Submitted by Ash on Thu, 01/03/2019 - 10:25

* BONDING RITUALS*

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By Mercedes Lackey

"This bond, this joining, is not meant to be a fetter. A joining is a partnership, not two people becoming one. Two minds cannot fuse, two souls cannot merge; two hearts cannot keep to the same time. If two are foolish enough to try this, one must overwhelm the other, and that is no love, nor is it compassion, nor responsibility. You are two who choose to walk the same path, to bridge the differences between you with love. You must remember and respect those differences between you with love. You must remember and respect those differences and learn to understand them, for they are part of what made you come to love in the first place. Love is patient, love is willing to compromise--love is willing to admit it is wrong. There will be hard times: you must face them as bound warriors do, side by side, not using the weapon of your knowledge to tear at each other.

"And yet, you must do all this and manage to keep each other from wrong actions, for a joining means that you also pledge to help one another at all times. You must lead each other by example. Guide and be willing to be guided. Being joined does not mean that you accept what is truly wrong: being joined means that you must strive that you both remain in the light and the right.

"You must not pledge yourselves thinking that you can change each other. That is rankest folly, and disrespectful, for no one has the right to change another.

"You must not pledge yourselves thinking that there will be no strife between you. That is fantasy, for you are two and not one, and there will inevitably come conflicts, that it will be up to you to resolve.

"You must not pledge yourselves thinking that all will be well from this moment on. That is a dream, and dreamers must eventually wake. You must come to this joining fully ready, fully committed, and fully respectful of each other."

"Now you will no longer fear the storm for you find shelter in each other. Now the winter cannot harm you, for you warm each other with love. Now when strength fails, you will be the wind to each other's wings. Now the darkness holds no danger, for you will be the light to each other's path. Now you will defy despair, for you will bring hope to each other's heart. Now there will be no more loneliness, for there will always be a hand reaching out to aid you when all seems darkest. Where there were two paths, there is now one. May your days together be long upon the earth, and each day blessed with joy in each other."

 

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CELTIC HANDFASTINGS

(from Finn Mac Cool)

 

BRIDE and GROOM repeat the following together:

"You cannot possess me for I belong to myself. But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give. You cannot command me for I am a free person. But I shall serve you in those ways you require and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand. I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, and the eyes into which I smile in the morning. I pledge to you the first bite from my meat and the first drink from my cup. I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care. I shall be a shield for your back, and you for mine. I shall not slander you, nor you me. I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel, we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances.

This is my wedding vow to you. This is the marriage of equals."

The PRIEST or PRIESTESS says:

"These promises you make by the sun and the moon, by fire and water, by day and night, by land and sea. With these vows you swear, by the God and Goddess, to be full partners, each to the other. If one drops the load, the other will pick it up. If one is a discredit to the other, his own honor will be forfeit, generation upon generation, until he repairs that, which was damaged, and finds that which was lost. Should you fail to keep the oath you pledge today, the elements themselves will reach out and destroy you."

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ELEMENTAL VOWS
As the sea is eternal, so is our love;
As the wind is all encompassing, so is our love;
As the earth is solid beneath our feet, so is our love.
And yet, our love is so great
That it even soars beyond the sea and the wind and the earth.
It is so perfect to be standing beside you here,
Among these elements
Which reflect the love we have for each other,
As we commit ourselves to each other today.

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A HANDFASTING PLEDGE
"(Insert name), you have embraced all aspects of my nature. You love me completely, for both my strengths and my weaknesses. You have given me the courage and faith to trust you, to let you love me as an entire person. You have allowed me to embrace all aspects of your nature. You have let me love you completely, for both your strengths and your weaknesses. You have shown courage and faith in me, to trust me to love you as an entire person. I, (name), take you, (another name), just as you are, and however you may change, above all others, to share my life."

Authored by Mothermay

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HANDFASTING VOWS
(By The Wayward Mage)
BRIDE:

"O Father God Master of light
Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered;
In this place of power I ask of you this-
As I breathe your energies into my body
Mixing them with mine that I may see the divine in all,
O Great God Grant me the hand of he whom I seek...
Allow me Father God
To take my place as his Soul-Mate
And to care for him as my own.
Allow me the heart that beats
Strongly within his chest.
Allow me to accept his love..."

