Today honor Iðunn and her husband Bragi by making wassail and will singing for the fertility of a fruit tree and for good luck in the coming year.
Hail Iðunn, Lady of devotion which is the immortality of the gods. I remember you and your golden apples today, and pray to you for hope and renewal.
Hail Bragi, greatest of poets. May my voice and singing honor you today as I pray for the new year’s bounty. May you empower my voice to speak words of joy and blessing in the new year and the years to come.
The word Wassail is ultimately derived from the Anglo-Saxon greeting wes þú hál meaning “be you hale”. It’s a hot mulled drink that was traditionally drunk on 12th night, but was also drank throughout the 12 days of Yule in England.
The ritual of Wassailing was held in order to pray for a good apple harvest, in which the town would encircle the largest apple tree, sing a traditional song, and place pieces of toast soaked in wassail in the branches for the birds (and the spirits).
Today, make wassail in honor of Iðunn. If you have a fruit bearing tree at your home, you can wassail your own tree and pray for it’s fruitfulness in the next year. If you don’t own a fruit bearing tree, you can either find such a tree in a park or in the wild, or find a friend who would like their tree to be wassailed.
Offer the tree and the spirits (and the birds!) pieces of toast dipped in wassail, left in the tree’s branches.
Here is a traditional wassailing song you can sing:
Old apple tree we wassail thee
and hope that thou shalt bear
For the Lord doth know where we shall be
come apples another year
for to bloom well and to bear well
So merry let us be
let every man take off his hat
and shout out to the old apple tree
Three cheers for the apple tree: hip hip hooray!
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