Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year's Rituals and Joys

©Choi & Shina
What a lovely card to pull for New Year's Eve!  This King of Pentacles, from the Dreaming Way Tarot (U.S. Games, 2012), sits on quite a plain throne, with a cute, green-roofed, turreted castle behind him, and other green-roofed houses in the distance.

Despite the plain throne, his robes are rich with grapes on the vine, and he holds a large, golden pentacle, as well as wearing a large, golden crown.  There are spurs on his brown boots, and his hair is curled in a fancy style.  He also has a thick beard, and rather red cheeks, as though from overindulgence.

He makes me think of enjoying good food and good company - he's definitely someone who is happy to party!  And that's certainly the order of the day today :)

His grape-encrusted robes remind me of one of my favourite traditions from Spain for this celebration.  The Spanish eat 12 grapes with the 12 strikes of the clock in the central plaza in Madrid - la Puerta del Sol.  Each grape represents one of the months to come, and it's said if you don't eat them all, not all your months will be good.  I have to admit, I always used to de-pip my grapes before I started ;D

I really enjoy NYE parties.  Not that I drink much, or am a wild party animal any more!  It's more the traditions and rituals I like.  For example, for a while when I lived in Madrid I celebrated every NYE with one of my closest friends and her family.  Another tradition in Spain is to start the new year "on the right foot".  So, people generally sit with their left leg tucked up under them for the chimes, and only their right foot on the floor.  As my friend and I were both yoga teachers, we decided to eat our grapes in tree pose, so we not only started the year on the right foot, but in perfect balance ;)

Of course, as a child I generally celebrated the New Year in Germany.  There, one of the old folk traditions is to "throw lead".  In the stores between Christmas and New Year you can by "lead" forms in shapes like lucky pigs, top hats, and horseshoes.  You melt them, then pour the metal into a glass of water, and "interpret" the shapes they make - one of the earliest forms of divination I learned :)  These days I tend to do the same using candle wax, which works just as well!

Whatever you do this evening, I hope you take the time to enjoy it, to make the most of the simple pleasures available :)

I am grateful for good friends and fun traditions.

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