GROOM:

"O Mother Goddess Lady to us all
Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered;
In this place of power I ask of you this-
As I breathe your energies into my body
Mixing them with mine that I may see the divine in all,
O Great Goddess Grant me the hand of she whom I seek...
Allow me Mother Goddess
To take my place as her Soul-Mate
And to care for her as my own.
Allow me the heart that beats
Strongly within her chest.
Allow me to accept her love..."

 

BRIDE AND GROOM (in turn):

"I do love you, let it be known to all those present that I was once half and together we are one. Let it be known that without you I am nothing yet with you I hold infinite potential."

GROOM:
"Do you accept me into your heart?"

BRIDE:
"With the Goddess as my guide and witness, I do.
Do you accept me into your heart?"

GROOM:
"With the God as my guide and witness, I do."

BRIDE AND GROOM (together):
"Oh Mother Goddess, Oh Father God
Smile upon us as we begin this journey into your arms...
Help us to love, honor and respect one another."

 

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From Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet"

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

 

SELF-PURIFICATION RITUAL.

Many Wiccans think that the only time they should purify themselves is on the New Moon. And the New Moon is certainly a good time for purification, but it is certainly not the only time that such a thing can or should be done. Purification of the body allows us to rid ourselves of the internal chattering that clutters our psyches and thus hinders us from making contact with the Goddess, and can even make us physically ill.

For those of you that are especially "sensitive", if your psyche gets covered in smut it can really do you some damage. So here is a simple Purification ritual that you can do weekly to help attune yourself better.

Start with a ritual bath. This need not be a full bath with soap and scrubbing but you should sit in hot water with only candlelight. Perhaps add some soothing oil to the water. Also add some salt to the water. While your sitting in the water, let yourself relax.

Don't think about what you are about to do. Just relax.

After your bath, you can start your ritual.

Cast the circle. Arrange your altar, lighting incense, filling the chalice with charged water, include your pure or sea salt. Invoke the God and/or the Goddess.

Lie down on your back. If you cannot do this because your circle is too small, then sit with your legs out before you. Try not to have anything crossed if you can avoid it.

Now feel all of your energy draining out of you, into the floor or into the Earth. Feel yourself losing control of your body, letting it go numb. Let your body become a distant object. Release yourself from it. Don't let your body be a part of you. Sink out of your body as best you can.

After a few moments, feel the energy from the Earth, all its vibrations entering your body. Feel your body tingling, burning, itching, and tickling. Feel it becoming alive again, knowing that it is being charged with good energy from the Earth.

Once you feel that you have been recharged, sit up and light a silver candle. If you don't have one, you can use a white one. Say;

"I light this candle as an object of my purified soul, as a dedication to my Goddess. Let this candle burn and charge me with energy."

Pass the incense over your body. Feel the smoke all over you as it washes you clean. You may wish to thank the Element of Air as you do this. Then, sprinkle on your head some water from the chalice, thinking of the Element of Water. Sprinkle salt on your body next, thinking of Earth, and lastly pass a candle over your body.

Once this is done, thank the Goddess and the God, and release your circle. Your rite is done.

 


Invocation for the Summer Solstice

by Starhawk. The Spiral Dance


(Beginning in the North)

Earth my bone, my body,
Mountain my breast
Green grass and leafy tree
My trailing hair,
Rich dark dust, oozing mud
Seed sending white root deep,
Carpet of molding leaves,
Be our bed!
By the earth that is Her body,
Powers of the North send forth your strength.
Air, my breath, breeze of morning,
Stallion of the dawn star,
Whirlwind, bearing all that soars in flight,
Bee and bird,
Sweet fragrance,
Wailing storm's voice,
Carry us!
By the air that is Her breath,
Powers of the East send forth your light.

Fire my heart, burn bright!
My spirit is a flame,
My eye misses nothing.
A blaze leaps from nerve to nerve
Spark of the solar fire!
An answering heat rises, unbearable delight!
The flames sing, consume us!
By the fire that is Her spirit, Powers of the South, Send forth your flame.

Water my womb, my blood,
Wash over us, cool us.
Waves sweep ashore on white wings,
The rush, hiss, the rumble of stones
As the ride recedes,
That rhythm, my Pulse,
Flood, gushing fountain,
We pour ourselves out,
Sweep us away!
By the waters of Her living womb,
Powers of the West send forth your flow.

