As a Pagan witch in the public sphere who loves to share her knowledge, ideas, and general musings on a vast array of topics pertaining to my witchy path, it’s no surprise that I receive a ton – and I really do mean a ton – of questions from blog readers and social media followers.
I’m grateful to those who reach out and wish to seek my thoughts on a given subject, and try to reply to as many of the queries I receive as possible.
By far one of the areas that I receive the most questions about is book recommendations.
These inquiries tend, I find, to fall into one of several main topics. Amongst the most common are book recommendations for new witches/Pagans, spellwork, green witchery, kitchen witchery, the history of Paganism (as well as the history of witchcraft), coven work, and the sabbats.
Rare is the week I don’t get at least a few sabbat-related messages. Not all are seeking book recommendations, but a good many are and as a result, I’ve amassed an extensive list of books about the Pagan sabbats.
In a modern-day Neopaganism context, the eight main sabbats that some Pagans, Wiccans, and witches choose to observe are as follows:
Imbolc: On or around February 1st
Ostara: On or around the Spring Equinox (aka, the Vernal Equinox), which falls between March 19th and March 21st
Beltane: On or around May 1st
Litha: On or around the Summer Solstice, which falls between June 20th and June 22nd
Lammas/Lughnasadh: On or around August 1st
Mabon: On or around the Fall Equinox (aka, the Southward Equinox or September Equinox), which falls between September 21st and September 24th
Samhain: On or around October 31st
Yule: On or around the Winter Solstice, which usually falls on December 21st or 22nd
Note that these date ranges are for the Western Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are reversed, many chose to celebrate the opposite sabbat. For example, when it’ is Beltane north of the equator, it is Samhain in the southern half of the world and vice versa.
Depending on a person’s particular spiritual path, they may opt to observe other sacred dates as well, such as those pertaining to a particular branch of Paganism (i.e., Hellenistic Paganism or Slavic Paganism), to the traditions of their geographic location, and/or their ancestry.
And of course, some people do not feel drawn to observing some or all of these (or any other) Pagan sabbats, and that is totally okay as well.
As many witches, Wiccans, and Pagans do celebrate some form of these eight sabbats, however, and they hold a deeply meaningful place in a lot of peoples’ spiritual journeys, it is not surprising that folks are looking for Pagan sabbat book recommendations.
Personally – as you may have deducted if you’ve been following this blog and/or my Instagram account for very long – I madly adore and actively celebrate all eight of the Pagan sabbats that comprise The Wheel of The Year.
This facet of Paganism is integral to my practice and has the added bonus of making the year markedly more enjoyable and exciting for me (as a sabbat transpires roughly once every 6 to 8 weeks throughout each year).
I’m definitely a “sabbat witch”, if you will, and love each of these eight sacred days from the bottom of my heart.
Scores of others do as well and it’s no surprise that new witches, as well as those looking to deepen their knowledge of and/or connection to their spirituality, are keen to learn about the Pagan sabbats.
As I know that for every question on a given subject I receive, no doubt many others out there are thinking the same thing but don’t reach out ask, I’ve decided to start turning some of the questions about witchery and Paganism books that I receive into their own dedicated blog posts.
Not only will this hopefully help those searching for suggestions via Google or social media (including Pinterest), but it will allow me to quickly point people who query me about Pagan sabbat books to this very entry.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that the following list encompasses every single book ever written in English about the Pagan sabbats, it is a rather extensive list of the current books on this subject.
No doubt new ones will come along in the future, and there are plenty of books on broader witchcraft and Pagan related topics that cover the sabbats to varying degrees as well (rare is the Paganism or Witchery 101 book, for example, that doesn’t provide at least a cursory overview of the sabbats).
This post houses a very extensive list and I hope that it will provide new and more experienced witches, Wiccans, and Pagans alike with plenty of appealing and informative reading options.
Pull up a cozy seat, a bevy of your choice, and your Amazon or Book Depository wishlist and let’s delve into exploring a broad range of Pagan sabbat books.
(Note: At the time of writing this post, a small number of these books are slated to be released later in 2021 or in 2022. The majority of titles are, however, in publication already.)
Llewellyn’s eight-book series on each of the sabbats
This series sprang to life in the 2010s and instantly became quite the darling of the Pagan sabbat book scene. These titles are jam-packed with tons of great information and useful ideas for celebrating each of the eight respective witch’s sabbats. And, I find, much like potato chips, it is really hard to stop at (buying) just one of these terrific titles.
