“Have a smell of this, my lovelies…” Tatterhood offered, carrying her Love Cup and it’s steaming crimson contents. She looked very proud as we all took it in turn to breathe in the tangy vapours and drink the thick gloopy juices therein. Best mulled wine ever!
Last night saw the first Grove meeting of 2012 have us set out an agenda for what we shall hopefully be doing in this new year. Basically, a few talks, a few workshops and a couple of trips planned to invade the GHW and drive out the clientele with our shocking talks on filth.
We had a good discussion on the gwers and how some of us had to go back to the beginning in order to gain completion. For those of us who are on the journey of exploring the elements, we shared how and what we found in it and in ourselves.
After business, Tatterhood had prepared a short talk on wassailing, and a ritual to follow.
For those not in the know; ‘Wassail’ comes from the olde English “waes hail” meaning ‘be well.’ A warmed ale with spicy mixture was shared by everyone house to house. What was left was shared out with the fruit trees and a fair amount of noise and hullabaloo was also performed, the louder to rid the trees of any malignant spirits that may affect the fruits to come. According to Tatterhood’s research, wassailing was performed on January 17th and can be traced back to the 1400’s AD. Which is around the time a great number of English traditions were being recorded (along with ‘maurice dauncing’ and the erection of the maypole at Westminster).
The wassailing ceremony was performed in Tatterhood’s back yard, where there was a beautiful waning gibbous moon that gave the subtle impression of being full, she was bright enough. We gave the wassailing chants and poured cider (not cidrè thank you) on to the apple trees. We also whooped and hollered to scare any demons off and I had a barking contest with a neighbour’s yapping terrier- the language it came out with, I was shocked!
Once back indoors and enjoying the warmth, as well as the company of a three-legged cat, we saw fit to bring out the question cards. We were unanimous in believing there was something in the universe, though we all had a different take on what. Gods, divinity, ancestors, these words were simply not enough to describe what we believed. Ooh and yes- Druidry is for life not just for eight times a year and a camp. We all agreed that it is a way of life that ebbs and flows organically, allowing us to grow in our spirituality at our own pace. Never is it something to be taken up half-baked or without meaning.
I personally felt it was a good, productive and fun meeting; and can see the wassailing rite being adopted in to the Grove’s repertoír.
And by the way, the Love Cup was a huge white mug, you pervs.