For witches and pagan, Sabbats and other various holy days pertaining to particular paths are often the most important days of the year for us. Many of us often spend much time the days, even weeks before the sabbat preparing all the right ingredients and making sure the house is clean, ritual space swept and food prepared. This is especially true for a Coven Magister or Priestess. In some cases the preparation may have started a full year in advance when the Sabbats were planned and rituals written out, though this is not always the case.
So as the days near the RSVP’s start coming in, some people can’t make it, no baby sitter, car broke, or work called them in at the last min. While these are our most sacred days, it is true that the mundane world often creeps in and meddles with our plans. Other times things go off without a hitch, everyone can make the ritual and everything get done on time, great! I find that this is usually the case with Beltane, Samhain and sabbats in the warmer months. Winter however is a completely different story…
Perhaps it is the turn of the weather, or the stress of the holiday season weakens the immune system, or the darkening of the days and less sunlight places us in a more vulnerable place. It doesn’t matter really what the cause is, the end result is that there is always a handful of people sick around the solstice!
So what happens when you are sick? Perhaps you have spent much time preparing, maybe your coven even is relying on you to bring food, a craft or special ritual item. The answer is a very hard but simple one, you stay home and you rest. I know it is tempting to come to ritual especially since we love circling with our family and could use the energy burst they often give us. However! Stop and think about that! There are a few things you should take into account before you venture out to your Priestess’s house or Coven ritual space!
Your body is your most important tool LOVE IT
There is no use, especially in the darker colder moths to push your body beyond its limits. If you body is dragging, best stay home and focus on it! This year the Winter Solstice came and many people were sick, so I re-scheduled it for the following week. It turns out, people were still sick and some had plans that needed their focus. Though it is incredibly disappointing sometimes the best course of action is to encourage my students to stay home and care for themselves. It is a hard choice, but ultimately the best one.
Don’t infect your Priestess or Coven Sister/brothers!
This one is probably the toughest! Of course no one says “I’m going to get you sick when I come to Sabbat” however it takes a bit of extra thought, perhaps you are recovering, but might be contagious, or perhaps the bug is still circulating around the home or your roommates, partner or children are sick. These are all really important to note! As making the hard decision here will help your circle/coven out in the long run. Even if you are not sick, paying attention to the health of the people you live with will ultimately help the physical health of the coven.
Additionally our leaders also many times have full time jobs. They may be magical jobs or mundane jobs and they may be office jobs or service jobs such a firefighting, nursing or a job where others rely on them. For a Priestess that is a healer you may find her in the hospital during the week days tending to patience, or perhaps they are full time witches and clergy and have tarot readings, healing sessions and contact with others that may be in vulnerable places. Also it is important to note that of course we all get sick from time to time, but those of us in services work rely on our health to be able to give to others. In short a sick roommate may give you a flu bug that hasn’t manifested yet and could be passed to your priestess who perhaps has a healing session in 3 days.
I will be honest that this was something I struggled with. For years and years I would push this type of stuff off by saying “oh just come over, it will be fine” until it wasn’t! It was my best friend and fellow priestess that taught me this harsh lesson years ago. I admittedly was the person that would want sick people to show up or even want to lead ritual sick, but I was taught a different lesson and it has been a very valuable one. There is no value in venturing out when you are sick, exhausted, over worked and over booked. If you are sick or someone in your house hold is STAY HOME! I know that this might seem like the magic of the season is lost or wasted but that is not the case. The magic of this, is that of silence, sleeping and recovery. There is nothing worst that missing a exciting event! Trust me I know! My best friend and fellow priestess once ban me from her birthday for having a sore throat and runny nose! I wasn’t offended, because I knew deep down she was doing what was best for me, giving me the permission to stay home and care for myself, and doing what was best for her, protecting her own health.
So when you find yourself here, try a different type of magic, the type that is slow, quiet and nourishing. The kind that will ultimately bring health back to your body and household! There is no shame in missing a Sabbat, there is no shame in ditching all your elaborate plans and grabbing a blanket, a cup of hot herbal tea and curling up with your favorite witch or yule movie until your body is back to normal.
The most important thing to take away from this and to remember is that your body is your most important magical tool, it requires the witch to dig deep and find the wisdom to make the hard choice, to choose your body, and the health of others over your Sabbat celebrations, and that in its self is a celebration of Health, Happiness and Healing!