An esbat // is a coven meeting at a time other than one of the Sabbats within Wicca and other Wiccan-influenced forms of contemporary Paganism. Janet and Stewart Farrar describe esbats as an opportunity for a "love feast, healing work, psychic training and all."
The term esbat is derived from Old French s'esbattre (Modern French ébat), meaning to frolic and amuse oneself, diversion. It was a borrowing by 20th century anthropologist Margaret Murray's use of French witch trial sources on supposed Witches' Sabbaths in her attempts to "reconstruct" a Witch Cult in Western Europe.
An esbat is commonly understood to be a ritual observance on the night of a full moon. However, the late high priestess Doreen Valiente distinguished between "full moon Esbat[s]" and other esbatic occasions.
The Esbat differed from the Sabbat by being primarily for business. ... very often the Esbat was for sheer enjoyment only— Murray, 1921
- Farrar, Janet and Stewart (1984). The Witches' Way: Principles, Rituals and Beliefs of Modern Witchcraft. p. 320. ISBN 0-919345-71-9.
- Farrar, 1984, p. 178.
- "Esbat". Dictionary.com. Random House, Inc. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Murphy Pizza; James R. Lewis (2009). "The Modern Magical Revival: Nevill Drury". Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers. p. 64. ISBN 978-90-04-16373-7.
- Wigington, Patti. "Esbat". Paganism / Wicca. About.com Guide. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Valiente, Doreen (1989), The Rebirth of Witchcraft, p. 123
- Murray, Margaret (2003) , Witch Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology, Sampson Law, Marston & Co., Ltd., pp. 112–123, ISBN 978-0-7661-4455-2
- Murray, Margaret (1933), The God of the Witches, Sampson Law, Marston & Co., Ltd.