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The Witches' Sabbats

By Mike Nichols

Trade Paper
ISBN 9780971005020

The Witches' Sabbats cover

The Witches' Sabbats

By Mike Nichols

Trade Paper
ISBN 9780971005020

About The Witches' Sabbats

The Ultimate Guide to the Pagan Holidays

For the first time in print, this classic collection of essays discusses the history, myths, customs, lore, and traditions associated with the eight Wiccan holidays. Beautifully illustrated, this compact volume includes a new preface; a new, never-before-published article, "Marking the Sabbats: An Exercise in Dodmanship"; two recent articles; four additional thought-provoking essays; plus a new bibliography.

Most books on the "wheel of the year" tell the reader what to do on each holiday; whereas, this compendium explains the origins and symbolism of the Sabbats—or why Pagans celebrate the old holidays. The literary quality of the essays, coupled with the author's comprehensive knowledge of folklore, has made The Witches' Sabbats a perennial favorite.

About the Author: Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols is the celebrated author of The Witches' Sabbats and—the ultimate resource on Pagan holidays and related writings. He is a contributor to Creating Circles & Ceremonies. Nichols has been a featured speaker on... Full biography


Recommended Reading.


The sine qua non of any Craft library ... erudite, thoughtful, and clear elucidations of the holy days of Wicca. Readers—from student to Priest/ess—will find their knowledge of the very axis of Witchcraft deepened as well as widened—and will be entertained as well!


Many of Mike's articles — including his beloved essays on the Pagan holidays — have by now reached and influenced a worldwide readership.


A worthy addition to any pagan’s bookshelf.


To say that the works of Mike Nichols are of tremendous value to the modern Pagan movement is somewhat of an understatement. Especially now when it seems that so many Pagan authors are merely repackaging the same old (and often ill thought-out) ideas and concepts of our magic and our practice, Nichols strives to examine the reasons why we do the things we do… and in doing so he often challenges those notions by exposing the shaky foundations upon which they are built. His work is at once both traditional and innovative… the perfect alchemy for a Witch of true power.


An excellent collection of essays with a treasure trove of information coupled by the strong backdrop of Mike Nichols' thirty-plus years of involvement in the Midwestern Pagan community. You don't get our living history better than this! Whether you are a new student or a seasoned practitioner, you'll love his personable writing style, the well-researched information, and his bold and interesting theories.


Mike Nichols is a rare treasure in our emerging Pagan community. His feet are firmly placed on the terra firma of tradition and he holds a wealth of knowledge and lore, while at the same time he embraces our evolution, and the new people who join us, with an open mind and an open heart.


One of the best books on the Wheel of the Year.


Mike's articles provoke thought, make you consider how and why you do the things you do. Be prepared, however, to have your brain cells exercised.


Much of the material available today on Paganism and Wicca is a disappointment, consisting mostly of unreflective repetition of familiar ideas. Mike Nichols's essays are a refreshing departure from that pattern. Well researched and carefully articulated, they blend sober historical awareness with a deep personal understanding of Pagan practice and sensibility. The sabbat essays should be required reading for anyone pursuing the Pagan path.


You couldn't ask for a better explanation of what the holidays are all about.


A state-of-the-art handbook for practitioners.


Mike Nichols is one of those unique scholars that has the ability to make historical and advanced information accessible to everyone - and he makes it all great fun to learn. ... Mike really is a legend in his own right. I have met very few pagans that have not enjoyed his articles and benefited from his research. He has had a tremendous influence over the pagan community and has forced a great many of us to think outside the box of what we were taught or read in a book.


Mike Nichols is not only a longtime and well-respected writer on Pagan subjects, he is also a thinker who induces thinking in his readers. ... He makes these statements with a sweet reasonableness that invites discussion rather than conflict (an unfortunately rare occurrence in Pagan discussion). One gets the feeling that Nichols is not ego-involved in pushing a particular view of the Craft, simply a man deeply in love with it, who is sharing his discoveries with his Craften sisters and brothers. His essays are written in a gently accessible style which can be enjoyed by everyone from the newbie to the seasoned Witch, and which can educate them all.


Mike’s essays are considered the classic historical explanation of the Wiccan wheel of the year... There are quite a few other books available today that examine the Wiccan sabbats. Most of them owe a debt of gratitude to Mike Nichols and his original sabbat essays, which started the journey for so many. The Witches’ Sabbats by Mike Nichols is a must-read for anyone involved in Wicca, and should be on the required-reading list for training covens... The additional materials alone are worth the price of the book.


If you need a really good resource on the history of the eight sabbats, this is your book! I’ve seen a number of books published in recent years on specific sabbats, but they always seem to be stuffed full of prefabricated rituals. This is a wonderfully streamlined book that will be an excellent addition to both beginning and experienced pagans’ libraries; beginners will get a good overview of the origins of the sabbats, while more experienced folk can breeze past the books of pre-written rituals and use the information in The Witches’ Sabbats as inspiration to create their own rituals from scratch. ... The lengthy bibliography promises many wonderful book hunts, and is additionally a cornucopia of nonfluffy sources. ... The writings are considered classics in the realm of neopaganism, and this is a great way to not only have a convenient, easy-to-navigate, portable version of these writings, but to also give something back to the guy ... who often goes uncredited.


Arguably the finest Sabbats writing in the modern Craft today.


Multi-decade, Craft Veteran Mike Nichols's work on the Pagan Holidays is quickly becoming the standard on the subject.


Nichols is famous for his writings on the Witches' Sabbats which have recently been collected as a book for the first time. I find Nichols' reminiscences about the early days of American modern Paganism highly enlightening. It shows a very different view of 'Pagan community' than we experience now... This new book should be an excellent tool for those seeking a good understanding of how modern Wiccans conceive their holidays.


Unique and well thought out and put together. ... Mike has finally put out a book that covers his original material. He has done an excellent job defining, tracing the history, and giving both the beginner and the experienced pagan a good resource for the Wheel of the Year outside the Internet experience. ... The nice thing is that this material does not run on and one, but does a very effective job in a minimal amount of space ... The book, while focusing on the Sabbats, has some hidden gems. The second part of the book covers other associated material ... This is the mark of a good author, one who has withstood the test of time, and he is now available to those who have never wandered into cyberspace, or touched the magical mouse.


His good humor and clear writing style, as well as his solid scholarship, make these articles the benchmarks that many strive to achieve. ... I'm glad to see this resource published so that a new generation of Wiccans can find Mike's excellent work of use in their life.


The research that Mike Nichols puts into his articles is amazing - the information is compiled from well-known and respected works on folklore and mythology. If you are looking to get a better or fuller understanding of the individual significance of each Sabbat as well as they why and how behind each festival’s celebration, The Witches’ Sabbats is the perfect work to use as reference. ... It’s a wonderful compilation and the articles work well as chapters of a whole book. I personally thoroughly enjoy Mike Nichols' writing style, he ranges from being incredibly informative and detailed to being poeticly fluid in his writing. This is a both a great introductory and reference book, good for both old guard and new witch.