This is a first for me – a product review. So let me say up front that the Sabbat Box people have no idea I’m doing this, and I paid for my box just like anyone else.
Sabbat Box is a subscription box for Pagans, delivering unique Wiccan supplies & Pagan products each sabbat. For anyone not familiar, Pagans celebrate the Wheel of the Year, 8 holidays (or sabbats) that mark the turning of the seasons and the yearly cycles of Nature. I’ve written about each one as I’ve celebrated them for the first time over the last few months: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara and Beltane so far.
The next one on the calendar is the Summer Solstice, also called Midsummer or Litha. I’m personally very excited about Midsummer as it is the day when Aine, the Celtic Goddess I’ve felt most connected to so far, is celebrated.
My Sabbat Box arrived today, a good 11 days in advance of the Sabbat itself, which is perfect timing. It gives you just enough advance time to plan how to incorporate your goodies, but not so much that they have time to gather dust. And the Sabbat Box people do a wonderful job of stoking your enthusiasm in advance. First in Facebook posts teasing you about putting the box together, then in notifying you that its on the way.
When my box came, I could smell the fragrance before ever opening it. My last box had included a candle and some incense, and both of those smelled wonderful as well. In that case it was the candle giving off the strong aroma. This time, it seems to be the incense.
So as I open my box, first thing I see is that the Sabbat Box people have upgraded slightly. Last month there was a card with information on each item in the box, this time it’s a tri-fold glossy brochure. Nice. More info this time, too. Whereas last month there was mostly just info on the items themselves, this month the brochure includes some brief history and explanation of the Midsummer holiday and some details about celebrating the holiday.
This is what you see as you first open the box – lots of different goodies to check out!
The picture on the box drew me to this item first. This is loose incense and charcoal to burn it on. Very cool for me as I’ve never burned loose incense or used charcoal in this way. But now that I’m growing many of my own herbs this will come in super handy. The incense itself is called “Solar Gate” and according to the enclosed card it contains Frankincense, Orange, Bay, Cinnamon, Copal, Cedar, Angelica, Juniper Berry, Sunflower, Rowan Berry, and Golden Bough. The scent to me is very Earthy and herby. More of a deeper smell than the candle and other stick incense I’ll get to in a minute. But it is a wonderful fragrance.
My only negative is a personal one. My Goddess, Aine, who is celebrated at Midsummer is represented by the herb Meadowsweet. I would have been over the moon if any of the items had contained Meadowsweet. But, Aine isn’t (I don’t think) a Goddess often celebrated in Wicca. (My path is not Wicca). And even in Celtic Pagan circles it’s not been easy to find a whole ton of information on her. So perhaps she’s just not as well known a Goddess. A service like Sabbat Box can’t cover every deity that might be celebrated on a given holiday I guess.
Next up, a votive candle:
It smells absolutely divine, and says it has been reiki charged with positive energy. Hand poured, its made with frankincense, dragon’s blood, sandalwood and saffron essential oils. The photo above shows an affirmation included with the candle.
For the votive candle, there is a very cute votive holder:
It is decorated with images for each Sabbat, and I’m imagining it’s going to look really cool with the actual candle burning inside. My only complaint on this item is that two of the decorations are so faint as to be barely noticeable. I’d actually thought they’d completely missed Litha, however I finally discovered it very faintly. Kind of an ironic oversight.
This may actually be my favorite item:
It’s an antique-finished metal bowl for burning the loose incense in. I already had a tiny (and I do mean tiny) little cauldron, but I think this will work even better for the loose incense. It’s one of those items I will find a million uses for, but would probably never actually buy from my local Pagan supply store. Exactly why I signed up for this service, for that type of item.
And of course, they included sand to go under the charcoal. Yellow, of course. Something else I’d never think to buy for myself.
Speaking of incense, there was also this stick incense:
This also smells wonderful. The pamphlet says this brand is one of the most exported in the world. This particular scent, “Sunrise,” blends their popular “Nag Champa” scent with light floral scents. “The subtle aromas that are released when burned will help aid you with drawing in the prevalent solar energy of the solstice,” the pamphlet says.
Last but not least, we have the next book in the Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series, Midsummer Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Litha.
Being still so new to Paganism I find these books very helpful. They’re light enough reading that you can skim through them and get the information you need, or actually sit and read them all the way through. I’m not sure how valuable this would be to people who’ve been in this for many years, however.
I paid $39.95, which included shipping. Sabbat Box renews every 45 days and ships a couple weeks before each Sabbat. They also have a store where you can purchase items from the boxes separately, and so far each box has come with a discount coupon to the store as well. According to the brochure, the retail price for all the items included in this month’s box is $50.34, plus a shipping cost of $7.95, so you save a total of $18.34 over buying the items separately.
Overall, I’m quite happy with the service. I’ve never had a box subscription of any kind before, and getting the box in the mail is a lot of fun. The items seem to be great quality items, and as I said before things I wouldn’t ever think to buy for myself.
This month in particular, the only complaints I can think of are that my specific path and Goddess isn’t mentioned or referenced at all, even though Midsummer is her holiday. Of course, like I said before Aine isn’t necessarily the most well known Goddess and the service does seem to be geared more toward a Wiccan path. Either way, there are thousands of deities out there so it would be impossible for them to cover every one.
Last month, my box included the most divine lose leaf tea, and I was really hoping for more. According to the Sabbat Box website, the tea I got last time was:
Beltane Tea! You heard right…made specifically for Beltane by Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends. This particular Beltane Tea is made with Jasmine and green tea, offering a light yet magical flavor. The ingredients within the tea are Chun Hao grade, making it of superb quality.
It was Ah-may-zing good! It is, however priced a bit steep (sorry for the pun.) But you can buy it at: http://blackthornhoodooblends.com/products/beltane-tea (again, no affiliate link, no kickbacks.)
Bottom line, if you’re a Pagan who celebrates the Wheel of the Year, you cannot go wrong with a Sabbat Box subscription. I wholeheartedly endorse them!