I have a hard time with all the Sabbats (well ok, not Samhain). My first years of Paganism I was all gun ho and ready to go; I planned detailed rituals, spent weeks preparing for each Sabbat, shopping and stocking up on supplies. The day of the actual Sabbat my entire day revolved around the ritual. I sweated while I was away from home, worrying about everything that could go wrong, wondering if I had everything I needed. When I got home I would re-read my notes at least a dozen time and went over my supplies twice as much. By the time I actually performed the ritual I was so keyed up that it was hard for me to focus and get my words straight. After everything was done and cleaned up I would crash and sleep very deeply.
This went on for about two years or so until one Sabbat I got such a terrible flu that it was all I could do to light a candle and make it back to bed without collapsing. The Sabbat after that I was in the process of moving and couldn’t even find the box with my ritual supplies (my brother was thinking he was being funny and labeled that box as “Garden Supplies”) so I didn’t even so much as light incense for that one. The Sabbat after that, well I made a half hearted attempt at a ritual but just really didn’t want to. The anxiety I put myself through to be perfect at it was getting old.
Over the next few years I would try to “get back on the band wagon” and get into regular practice of Sabbats. Sometimes I would make it a few Sabbats in a row, trying rituals and ritual formats ad getting nothing out of it, before lapsing into non practice again. While I was in the group I was in I started practicing regularly again but each ritual felt… hollow. Between the rituals feeling hollow, not getting anything out of them and the desire to avoid the stress and drama (created by myself) I ended up not celebrating the Sabbats at all.
Over the past few months I have been taking a long hard look at myself, my life and my spirituality. I’ve been looking at the parts I want to change, the areas I want to improve and the things I want to throw out the window. My spirituality was on the list of things I wanted to improve and so I started to think I would start with the Sabbats again… or not. As soon as I started to try and think about Sabbat rituals and observances I felt blah, and did not want to do it. So instead of forcing myself to celebrate the Sabbats I decided to examine my feelings.
You see the truth of the matter is I really just don’t feel the Sabbats (again except for Samhain). I would go to all this trouble to plan and create these great rituals (which by the way I’ve discovered I’m not a fan of rituals as I have learned them, but a topic for another day), and get nothing out of it. Not exactly productive is it? Especially when you consider that the whole point of a Sabbat ritual is to honor the divine and connect with the energy of that Sabbat. Ok so epic fail on my part here.
Now I love the idea of the wheel of the year, and some of the ideas of the Sabbats, but the way they have been explained to me/read about is not making much sense to me. I was trying to get my celebrations to match these descriptions and it just wasn’t… working… for… me… DUMBASS! And then it hit me, I once again am trying to fit into this cookie cutter mold when my life and the seasons as I experience them totally do not fit the damn mold! For crying out loud I chose Paganism for the flexibility and not to follow any "Holy Book" and here I am still doing the same damn thing!?! I need some tea.... and to rethink how I approach each Sabbat.