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What's in your chalice? Ceremonial drinks for every season

Michelle Gruben festivals pagan wheel of the year

What's in your chalice? Ceremonial drinks for every season

Passing the cup is a time-honored rite that's part of many a Pagan gathering. The act of blessing and sharing a beverage is certainly more important than what's in the vessel—but that doesn't mean the contents should be overlooked entirely. Celebrating with a seasonal beverage is a great way to honor the turning of the Wheel. If you've been filling your ritual chalice with boxed wine and Sprite since the beginning of time...well, read on.

The suggestions in this article are based on traditional correspondences. Of course, what fruits and vegetables are in season depends on your climate and location. Try visiting a fresh produce market for herbs and fruits to spice up your seasonal libations.

Preparing a ritual chalice for a group? Make sure everyone knows what's in it to prevent allergic reactions and un-magickal spewing. Celebrants who don't wish to drink may simply bow or kiss the cup as the chalice is passed.

Whether you include alcohol in a ritual depends on your beliefs and preferences. Alcoholic drinks are written in boldface. Fun fact: The alcoholic version of a beverage often follows the fresh one in the Wheel of the Year, to allow time for harvesting and fermentation (apple juice at Mabon, apple cider at Samhain, etc). Cheers!

Special rule: If you brew your own mead (or know someone who does), feel free to drink have that stuff on your altar all year round. Mead gets extra Pagan points, and is an acceptable tipple for any season.

Imbolc

Milk beverages, honey-sweetened tea, grapefruit juice, wheatgrass, mint tea, brandyspiced wines.

Ostara

Egg beverages, rhubarb tea, jasmine tea, lightly sweetened drinks, white wine, rose water and orange blossom water.

Beltane

Rosehip tea, mead, almond milk, strawberry drinks, mango nectar, hibiscus tea, rosé wine, dessert wines.

Midsummer/Litha

Orange juice, iced tea, chamomile tea, lemonades and limeades, margaritas, tamarind, guava, other tropical fruits.

Lammas/Lughnasadh 

Wheat beer, pear cider, peach nectar, grape juice, cane-sweetened teas, whiskey.

Mabon

Grape wine, apple juice, IPAs and amber ales, corn and rice beverages, bourbon, cranberry juice, berry drinks.

Samhain

Bitter ales, pumpkin ale, apple cider, pomegranate juice, psychic teas (mugwort, catnip), late-harvest wine.

Yule

Spiced ales, ginger ale, citrus and spiced punches, porters and stouts, pomegranate wine, eggnog, rum, mulled wine or mead.

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