The Esbats

  • Gwydion, High Priest

The Moon

The moon had a very powerful influence over the ancients. The Roman calendar - which our modern calendar is derived from -- was based on the Sun. But many of the ancient calendars were lunar based, including the Islamic, Chinese, Persian, and (largely) Jewish calendars.

Back in the days before flashlights and headlights, the moon lit your way at night. The full moon closest to Fall Equinox is called the "Harvest Moon" because sometimes every bit of time was needed to gather the crops.

The moon also profoundly affects many things, such as:

  • The ocean tides
  • The Earth's atmosphere
  • The rhythms of our bodies (e.g. women's menstrual cycles)
  • Our mood. Remember that "luna" is the root of word "lunacy", quite literally "moon madness"

Moon Phases

The moon obviously doesn't appear the same to us from week to week. At some times it's full and other times it's dark. And then there are those times when it's growing from dark to full, calling "waxing", and times when it diminishes from full to dark, called "waning".

Waxing and Waning

Waning and waxing of the moon is widely considered to be tied to the waning and waxing of spiritual energies

A waxing moon is a good time to work spelles for increase (like bringing in more money). Likewise a waning moon is a good time to work spelles for decrease (like losing weight).

There are many ways you can also use the phases of moon to your advantage. Planting at certain phase of the moon is a good example. For best results, plant annuals during the first two quarters (or the waxing) moon. The third quarter is best for pruning. The fourth quarter is best for tilling and destroying weeds and pests. You can also cultivate herbs at a certain phase of the moon to embody the energy you wish to use

Another example is that you can cut your hair during the waxing moon if you're trying to make it grow... or at the waning moon if you want it to stay the same.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

Full Moon

Esbats are celebrated at the time of the full moon. Why do you think that is?

Remember, as the sun moves thru the zodiac (from perspective of Earth) so does the Moon

Here's a tiny quiz about the position of the moon in relation to the sun:

Q: Where is the moon in relationship to Sun and Earth at the time of the full moon?
A: The Earth is in between Sun and Moon

Q: So if Sun is in Aries at time of full moon, what sign is the Moon in?
A: Libra

See? When the Moon is full, the Moon will be in the sign of the zodiac that's directly opposite the sign the sun is in - because the earth is smack dab in between the two.

So the result is that we get a powerful mixture of *opposite* energies from the zodiac wheel here on Earth at the time of the full moon. You can visualize Earth (and yourself) being at the nexus of an infinite swirl of energy between the Sun and the Moon.

Therefore the energies of every full moon are unique in nature. For example:

  • Full moons that are a combination of Fire/Air are good for projecting / increasing
  • Full moons that are a combination of Earth/Water are *entirely* different - good for psychic work, healing, or drawing energy in

Keep in mind that there are 8 other celestial bodies also directing energies - so this all gets VERY complex!

In general, the full moon is a great time to do an energy working. It's possible for you to selectively raise the energy you want to support pretty much anything you want to do.

New Moon

The new moon - or dark of the moon - is generally a good time of introspection.

It's also a time of mysteries and secrets. So you may find this to be an ideal time to work alone on personal projects rather than working on a group project.