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Handfasting Ceremony 1


Set-up
- The main altar should be set in the northern end of the center of the
area in which the circle is to be cast. The altar should be set with the
following:
- rose petals strewn over the top
- one lit black candle (on the western end of altar)
- one lit white candle (on the eastern end of altar)
- unity candle (unlit)
- chalices
- wand
- rings
- fresh flowers

- The elemental "altars" should be placed in the appropriate quarters
just along the edge of the area in which the circle is to be cast as
follows:
North- Earth: a bouquet of flowers (on main altar)
East- Water: a bowl of water
South- Fire: a candle or oil lamp
West- Air: a stick of incense

Creating the Circle
(Before the procession, all guests that will be outside of the circle
should be seated)

-Priestess and Priest lead procession of all guests for circle into
area, Bride and Groom will be last to enter. Guests form a circle, with
Priestess and Priest at North end of circle leading, Bride and Groom in
center of circle.

Priestess and Priest give opening explanation for people outside of
circle. Note: statement of extension of circle to surround all guests
as it is cast.

-Circle is cast, starting with Priestess & Priest, by each person in
turn taking the hand of the person on their left and saying "Hand to
hand, in love, I cast this circle round." and then kissing the other
person's hand.

-People doing elements should be in the appropriate directions. After
the circle is cast all other guests will be seated and each person
invoking will take a representation of the element and proceed around
the circle. When done the elements will be invoked.

Invocations
Elements

- North- Earth: ""We call upon you, spirits of the Earth, Mother of us
all, to join our circle and to bless this couple. Bless them with your
strength, so that like the trees they will find themselves well grounded
in your heart, yet able to reach great heights. May their love grow
stronger every day, and may that love always help them to be strong for
each other."

- East- Water: " We call upon you, spirits of Water, the womb from
which all life comes, to join our circle and to bless this couple.
Bless their love- let it be as deep as your oceans, and as filled with
life. Bring to them the intuition to know each others thoughts and
feelings so that they may always be there to support each other."

- South- Fire: " We call upon you, spirits of Fire, spark of Life, to
join us in our circle and to bless this couple. Bless this union, as it
is more than a union of two people, but a union of two spirits. May
their passion for each other always be as spiritually fulfilling as it
is today."

- West- Air: " We call upon you spirits of Air, Father of us all, to
join our circle and to bless this couple. Bless them with the ability
to always see each other's point of view, so that they will always be
able to communicate well together."

Goddess & God

- Priestess and Priest step into the center of the circle.

- Priestess will invoke the Goddess: "We call upon you, great Goddess,
Maiden, Mother, and Crone, to join us in our circle and to bless this
couple. Bless them with your youthful joys, your nurturing love, and
your great wisdom.

"Yours is the ecstasy of the spirit and the joy on Earth. Your law is
love unto all beings. Yours is the secret door which opens upon the
door of youth. Yours is the cup of the wine of Life, and the Cauldron
of Cerridwen which is the holy Grail of Immortality.

"You are the gracious Goddess who gives the gift of joy to the hearts
of all people. You are the mother of all Living and your love is poured
out upon the Earth.

"You are the beauty of the green Earth, the white moon amongst the
stars, the mystery of the waters, and the desire in the heart of man
and woman.

"You are the soul of nature who gives life to the universe, from you
all things proceed, and unto you all things must return. And before
you, our inner most divine selves shall be enfolded in the rapture of
the infinite.

"Let your worship always be in the hearts of those here who rejoice in
their love for you and for each other- for all acts of love and pleasure
are your rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and
compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within them always.

"And let us remember that our seeking and yearning for answers will not
help us unless we know the mystery- that if we cannot find what we are
seeking within our selves, we will never find it. For you have been
with us from the beginning, and you are with us at the end of desire.
Be with us Maiden, Mother, Crone."

-Priest will invoke the God: "We call upon you, oh Great God, to join
us in our circle and to bless this couple. Bless this couple with your
joy of rebirth- for this is a transformation for them, from one life
into another- from two separate beings they become one, more complete
spirit.

"You are the Life Force, the Cycle of Life. You are the undivided self
- where we can unite mind, body, spirit, and heart.

