Well, another Gēola has come and gone and the world is born anew. Family was seen, foods were eaten, gifts were exchanged and elements were braved. Everything considered, it was a good, albeit busy, holiday season.
Although I worked late into the evening of the 20th, I still managed to find time to make my yearly Modraniht offering to the Idesa (the ancestral Mothers). When I do my rituals, I tend to plan and get into the right mindset beforehand, but due to time constraints, things were a little more rushed and haphazard than I typically would have liked. Such is the plight of the modern devotee, I suppose.
On the 24th, I made offering to our Hearth-Patroness, Frīg-Heorþweard. This, unlike the offering on the 20th, went very smoothly and I felt as if it was well-received.
The following two days were a blur of visits and hearty meals. My mother prepared duck for our visit with her, as she does every year, which was a highlight. There are few things I enjoy eating more than a well-prepared duck during the holidays.
As I had the remainder of the week off work, I spent it relaxing and watching documentaries about dinosaurs (I’m cool like that). My wife had to work, so there wasn’t much else to do, if I’m honest. I did however make a trip into Toronto to meet up with friend and fellow Lārwitan, Marcus Armenius, who was visiting from Buffalo, NY. Conversation was had and strange Hungarian-Thai fusion foods were consumed. It was certainly nice to be able to connect with him in the real world.
On this final night of Gēola, we made our annual pot of wassail.
While traditonal wassail contained alcohol, we always opt for a non-alcoholic, local cider, since we don’t really drink all that often. We boil it in a pot with some cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder, star anise, black and green cardamom pods, cloves and nutmeg. Last year we added a squeeze of lemon for a hint of tanginess, but I forgot to do that this year. Once it comes to a rolling boil, we turn it down to simmer and serve. The longer it simmers, the more flavourful it becomes.
And with that said, it’s time to begin again and step out into a bright, new year. May this cycle be even more prosperous than the last.