"There is no season such delight can bring, As summer, autumn, winter and the spring." - William Browne, Variety, 1630
Virgin of the Stars
Astraea ("the star-maiden") is the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was, as was her mother, a goddess of justice. During the Golden Age, when the gods dwelled among mankind, she lived on the earth. When evil and wickedness increased its grip on humanity, the gods abandoned the habitations of mankind. Astraea was the last to leave and took up her abode among the stars where she was transformed into the constellation Virgo.
Esbats are rites held for the purpose of communing with the Moon's energies and are regarded as the time for most magickal workings. As opposed to the Sabbats, which are fire or sun festivals, Esbats are dedicated to the Moon in her various phases. These are considered the 'working' celebrations, the time in which to attract, banish, invoke protection, or to perform any other magickal workings. Most Sabbat festivals are held in order to celebrate the changing of the seasons, the gathering of the harvest, etc. The Esbats are held in honor of the Goddess. The Lunar Year contains 13 Full Moons.
'But I must gather knots of flowers, And buds and garlands gay, For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.' ~~Alfred Lord Tennyson
Gods and Goddesses, Holy Ancestors, Spirits of this place: If anything that we have done here has offended you, If anything we have done here has been incomplete, If anything we have done here has not been in the proper manner, Accept this final offering in recompense.