Esbat

Esbat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An esbat /ˈɛsbæt/ is a coven meeting of other than one the Sabbats[1] within Wicca and other Wiccan-influenced forms of contemporary Paganism. Janet and Stewart Farrar describe esbats as an opportunity for a “love feast, healing work, psychic training and all.”[2]

Etymology

The term esbat is derived from Old French s’esbattre (Modern French ébat), meaning to frolic and amuse oneself, diversion.[3][4] It was a borrowing by 20th century anthropologist Margaret Murray’s use of French witch trial sources on supposed Witches’ Sabbaths in her attempts to “reconstruct” a Witch Cult in Western Europe.

Observance

An esbat is commonly understood to be a ritual observance on the night of a full moon.[5] However, the late high priestess Doreen Valiente distinguished between “full moon Esbat[s]” and other esbatic occasions.[6]

The term esbat in this sense was described by Margaret Murray.[7][8]

The Esbat differed from the Sabbat by being primarily for business. … very often the Esbat was for sheer enjoyment only
—Murray, 1921
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