The regular meeting of a coven of Witches at
which religious worship is conducted, business is discussed
and magic and healing work is done.
The frequency of esbats depends on the coven. Most
covens meet at the full Moon, which occurs 13 times a
year. They may also meet at the new moon. Some meet
The esbat may take place indoors or outdoors. A coven
may have a regular meeting place or rotate it among the
homes of coveners. The coveners may wear loose clothing
such as robes, or they may be skyclad (nude).
Animals belonging to coveners usually are allowed to
be present at an esbat and to come and go as long as they
do not disturb the energy flow of the rituals and magic
work. Animals are not used as sacrifices.
At the end of the esbat, coveners share food and drink
The term esbat is a modern one. It may have been
coined by Margaret A. Murray, a British anthropologist
who wrote about medieval witchcraft as an organized pagan
religion. Most Wiccans use the term circle rather than
esbat for their regular meeting; esbat is used formally.