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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A regular Wiccan meeting, as opposed to the sabbats, which are held at fixed dates throughout the year. The esbat may be held as often as the coven deems necessary or preferable. Some groups meet once a week, others once a month. The meetings should be held at least once a month, preferably at the full of the moon, so there are at least thirteen esbat meetings each year. Considering the association of the Goddess with the moon, the full moon would seem the most propitious time to meet. In addition, during the persecutions when Wiccans had to meet in secret, gathering during full moon ensured sufficient light to see where they were going and what they were doing without using tell-tale lanterns.

While the sabbats are times purely for celebration, the esbat meeting is a time to discuss problems, plan events, train Witches for advancement, do initiations, work magic, and perform divination, consecrations, and healing. An esbat may be called for at any time—if there is need for healing magic to be done on behalf of someone ill. An esbat is the religious meeting of a particular coven, while a sabbat may have a number of different covens coming together to celebrate.

The word esbat comes from the Old French s'esbattre, "to amuse oneself." Yet the primary purpose of the meeting is to worship the old gods, to give thanks for what has been received, and to ask for what is needed. The Old Religion is one of joy and, as at the sabbats, it is not unusual for singing and dancing to take place as part of that worship.

The meeting starts with the Priest or Priestess casting the Circle, consecrating it and all within. The Gods are invited to attend and prayers are offered. One of the segments of the ritual is termed the Cakes and Ale (some groups call it Cakes and Wine), which is a thanking of the gods for the food and drink necessary for life.

Handfastings and Wiccanings also may take place at an esbat. The former is a Wiccan marriage and the latter the dedicating of a child to the gods—the equivalent of a Christian baptism.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


Full moon of each month; sometimes at the new moon and sometimes at both the full and new moons
Wicca is the term used by many believers in modern Neopagan witchcraft to describe themselves because it doesn't carry the negative connotations of the words "witch" and "pagan." Many Wiccan covens (assemblies of witches) hold regular meetings, known as Esbats, on the most convenient evening nearest the full and/or new moon. Esbat rituals typically use color, nature symbolism, candles, and symbolic acts to enhance the attributes of a particular moon—the Oak Moon, the Wolf Moon, the Storm Moon, etc. There are 13 moons in one solar year.
The rituals associated with the Esbats, which are usually known by heart, serve as a form of worship, a means of teaching, an aide to meditation, and a form of communication between the worshipper and the gods. Esbat meetings are usually open only to initiates, because they are specifically intended to develop members who are in training for the Wiccan priesthood.
RelHolCal-2004, p. 267
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking in the mosque in the militant Ta'mir district of Ain el-Hilweh, Abu Sharif, an 'Esbat al-Ansar leader, says al-Qaeda has evolved from a network of operatives to a school of thought, adding: "All the [Sunni] jihadi movements are adopting al-Qaeda's ideology.
"If [police detective Donald] Bray instituted any protections for the young mother as she prepared to enter a realm that police suspected might harbor vicious murderers," Leveritt observes, "neither he nor she ever mentioned them." After the trial, Hutcheson conceded she might have been drunk that particular night and taken the "esbat" idea from the police.
(48.) Aubespine, 70 (see also Vivonne 42-43): "Pour le plus doulx esbat que je puisse choisir, / Souvent, apres disner, craignant qu'il ne m'ennuye, / Je prens le manche en main, je le touche et manye, / Tant qu'il soit en estat de me donner plaisir.
The culprits were suspected to be members of Esbat Al-Ansar.
The demand for Taha is a difficult test for Palestinian factions, especially Islamists, including Esbat al-Ansar.
The sources said that Ibrahim Saadi, the son of Ahmad Saadi, the leader of Esbat al-Ansar Islamist faction, had been released by Syrian authorities after four years of detention, following his attempt to cross into Iraq.
The meeting was held at the home of Abu Tareq Saadi, an official from Esbat al-Ansar Islamist faction in the camp, and brought together Baraka, Abu Ramez Mustafa, the representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in Lebanon, and Mohammad Yassin, from the Liberation Front.
According to the same sources, in attendance were Abu Tareq al-Saadi, an official from the Ain al-Hilweh camp-based Esbat al-Ansar Islamist movement, its spokesperson Abu Sharif Aql and Sheikh Jamal Khattab, the head of the Islamic Jihadist Movement, who is also the spokesperson for Islamist movements based in Ain al-Hilweh.
Supporters of Fatah and the Islamist group Esbat al-Ansar used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in the clashes.
Esse calendario, que funciona de maneira bastante uniforme nas diferentes cidades, realiza os sabbats e esbats (5)--principais ritos da religiao Wicca o Encontro Social Pagao; (6) cursos, palestras e grupos de estudo sobre Wicca; e os Circulos de Mulheres.
This sweet-natured A-Z guide is a great introduction to the many subjects under the Wicca umbrella, such as herbalism, esbats and sabbats, spellcasting, and familiars.