Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green Here we come a-wand'ring so fair to be seen Love and joy come to you, And to you your wassail too; And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
The word "wassail" means to be in good health, to prosper, and to be fortunate. It derives from an ancient Norse salutation "ves heill" and also is the name of the spiced cider, ale, or wine infused in all the good witchy ways with spices and herbs.
Wassailing is also the original caroling from old English times. Not only would folks gather, wander, drink wassail while wassailing, but the ancient tradition of drinking wassail and singing to the apple trees is a type of wassailing as well.
Communities would (and still do) gather in the orchards and sing in order to wake up the trees and scare off any evil spirits in hopes of a bountiful harvest come fall. They would float toasted bread on top of the wassail bowl and sometimes hang the bread on the trees as a blessing. This is also where we get our modern clinking of glasses and "TOAST!" I love the idea of singing to the trees. Big hearts in my eyes right now.
So how about New Year's resolutions? This practice also has ancient origins that go back to the Norse tradition of making oaths during Yuletide. Sometimes it would be a going around the room and making oaths with their drink in the air like a modern toast. These were probably more casual declarations of what one hoped to accomplish in the new cycle.
Then there were the solemn oaths made on the oath boar, sacred to Freyr, the god of peace, prosperity, and virility. These were sacred oaths, even considering they were probably made after much ale was drunk, LOL but there were punishments for not fulfilling these oaths. Probably not serious punishments, but it speaks to being careful not to be cavalier about these oaths. Why make them sacred if you're not serious?
Consider how many New Year resolutions we've all made that were utter failures. Pretty much every one of mine! You? Even to the point I don't make them anymore and haven't in a very long time.
We have a Sagittarius Moon tonight for wrapping up 2021 and ringing in 2022. La Luna will be conjunct Mars this evening and heading for a conjunction with Vesta, the flamekeeper, so the energy is actually REALLY supportive of sacred vow making and dreaming into the coming year with passion, vision, and purpose.
Consider partnering with a divine being to serve as your accountability buddy. For example, a resolution to be more physically active could be dedicated to Tyr or Mars. A vow to seek more life enjoyment through self-care could be dedicated to Freya, Aphrodite, Venus, or Hathor. A resolution dedicated in this way feels more sincere and perhaps is made with more forethought. I do recommend a ritual, however simple, if you do this! Ritual moves energy and helps connects us to our intentions.
Love and joy come to you, And to you your wassail too; And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year Wassail! xx