Full Moon Gatherings (Esbats)

The term "esbat" is believed to have originated from a similar root as the word "estrus, from the Greek meaning "of the month" and referring to the fertile hear periods of female mammals.  Within many modern Pagan beliefs, an "esbat" relates to a gathering, usually in celebration, of a particular phase of the Moon.

More commonly, these esbat gatherings coincide with the Full Moon (the Mother aspect of the Goddess), as the late Doreen Valiente indicated that in Aradia (the Gospel of the Witches) full moon rites were known as "esbats" in the rest of Europe.  However, later, in her book The Rebirth of Witchcraft, she specifies that there were "Full Moon esbats" in order to distinguish these rites from other esbat gatherings, such as those that occurred around the New Moon (the Maiden aspect).

The term "esbat" in this sense, therefore was described by Margaret Murray in her book Witch Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology.  Here, Murray claimed that "The Esbat differed from the Sabbat by being primarily for business. ... very often the Esbat was for sheer enjoyment only." 
Murray used alleged 16th and 17th century French sources on supposed Wytches' sabbats in the context of the European Wytch trials to "reconstruct" her opinion of there being a Wytch cult in Western Europe. The Old French term "esbat" (Modern French "├ębat") meant amusement or diversion, with a connotation of frolicking.

With all that aside, Full Moon Gatherings (esbats) that are open to the public are held from April through until September each year in the beautiful Botanic Park, located on Hackney Road, Adelaide. 

At each of these Gatherings, all participants, regardless of experience or spiritual persuasion, are made to feel welcome and are encouraged to participate - for it is only through actual personal participations that the full experience can be obtained and content.

Following a format familiar within various Pagan traditions, the Gatherings include a formal circle casting, invocation of elemental quarters, invocation to a specific Lunar Deity, and meditation. This is then followed by the reciting of Pagan orientated chants, energy raising (where the energy is directed wherever it is needed for healing) before the circle is opened.

Due to illness and various personal reasons there will be no further public Full Moon Gatherings held in 2016.  They will be returning in 2018.