Monday, July 18, 2016

How to Honor Weekday Sabbats (Without Stressing the F@#$ Out!)


Pagans are pretty busy people. Aside from, you know, life, we have eight Sabbats, twelve full moons, and twelve new moons to honor every year. That's thirty-two annual acknowledgements. Thirty-three on a blue moon year! If you're keeping score, that means we have some sort of rite or ritual every other week on average!

Whew, my broom-riding butt is tired just thinking about it!

How can a modern day Pagan keep up with all that nature worship and spell casting? Let me give you a few suggestions!

Use your slow cooker

This may seem like an odd suggestion, but a slow cooker is a great tool to help you honor a Sabbat or Esbat when time is tight. If you plan your meal ahead of time, you can toss the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and have dinner ready by the time you get home. Pea soup for Ostara. Spicy chili for Yule. It's very easy to have a Sabbat feast without all the hassle. Not too shabby for a weekday! 

Reschedule

This year Imbolc fell on a Tuesday, not a particularly desirable day to host a bonfire. Would it be terrible to celebrate Imbolc the weekend before or after? Realistically, do you think our ancestors had the precise date of Sabbats a thousand years ago? I'm guessing (and I've read) they recognized Sabbats by seasonal changes. Keeping that in mind, does being a few days early or late make you a wayward Pagan? Cut yourself some slack and work within your schedule. Perfectionism is stressful. Just do the best you can. You're not a Stepford wife. (And if you are, you simply MUST tell me how you get your hair so shiny!).

Go to nature

If you've been reading this blog for any period of time, you know I love me some simplicity (and Gilmore Girls...and tea...). It's easy to get caught up in the incense burning and gemstone collecting, but Paganism at it's finest is about nature. If you're too busy with sugared-up kiddos to cast a full circle for Samhain, or you don't have the bread making skills to make a loaf for Lughnasadh (AKA Lammas), spend some time in nature. It's that simple! Sit outside and watch the birds. Take a stroll and listen to the wind in the trees. Lay on the grass and watch the clouds. Moon gaze. Pay your respects to nature by taking a focused moment to appreciate it. It's not only enjoyable, but it's something we just don't do often enough in this chaotic life!

Don't stress

I can't stress this enough (see what I did there? Did you see??!!). Getting overwhelmed is counterproductive to a Sabbat or Esbat. In a spiritual practice that focuses on energy, the last thing you want to do is get frazzled. Be realistic when planning for your Sabbats. If you know you're usually pooped after work, planning a full altar and a feast is setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. 

I do this to myself every year with Samhain. Pumpkin carving. Roasting seeds. Loads of cooking (and thus cleaning). A full circle. Our annual Treehouse of Horror binge. Annnnd I somehow expect to complete this all between 6-10 o'clock. It's just not possible, not without rushing. And rushing during pumpkin carving means blood and stitches. Not my ideal Samhain. I mean, appropriate, but not my ideal. So we scale back. Pumpkins get carved the day before. I don't plan the entire October issue of Food Network Magazine for dinner. I write the casting and spellwork for our circle a week ahead of time. And we enjoy our Samhain thoroughly. Because we're not stressed. Because we can savor the moment.

Cut yourself some slack. Not every Sabbat is going to be a full-on bash. Pick the ones that are most important to you and let the others be celebrated more simplistically. Above all, keep it in perspective. Sabbats are about honoring cycles and appreciating life. Do so by relishing the moment, not stressing about the details!


How do you celebrate weekday Sabbats? Do you focus on simplicity or go hog wild?

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8 comments:

  1. What a fantastic post! I just stumbled upon your blog and it's very inspiring. I wish I'd found it sooner, all good things come when they're meant to. I look forward to reading more!

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    1. You're so sweet! Thanks for taking a moment to share your kind thoughts. Glad you are enjoying the blog! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a great week! =D

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  2. Great post! I love your sense of humor :-)
    I have vivid memories of a former group's Sabbats where a few of us would start setting up early in the morning, lead the activities, and stay late cleaning up afterwards. The stress of those days robbed me of any enjoyment I may have gotten out of the gathering. It is one of the reasons I am no longer in the leadership of that group. Stressing about making an event super complicated is exhausting so I choose to simplify nowadays!
    This post was a great reminder to check my energy before heading off to an esbat tonight. Even a simple heartfelt gathering can be wrecked by my own work and mundane life stress. Thank you!

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    1. I'm tired just thinking about it! =P I bet you made those Sabbats really special for a lot of people! ♥ But I'm glad to hear you did what was best for yourself and simplified! And yes, a stressful day can wipe you out! Sometimes gatherings help mend a bad day, but other times you just need some you time! ;) Hope you have a great esbat! =D

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  3. Love... love... LOVE this post!
    I tried the 'pack everything into today' thing, and I pulled out my hair. Nothing worked out right, and I felt like a failure. I decided long ago, I couldn't celebrate the turning wheel feeling like s&*%! Now, I may plan one or two things ahead, but the rest is just go with the flow. Life is much simpler that way ☺

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I think we've all been there, when you're determined to be the Pagan Martha Stewart. But that chick has help, mmmkay?! =P Glad you found a way that works well for you.

      And I ABSOLUTELY agree— life is much simpler (and enjoyable!) that way! =D

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