Around/during the start of the 2000s, Llewellyn produced a similar eight-book series on the sabbats as well. It doesn’t look like they are still in publication, but they can be found quite easily on the secondhand market still, including from various used booksellers on Amazon. Here, for example, is a link to the Yule book from this series.
In addition, various publishers put out annual witchcraft and/or Paganism related yearly almanac style books which are often rich in great information about the sabbats.
In particular, I recommend The Witches’ Almanac, as well as Llewellyn’s Sabbat Almanac (pictured above), The Witches’ Datebook Calendar and The Witches’ Companion, both of which are from Llewellyn as well.
Books covering the whole Wheel of The Year
These titles offer thorough and informative looks at the eight Pagan sabbats that comprise the wheel of the year. Some are beloved classics, others are newer offerings that are sure to become much-adored books in their own right.
The Provenance Press Guide to the Wiccan Year: A Year Round Guide to Spells, Rituals, and Holiday Celebrations
The Wheel of The Year: A Beginner’s Guide to Celebrating the Traditional Pagan Festivals of the Seasons
(Note: This author, who is currently publishing independently, also has a series of books devoted to each of the individual sabbats. On Amazon, simply search for her name and the sabbat of your choice to find her title on that festive Pagan day.)
The Ultimate Guide to the Witch’s Wheel of the Year: Rituals, Spells & Practices for Magical Sabbats, Holidays & Celebrations
(Whose Pathos blog, Raising the Horns, I highly recommend.)
(Ancient Ways: Reclaiming The Pagan Tradition by the same author is a stellar book as well.)
Books on specific Pagan Sabbats
Much like Llewellyn’s eight-part series devoted to each of the sabbats, various other titles have been released over the years that focus on either one specific sabbat or a portion of the sabbats. These are fantastic resources if you’re looking to add to your knowledge of, or be inspired about, certain Pagan sabbats in particular.
Celebrating Autumn Equinox: Customs & Crafts, Recipes & Rituals for Harvest, Sukkot, Mid Autumn Moon, Michaelmas, Eleusinian Mysteries & Other Autumn Holidays
Celebrating Spring Equinox: Customs & Crafts, Recipes & Rituals for Celebrating Easter, Passover, Nowruz, Lady Day, & Other Spring Holidays
Celebrating Summer Solstice: Customs & Crafts, Recipes & Rituals for Midsummer, Kupala, Ligo, San Giovanni & Other Summer Holidays
Celebrating Winter Solstice: Customs and Crafts, Recipes and Rituals for Festivals of Light, Hanukkah, Yule, and Other Midwinter Holidays
(Mickie has a wonderful, informative YouTube channel that is well worth following.)
(This author runs a terrific Pagan/witchy blog called the Penniless Pagan that I highly recommend following.)
Books are a valuable resource, but don’t stop there!
As awesome as books about a given topic – in this case, the Pagan sabbats – are, it’s important to remember that there are many channels through which to obtain knowledge on a given subject.
In the case of the sabbats, some of these include blogs and websites (as well as social media), spending time in person with fellow Pagans/witches, joining a coven or grove, and through your own ongoing experiences with the Wheel of The Year.
While there are various traditions and important meanings associated with each of the sabbats, observers are free to interpret and experience the Pagan sabbats however they desire.
Learn from books such as those listed above, as well as other resources and experiences, but do not feel that you must follow everything they suggest to the letter.
And by the same token, please, please, please, do not feel obliged to observe each sabbat annually if you do not feel inclined or are, for whatever reason, unable to do so.
You are not a “bad” or “lazy” witch at all if you are not rolling out the proverbial red carpet and throwing yourself into OTT sabbat celebrations eight times a year.
If that is your jam, awesome, if not, equally awesome. There is a ton to be said for simple, meaningful sabbat happenings.
Indeed, I would argue that if a sabbat causes you a great deal of stress, worry, anxiety, or expense, you may want to rethink how you approach these special days. They are meant to be times of deep meaning, personal reflection, spiritual connections, and positivity, not something you dread more than going to the dentist.
As there will no doubt be future books penned about the witch’s sabbats, I will strive to update this blog post periodically with new titles that cross my path.
If you are aware of any Pagan sabbat books that I have not included here yet, please feel free to let me know about them in the comments below or via email.
And on that note, as I adore hearing from my readers, please do not hesitate to send your witchery and Paganism-related questions my way anytime.
Who knows, your query might just be the catalyst for a future blog post here!
Do you observe the Wheel of the Year? And if you do, what Pagan sabbat books are your personal favourites? 🖤🕮🖤