What do you want? What do you need? The place to start is maybe just a wish, maybe a dream, maybe a goal, but none of it becomes real until you identify it and focus on making it so. As simple as lighting a candle and stating your heart's desire, you can begin that process.
Intent candles are a proprietary soy blend, scented with essential oils chosen for their healing properties and blended to smell good. Each 8 oz candle will burn for approximately 40 hours. The top 1/4 of the candle clears any negative energy that may block what you want. The lower 3/4 of the candle fills that void with all the good stuff, encouraging focus. Recite your intention with each lighting. You may use the suggestion on the candle tag, or speak from the heart. It is an exercise in focus, so say exactly what you mean.
Soy blend & essential oil candles are poured in small batches for the seasonal holidays we celebrate. Here again, the essential oils and colors are chosen for their properties. There are eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year, coinciding with Soltices, moon cycles, and planting/harvest times. Many of these ancient traditions have been adopted and shared with modern celebrations, connecting us all in a spirit of community.
Yule begins the Wiccan Year. This is the Winter Solstice—the shortest day and longest night we will experience in the Northern Hemisphere. Yule, a fire festival, is a time of celebrating the return of the light. From this point forward, the days will gradually grow longer again, until we reach the height of the Sun’s power at the Summer Solstice. Although we will still see comparatively little of the the Sun’s light for several more weeks, this Sabbat reminds us to have patience—the waning half of the year is over, and warmth, growth, and light will reign again! The significance of the Winter Solstice has been recognized for thousands of years, ever since human beings first observed the ever-changing patterns of sunrise and sunset over the course of the seasons. The ancient Romans, Greeks, and Persians all held festivals at this time, many of which celebrated the birth of one or more gods. Of course, the leaders of the early Christianity decided that this was a good time to celebrate the birth of Jesus as well, aligning their holidays with already-existing pagan festivals.
Imbolc is the second sabbat of the Wiccan year, and celebrates the end of winter and beginning of the growing cycle in the Northern Hemisphere. The long, cold months are nearly over, and the first stirrings of spring can be witnessed in the blooming of daffodils & crocuses, and the emergence of animals from hibernation. This midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox is a welcome milestone for many who eagerly await the warmer months. Imbolc, also known as Brighid’s Day, Candlemas, Feast of Torches, and even Groundhog’s Day, is celebrated on February 2nd.
Ostara/Spring Equinox is typically celebrated on March 20, the exact moment of the Equinox varies from year to year. The Earth becomes warmer and more fertile as the Goddess is coming into the full power of her Maiden aspect. The promise of greener, warmer, more bountiful times is becoming apparent as buds and blossoms emerge from the trees and shrubs, bees return to begin the pollination cycle, and fields wake up from their winter slumber. This is a time of innocence and child-like wonder as the end of Winter finally becomes a reality and being outdoors is pleasant again. We have not yet arrived at the passion and heat of Summer, but are instead enjoying the more balanced energies of this Equinox. In other traditions, Ostara is also celebrated as Easter.
Beltane, also known as May Day is celebrated on May 1st, and marks the transition from Spring to Summer. This is a heady time of lust, passion, and fertility, marking the return of vitality to both the Earth and the Sun. Blossoms on the trees are giving way to robust leaf growth, young animals are growing into maturity, and the daylight continues to lengthen and strengthen as we move toward the full power of Summer. Love, commitment, and fertility are themes of this Sabbat, along with abundance and creativity. Handfastings and wedding ceremonies, are traditionally held at Beltane.
Litha is the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day and shortest night of the year, marking the pinnacle of the Sun’s power to fuel the growing season. From here on out, the Sun will set a little earlier each night until Yule, and so we recognize and give thanks for its warmth. As the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky, the crops are reaching their full maturity and the forests are bursting with lush growth. In just a few short weeks, the harvest season will begin, but for now we pause to celebrate the manifestation of what was planted in the early weeks of spring. The warm sunlight is a welcome contrast to the cold and dark of winter, and we bask in its comforts. There is a focus on the element of fire in honor of the Sun God, but recognition is also given to the horned god of the forest and its wild animal life.
Lughnasadh/Lammas is one of the four greater Sabbats, making it one of the most important days on the Wheel of the Year. It is the cross-quarter day between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox, and it marks the beginning of the harvest season. Though it’s often the hottest part of the Summer, this is also the moment when the first hints of Autumn are perceptible—the first grains are ready to be harvested, the trees begin dropping their fruits, and the ever-shortening daylight becomes more apparent with each sunset. At this time we give thanks for the abundance of the past growing season and look forward to the remaining weeks of light and warmth as we continue reaping what we have sown.
Mabon falls on the Autumn Equinox, and is the second of the three harvest festivals (Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain). Just like Ostara on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year, at Mabon the days and nights are of equal length. Though it’s typically celebrated on Sept 22 , the exact moment of the Equinox varies from year to year. Though temperatures may still be warm during the day, summer has truly come to an end. The leaves on deciduous trees have begun to turn colors and fall to the ground, and there is a chill in the evening air. The days were longer than the nights until this moment, and after this the nights will begin their reign. As with Ostara, the theme of balance is highlighted here, reminding us that everything is temporary, that no season lasts forever, and that neither dark nor light ever overpowers the other for long.
Samhain/Halloween, the third and final harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year is Samhain, observed on October 31. This Sabbat marks the end of the growing season and the beginning of Winter, which must be prepared for now in earnest. Herbs are dried for winter storage, fruits and vegetables are canned and preserved, and root vegetables are dug up and stored so they may nourish us through the cold months. The word “Samhain” comes from the old Irish and is thought by many to translate as “Summer’s end.” While the cycles of life and death are implicitly recognized at every Sabbat, Samhain is when the necessary role of death is formally honored. The nights grow noticeably longer with each day. Considered to be the most important day on the Wheel, it is a time when the veil between the spirit world and the mundane world is at its thinnest. Our ancestors and loved ones on the Other Side are said to be more easily able to visit with us and make their presence known at this time. Samhain is arguably the most visible Sabbat in the mainstream world, thanks to the parallel holiday of Halloween. Many of the Halloween traditions celebrated in contemporary cultures today have grown out of customs dating back to pre-Christian times. As far back as ancient Greece, people were leaving offerings of food to their ancestors, which is echoed in the modern tradition of trick-or-treating. The practice of leaving root vegetables, hollowed out with lighted candles inside, to guide spirits visiting on Earth ultimately led to today’s jack-o-lanterns.
Sabbat descriptions adapted from www.wiccaliving.com