Thursday, September 4, 2014

what are your rituals leading up to the sabbat?

I recently had a conversation with a friend whose background is Hindu. She was talking about the fasting she'll be doing for Navrati and what it used to mean to her. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about a custom that I knew little about and it was a fascinating conversation.

I found myself thinking about various purifying/sacrifice based traditions that different paths have and wondering about if I see them in my own path. In our conversation we both mentioned that we often don't see the things we do as being part of these types of rites and do them without sometimes realizing that we have traditions that are similar to other paths.

contemplations over morning coffee
I'm not explaining myself well. Let me try again...

In Judaism, there is Yom Kippur, which is a time of reflection and atonement. Christianity has Lent, a time of sacrifice. Yes... I realize these are over simplifications. Hinduism apparently has Navrati (should you choose to do it) and Islam has Ramadan. Other paths may have similar rituals but I don't know about them so I'm not going to go and do a google search just to fill a gap because that's not my point.

Pagans who follow the Wheel of the Year/8 Sabbats also have times of sacrifice and reflection, but aside from the actual Sabbat, do we have rituals of fasting, purifying, reflection, etc? If we don't, should we have them as part of our practice to help link us to the Wheel and remind us of our nature/aspirations? And if we do, are they relevant and do we do them with intention/mindfulness?

I have to be honest, I often feel a bit disconnected from the Wheel because I don't think about the deeper meaning of the Sabbat until I'm in circle, celebrating it.

Would I benefit from thinking about it ahead of time in order to allow the season leading up to that turn of the Wheel to have a deeper meaning and personal significance in my daily life? Possibly. Or would I only be over complicating my life? Possibly!

What about you? Do you do anything to help get you into the head space of the season/Sabbat or do you think it just happens naturally?

Sometimes I think that because I live in a mainly secular Christian world, with a calendar and work schedule built around the Christian holidays, that I tend to be, in some ways, more mentally in the head space of those holidays (Christmas, Halloween, Easter) than the pagan ones that I actually celebrate. It's an interesting conundrum for me because I don't know how I want to change that, if I do.


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