Neo-Pagan Sabbats by Jessica Zebrine Gray
Edited by Nita Penfold
Original Stories in the style of Holidays and Holydays
for Spirit Play.
All card materials are included.
Wheel of the Year Lesson
Brigit’s Well: Imbolc (February)
The Bunny and the Egg: Ostara (Spring Equinox)
The May Queen: Beltane (May Day)
The Sun King: Litha (Summer Solstice)
First Harvest: Lughnasa (August)
Giving Thanks for Food: Mabon (Autumn Equinox)
Journey to the Underworld: Samhain (Halloween)
The Holly King: Yule (Winter Solstice)
Sabbat Extension and Layout Cards
To order: click here.
Included in this CD are all of the following:
• The stories, written for storytellers, including lists of materials, opening, and
closing. There is an introductory story, which could be helpful to use first
regardless of what time of year you begin using the stories. Many NeoPagan
traditions count Samhain at the end of October as the start of a new year, so this
is when I began writing the stories… however, most RE years run from fall to
spring. Either the Lughnasa or Mabon stories would also be appropriate
beginning stories. The only story that happens chronologically is the Litha
(summer solstice) story, which assumes one of the characters has already been
through the Yule (winter solstice) story. The two summer stories (Litha and
Lughnasa) may be challenging to use in programs that do not run through the
summer… they could be used either at the end of an RE year or beginning of a
new year. Or all of the stories could be told at times other than the actual holidays.
• A PDF file of images to be used with the stories – Nearly all of the stories
can be illustrated with the images in this file, printed on cardstock and laminated.
The stories will be enhanced by the use of some 3D objects which are described
in the materials section of each story, but if necessary these images could be
printed as well. I specifically chose images that to my knowledge are in “public
domain” or were listed as “royalty free” clip art, and I believe I have stayed true to
copyright laws under fair use for educational purposes.
• The Wheels: The focal point for all of these stories is the wheel of the year,
and you have MANY options of how to make them. I purchased 3D wooden ship
wheels from our local Hobby Lobby (a craft store – Michaels probably has them as
well) for about $0.50 each. Then I colored the sections with Sharpies and painted
the spokes gold to represent the Spirit of Love and Mystery and the wheel silver
(gold and silver are often used as a balance for God and Goddess in various
Pagan traditions). Then I hot-glued the printed, laminated 3 inch “wheel of the
year” to the back, making sure that the focal section matched the colored section
on the other side. These wheels are beautiful, colorful, and shiny, and they are a
strong draw for the children who then tell and re-tell the story. A simpler
alternative would be to use the larger (4 inch) wheel and cover the back with
simple gold foil to represent the Spirit of Love and Mystery. There are wheels for
each Sabbat, highlighting that particular symbol. I have also included 2 inch and 1
inch versions of each wheel. I use the 2 inch versions hot-glued onto the story
basket to identify the basket, and the 1 inch version is taped onto the shelf to
identify where the basket is supposed to go. The black and white version of the
wheel could also be made available to the students for use during their work time.
• I also included PDF “layout cards” for each story – these tell the entire story
with pictures for each change in the layout. We have learned in our program that
teachers and students alike use the stories more when they have visual
reminders. If you print these out, fold each page in half so that the story goes
front to back, laminate, hole punch, and attach a small key ring, these make
beautiful additions to the story baskets.
• Felt circles: I have found that the easiest way to make large felt circles is by
outlining the circle first with a large, party size plastic bucket (about 2-3 ft in
diameter) that we purchased at Target. Best $5 ever spent.
• Extension materials: Each lesson includes a feast extension and one or two
art extensions. These are, of course, optional, but they will help to extend the
experience. The feasts are very simple and can be prepared in advance. Most of
the art extensions are also simple, so they required little instruction. The only
exception to this are the “Brigid’s Crosses” out of chenille stems. I have included
full instructions in a PDF for this art extension. I also have included a general
extension card with more information about Neo-Paganism.
• These stories could be used as part of regular Sunday morning
programming, or they could be used at other times. We have had much success
with “Saturday Night Family Sabbats,” where children and adults are invited
specifically for the Sabbat lesson and then join together in simple circle-style
worship. We have also used them in conjunction with large, open Sabbat
celebrations offered at our church. The resources listed below give excellent
guidance in creating simple Neo-Pagan style rituals, and children really respond
well to this type of worship.
Please note: There are hundreds (if not thousands) of active traditions of Neo-
Paganism alive and in practice throughout the world today. The stories
represented in this curriculum most closely fit within an “eclectic Wiccan” tradition,
as that is the closest description of my own tradition. I write these stories from my
experience as a 3rd Degree Wiccan priestess, having practiced the Craft for 12
years. I am also an experienced U*U Religious Educator, so I am glad to bring the
much-needed information on our 6th source to other U*U Religious Educators. I
do not claim to represent all of Neo-Paganism in these stories (that would be
impossible). If you want more information on Neo-Paganism in general, some
excellent sources include:
• Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce & River
Higginbotham (which also has an online UU study guide available at http://www.
• Aisha’s Moonlit Walk by Anika Stafford - a book of stories about a child who
practices Paganism with her family
• Circle Round by Anne Hill and Starhawk – a guide of activities and stories
for kids for the entire year of Sabbats and more
• The CD Circle Round and Sing – songs to accompany the book, with simple
rhythms and tunes appropriate to children.