The Esbats are the celebrations of the thirteen full moons in a year, traditionally a time for Wiccans to gather and work magic – compared to the Sabbats which are usually more celebration than magical working. While the Sabbats are fire festivals, the Esbats are also a time for attuning with the energies of the Moon and her cycles. While the phases of the moon are important, the month the full moon falls in can also affect magical workings.
Thirteen Lunar Months
Wolf Moon or Cold Moon.
This is a time to work on personal problems, protection and reversing spells. Natural energy is slow and sluggish now, waiting for the warmer weather to revitalise it, and so you can focus on rest and introspection.
Snow Moon or Quickening Moon.
This is a time for purification and healing, including forgiving yourself for past errors and putting them behind you. The energy of the earth is growing now, ready for new life to erupt in Spring.
Worm Moon or Storm Moon.
This is a time for new beginnings. The building energy finally breaks into the light in the new season, and this is also a good time to focus on growing and expanding, as well as balance and seeing through illusions.
Pink Moon or Growing Moon.
This is a time for change, as well as self-confidence and self-reliance. Natural energy is concentrated on growing and production, and this is also a good time for creativity and fostering a good temper, generosity and stability.
Flower Moon or Hare Moon.
This is a time for working with natural energies, or the supernatural. The energy of the Earth is in full flow, and you can focus on working on your intuition, or working with fairies and Earth spirits.
Strawberry Moon or Mead Moon.
This is a time for strength and stability magic. You can concentrate on making decisions, taking responsibility and building your character. The natural energy is still as strong as in May, but is calmer now, encouraging you to focus on protection, strength and prevention magic.
Buck Moon or Blessing Moon.
This is a time for preparation for the coming harvest, as well as concentrating on divination and meditation. The energy is still strong, but relaxed now, and you can also work magic for success and prosperity in this stable, yet powerful time.
Sturgeon Moon or Corn Moon.
This is a time for harvesting, gathering and reaping what you have sown. The energy of the Earth is slowing down again now, preparing for the coming Winter. You can focus your workings on family, friendships and vitality, and spend time meditating on the circle of life, and interconnectedness of everything in nature.
Harvest Moon or Barley Moon.
This is a time for concentrating on stability and balance, as well as organisation; physical, mental and spiritual. The natural energy is disappearing back under ground as Winter approaches, and you can use this time to let go of negative feelings rather than letting them fester.
Hunter’s Moon or Blood Moon.
This is a time for cleansing and working for harmony. You can concentrate on magical workings for justice and balance and turn your thoughts to reincarnation, and achieving both inner harmony and harmony with nature. The Earth’s energy is resting and preparing to rise again.
Beaver Moon or Mourning Moon.
This is a time for transformation, with the beginning of the new Wiccan year, and the preparations for Winter. The natural energy is taking root once more ready to return after Winter’s chill has left. You can use this time for communicating with deity, and for protection magic.
Cold Moon or Oak Moon.
This is a time for reaching out to friends and family. Natural energy is at its lowest, the nights are longest, and now is a good time to think about death, rebirth and renewal. You can concentrate on magic for strength, provision and endurance.
Blue Moon – the second full moon in any month.
This is a time for examing your goals, seeing how far you have come to achieving them, and either renewing your intentions or setting new goals. You can also spend time meditating on your connection with the Goddess.
This is a fairly modern way of assigning names to lunar months; basing them on the calendar month they occur in. An older method assigned names based on season. In this form the names were given to the first, second and last moon occuring in a season, from solstice to equinox or vice versa. Depending on when the full moons occur, they may match up with naming system given above, or you may find that, for example, the first full moon after Yule is in December, and this would be the Wolf Moon.
The Seasonal Method
Winter (starting on Yule)
First: Wolf Moon
Second: Snow Moon
Last: Worm moon
Spring (starting on Ostara)
First: Pink Moon
Second: Flower Moon
Last: Strawberry Moon
Summer (starting on Litha)
First: Buck Moon
Second: Sturgeon Moon
Last: Harvest Moon
Autumn (starting on Mabon)
First: Hunter’s Moon
Second: Beaver Moon
Last: Cold Moon
In this system the thirteenth moon, or blue moon, is defined as the third full moon in a season. For example, if there is one full moon in January, two in February and one in March, the first is the Wolf Moon, the second is the Snow Moon, the third is the Blue Moon and the fourth (last) is the Worm Moon.