The theme of this Sabbat can be summed up with the following universal law: “The Law of Compensation.”
To many of us, this Law of Compensation can also be described as the Tenet of Reincarnation or simply the Law of Cause and Effect. Ye reap that which you sow is a theme that I think we can all understand. Even if you don’t know what to think just yet about the subject Reincarnation or ideas of Karma in your current magical development and philosophy, if you can get a basic understanding of cause and effect you are on the right track.
During the Candlemas Sabbat, we had sown our wishes into soil for all sorts of things. A bulb was then planted in that soil to draw forth the seed-thoughts of our desires as part of its spiritual nourishment. You could even sum this idea up with a little incantation if you need some ideas of what to think on:
“As this flower grows higher and higher, so too does our seed-thoughts grow and blossom in Summer and turn to ripened fruit in the Autumn…….”
I believe the way Wicca fully teaches its mysteries is by the practice of group ritual, in small covens sharing in those practices. These mysteries can’t be understand or grasped by independent and private thought alone, though that is one important part of it – they are not fully grasped until they are experienced in the physical world with the coven, on the astral plane with elementals, fairies and spiritual intelligences and on the mental plane with the higher beings.
This means that the full understanding of the mysteries must be practiced in order to be fully understood and carried out in the real world. Initiation is only a beginning – it is the group practice in the real world that makes an adept in the art. Also, I believe that each Sabbat has an important theme or message(s) to teach us. Here is just but a quick glance at what this Sabbat has taught me and some interesting lore to go along with it….
At the time of the Autumnal Equinox, we should see the end results of the seed-thoughts planted at Candlemas, which will either have come into complete fruition by this time, have been weeded out of our “gardens” or maybe even have not come into fruition. For we all must eventually accept the fruits of our labours, whether for good or for ill, which is an accurate statement to describe what the Law of Compensation is.
Another theme at this Sabbat is on attending to the basic affairs of the coven. If the coven collects monetary donations that go into the coven piggy bank to buy disposable items needed by the coven, this is the time these donations would be offered up for the betterment of the coven. We are a simple and natural religion that has very few expenses, but we know at the same time that everything in life does cost a little something. Most of the time, the cost of coven operation is just the time it takes to set up for the ceremony. Though the costs are in making the tools of the Craft or for incense, candles and a bottle of wine which are the practical items used within a circle. Some coves may have dues to cover these kinds of costs. Some covens also provide space such as buildings to house circles or provide training in and those coven dues or donations help to keep the space going. Even in instances where a coven meets at a particular property or home, repairs and wear and tear occurs because of its use and must be mended.
At this Sabbat, we enjoy a feast within the circle. Food is carried into circle and we eat in the circle at this Sabbat. It is a time of accepting our just rewards for the work we’ve done – some might even call this a “Thanksgiving” if you like.
Another curious custom of the coven is the creation of the artifact known as the “Autumn Hen” which represents the Old Hag of Winter. After the ceremony, it is hidden away over Winter and later used by the ladies of the coven after Candlemas and before the Vernal Equinox Sabbat to awaken Spring during the Rites of Cybele as part of the women’s mysteries.
So what are the external lessons-learned from this Sabbat? Since Wicca’s lessons are learned by experiencing ritual, what are some of my own personal take aways that I have discovered with this Sabbat?
- Thought-forms that we nurture have a better chance for growth and survival.
- We aspire upward and forward on the path of progressive reincarnation.
- To not waste the gifts we have either earned or have been given.
- Everything has its opposite – light and dark, hot and cold, etc.
- The acceptance of the mortality of all things on this earthly plane.
- The Tenet of a Balanced Life
- To take stock of what we have gathered in this year.
- The acceptance of the successes and failures of the thought-forms and seed-thoughts we have invoked for the year.
- That a coven, much like in old agricultural communities of times past, strives to take care of each other as a familial community unit.
- We must tend to the space where the coven meets and be willing to collectively invest in it.
We hope that many Autumnal Blessings come to all our Brothers and Sisters of the Wicca this season!
If you wish to know more about a full Sabbat cycle, more info can be found in The Sacred Pentagraph. Click on the book photo to learn more.