Tag Archives: wassail

Yuletide Cards from Hedingham Fair

YuletideCards

While purchasing a Wassail Cup for my brother-in-law for his birthday (he decided to start a tradition of wassailing the trees in his garden last year) from the fantastic online Pagan/Folk shop Hedingham Fair, I also decided to buy two sets of 25 Winter Solstice / Yule Cards to give as Christmas cards this year.

For £12.00, I think this set was an absolute bargain. The cards are beautiful – especially the linocut ones, with their dark, bold borders and bright colours. Although very Pagan in flavour, incorporating Yuletide symbols like the Holly King, Stonehenge, Viking deities and druid’s sickles, they also have plenty of images of Christmas familiar to non-Pagans (candles, holly, mistletoe etc.), making them perfect for Pagans who want to give Christmas cards that subtly express their Pagan pride to non-Pagan friends. I’m really excited to give them!

After buying the “Winter Solstice” Bumper Set, I discovered that they also have a 25 card bumper set of “Christmas” Cards as well, which are slightly more Christmas-themed than Yule-themed (although the two are pretty similar). I also discovered they have some other designs not included in the 25 bumper back, which is kind of a shame because they’re so nice! (But I guess they have to leave some designs out to save many). Maybe next year I’ll buy these ones as well! But for this year I am really happy with my purchase and can totally recommend these beautiful cards for any Pagans out there still looking for the perfect Christmas cards for their loved ones.

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An Impromptu Wassail

Wassailtree

An apple tree sapling hung with wassail toast. By Andy Dingley (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Tonight when I went to visit some friends at my sister’s house, something very unexpected happened – my non-Pagan family suddenly decided to hold the very Pagan tradition of wassailing!

My brother-in-law had just planted some new apple and pear trees, and had heard about the Yule tradition of wassailing in orchards to ensure healthy growth. So he decided to hold a little wassailing ceremony with my Dad, his best friend and myself, based on the information he found on wassailing on Wikipedia.

My brother-in-law poured out the wassail drink (spiced cider) into a large wooden chalice handmade by his uncle, which certainly looked the part. We then dipped some toast in the wassail and, as I was the only woman taking part, I was selected as the Wassail Queen to hang the toast on the tree, while the others intoned the traditional wassail song. My Dad sprinkled both the young and old fruit trees with wassail, and finally we all shared the remaining wassail together (I suggested saying “May you never thirst” when offering the wassail to each other, as we do in ceremonies at Medway Pagans).

I was really very surprised to see my otherwise non-Pagan family hold such a ceremony, even if it was held just for a bit of fun. I’d really love to encourage them to hold more Pagan rituals in the future…perhaps I can?!

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