning moon, but it's potency is less enhanced during these times.
Full moon magic is said to be most powerful, since the witches find themselves more powerful at this time. The reason for this is unknown at this time. A theory (which I subscribe to) is that the feeling of "full power" is a vestige of our past the moon in early human history was seen as a manifestation of deity, therefore when the moon was full the deity was present in its entirety, therefore the people at the time would gear themselves up to worship at these times.
The term "Once in a blue moon" has a basis also, it only means when there is a fourth moon in a season. It was, for a number of years thought to be a second moon in a month. A month is a Christian vestige, and the calendar is a relatively recent addition.
The blue moon is therefore a 4th moon in a season, obviously a rare occurrence, hence its use in English to mean rare.
In history the cycles of the moon were an important guide to the time of year, and the agricultural people of the past did specific things at certain times of the year, e.g.. Planting seed or harvesting etc.
The names of them, are below:
|Name of Moon||Month|
|Dyad (pair) Moon||June|
|Wyrt Moon (green plant)||August|
These names were used in the past to denote the time of year, and hence the activity most predominant at the time of year. It was dependent on which moon it was, hence in October (last moon of the Autumn season) the animals needed to be killed in order to conserve precious resources for the following year, was called the Blood Moon to notify the slaughter of livestock at this time of year.