Temple of the Dark Moon



SABBATS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

As the Temple of the Dark Moon is located in South Australia, we follow what is termed as the Southern Wheel of the Year, in particular the four Greater Sabbats (which are agricultural based and mark the beginning of the seasons). We also acknowledge the Lesser Sabbats (the equinoxes and solstices), the timing of which is determined by the relationship of the Sun to the Earth.

On the surface, the Wheel of the Year is similar in both Hemispheres. The Sabbats mark the cycles of sowing and reaping, the passage from Winter to Spring, then from Summer and Autumn. Through this cycle, Wiccans accept there are times of growth but also times of old age and death. In all things, there is wisdom to be learnt, not just in what is bright and new; there is also deep knowledge and vision in those things old and dark.

In gaining indepth knowledge of the Mystery contained within each season, we believe that despite the difference in timing and the fact that the Northern Hemispheric myths and folklore seem to be rather out of place in a sunburnt land such as Australia, they do hold many of the original keys with respect to understanding these Mysteries that could otherwise be forgotten.

In January 2008, the Temple of the Dark Moon's High Priestess wrote "Surviving the Wheel of the Year" that provides some insight into how difficult it can be to work strictly with the "traditional" Sabbat dates and meanings. Not only the difficulties faced by those of us residing in the Southern Hemisphere but also when modern factors such as global warming and climate change are taken into consideration.

Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats was released in Novemebr 2012 and was the first book written by the Temple's own High Priestess where the celebrations that occur throughout the changing seasons are explained from a Southern Hemispheric perspective whilst keeping in mind many of the traditonal elements.

This book is currently out of stock. If you would like to know when it will be available to re-order, please contact the Temple of the Dark Moon


In Traditional Wiccan lore, the Sabbats mark the journey of the God throughout his life cycle which is reflected in the landscape around us. Whilst the Goddess's life cycle can also be reflected within the Sabbats, and indeed her role is no less significant, Her sacred cycles are usually honoured through those of the Moon, the Esbats.

A brief summary of the God's life cycle is as follows with the dates given reflecting those which are generally observed in the Southern Hemisphere:



Fly Agaric mushroom found in Mt Crawford Forest, west of Adelaide


MID WINTER SOLSTICE: (Between 20 and 23 June). The God is reborn from the womb of the Great Mother Goddess. His birth shines as a ray of hope amongst the long dark nights as it signifies the return of the light. Read about "A Winter Solstice Thought".

IMBOLC: (Around 31 July or 1 August). Marks the slow return of Spring. The newly born infant being nursed by his mother, the Great Goddess. Evidence of his return to Earth can be seen as life also starts appearing again. Read about "An Imbolc Thought".



Springtime blossoms


SPRING EQUINOX: (Between 20 and 23 September). The God is now discoverying the rising tide of life within himself. He becomes Lord of the Greenwood as nature bursts forth and flourishes at a rapid rate. Read about <"A Spring Equinox Thought".

BEALTAINE: (Around 31 October). The light half of the year commences as the sacred union between the God and the Great Goddess is celebrated. Read about "A Bealtaine Thought".



The beautiful purple marks the commencement of Summer in Adelaide


MID SUMMER SOLSTICE: (Between 20 and 23 December). The power of the God is at its peak as he takes on his mantle as the Sun King. He realises too that from this point onwards his demise will occur - but such is the cycle of life. Read about "A Summer Solstice Thought".

LUGHNASADH: (Around 31 January or 1 February). Marks the beginning of Autumn. In preparing for his journey into the Underworld, there are affairs to set in order. The first harvest is celebrated in recognition of the energy given freely by the God. Read about "A Lughnasadh Thought".



Toadstools in Kuitpo Forest, south of Adelaide


AUTUMN EQUINOX: (Between 20 and 23 March). The God makes the ultimate sacrifice for continued life on Earth in that his own life is cut down in the form of John Barleycorn. This is the second harvest and to some, the most important. As the God journeys into the Underworld, the inner Mysteries start to reveal themselves. Read about "An Autumn Equinox Thought".

SAMHAIN: (Around 30 April). The commencement of the dark half of the year has begun. In Wiccan lore, the God journeys into the Underworld where he becomes initiated into the inner Mysteries in readying himself for his rebirth. Read about "A Samhain Thought".


The best way to fully understand the Wheel of the Year is to make observations over a course of at least 12 months, noting animal and insect patterns, plant growth (in particular native if possible), the height and strength of the Sun as it makes its daily journey across the sky, as well as the Moon. Note when and what plants/trees blossom, how vocal or busy birds become at the beginning of Spring, and what species of birds feed where. All these observances help you attune to your own natural environment better than simply reading pages from a book whose author probably lives on the other side of the world.

For additional reading about the Sabbats from a Southern Hemispheric perspective, we offer the following additional articles:

A closer look at the Australian Greater Sabbats

An alternative Wheel of the Year story

Aboriginal Seasons




For more information, contact the Temple of the Dark Moon or write to us at PO Box 2451, SALISBURY DOWNS SA 5108.

© Temple of the Dark Moon (unless otherwise stated)