Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter Wassail and a tribute to the trees

As a tribute to the apple trees that fed them year round, the Anglo-Saxons made a drink of mulled cider that they would bring to wassail the trees in the orchard.

The drink was simmered apple cider, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, a slice of orange, a dash of ginger, and a finger full of honey. Since apples are the property of Bride, honey should be added from the mount of Bride (Venus) - having been tasted first, so the Goddess may trust the honey's source.

When the Wassail was ready it was custom to gather in the apple orchard and sing and toast with drink. Sing to the trees your thanks for all they give - asking nothing but good stewardship in return. Sacrifice some of the Wassail at the root of the trees with your blessing.

If you do not have apple trees, then choose what works for you. The winter is when nature takes her rest from all the work she does to provide us with sustenance the rest of the seasons. Any time around the solstice is a great time to appreciate her with this simple ritual.

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