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 (see cakes-and-wine).
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.
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