"You are born of the Great Goddess. You are ever present in all that
grows. You are the grain, and the trees, and the flowers, and all of
the creatures on the Earth. You show us the cycles of life through your
presence in all living things. For as the leaves on the trees grow
green in the summer, they fall and die in the autumn. And though the
world may seem death-like in winter, all things are reborn in the
spring.

"You are the Green-Man. You are Pan. You are the Spirit of the Forest
and the joy of nature. With you we dance the Dance of Life, rejoicing
in the world around us.

"You are the Horned-One, wild and untamed, yet gentle and tender. You
are the primal voice within us all. You are our truest emotions shown
to us undisguised. Through you this couple is able to fully feel and
experience their love as the spiritual joy that it should be.

"You are the Sun-God. your brightness and warmth shine upon us always
and fills our hearts.

"You are the loyal son, the caring father, the devoted brother, and the
lover. You are the protector, the comforter, the rebel, the shaman, the
seed sower and the harvester, the hunter as well as the hunted. You are
the brightness of our days and the darkness of our nights. You are the
hidden mystery which is shown in all that surrounds us. You are eternal
and ever changing.

"Be with us, Life-Bringer."

Handfasting Proceedings
-Priestess and Priest give opening comments or blessings.

-Rings are taken from the altar. Priestess hands Groom' ring to
Bride. Priest hands Bride's ring to Groom. As they hand rings to
couple they say "Let this ring, without beginning and without end, be a
symbol of your eternal love for each other."

-Promises and rings are exchanged by couple.

-Priestess takes the unity candle from the altar and holds it before
the couple. Priest takes the other candles from the altar and hands the
white candle to Bride and the black candle to Groom (making sure they
are lit).

Priest: ""Before this time you were two..."

Bride & Groom light the unity candle from their candles

Priestess: "now you are united as one."

-Priestess places candle back on altar and brings the broom to the
center of the circle.

Priest: " The broom is a symbol of domestic life. It is a tool of
purification and protection."

Priestess: ""The couple will jump the broom to symbolize their leaving
behind of one life and entering into a new life together as a family."

Both: "May you begin your new life together pure of heart and well
protected by the Goddess and God."

Cakes & Wine

-Chalices are filled with mead and the cakes are picked up by quarter
persons. They hold these in the center of circle.

-Priestess: " Let us share with this couple this, their first food and
drink together as husband and wife."

-Priest: " Let their first act as wedded couple be to bless this food
and drink as priest and priestess of the Goddess and God." he hands
wand to Groom.

-Chalices and cakes are held in front of couple. Tree chalice is given
to Bride.

Groom: taking wand "As the wand is to the male..."

Bride: holding chalice "So the cup is to the female..."

Both: while placing wand into chalice "So joined they are one in
blessedness."

- They then place wand into other chalices, blessing the mead.

-Cakes are held in front of the couple. They place their hands above
them.

Bride: " This grain was grown from the Earth, mixed with Water, cooked
by Fire, and cooled by Air."

Groom: " May all who partake of this cake know the joys of love as we
do."

-Groom & Bride take the tree chalice and both drink. The chalice is
then passed to Priestess & Priest and the quarter persons, then around
the circle. The other chalices are passed around to the rest of the
guests outside of the circle. (Priest places the wand back on the
altar)

-They take a cake and share it. Then pass cakes to Priestess & Priest
and quarter persons. Cakes are then passed around circle and to guests
outside circle (2 plates).

Closing

Priestess (to couple): "Above you are the stars, below you the
stones. As time passes remember..."

Priest: "like the stars in the heavens should your love be constant.
Like a stone should your love be strong."

Priestess: "Be close, and yet not too close, for you should share your
life's experiences with each other, but not all of life is experienced
together."

Priest: "Be patient with each other, for difficult times will occur as
part of the cycle of life, but you can pass through them stronger if you
love one another and work together."

Priestess: "Be generous in your giving of warmth and affection to each
other."

Priest: "Spread your warmth and joy to those around you, have them
share in your happiness."

Priestess: "Keep pure your highest ideal- rejoice in the search for
spiritual fulfillment."

Priest: "Always challenge each other to grow, for your love will grow
as your spirits do."

Priestess: "May your union be the kind of marriage that sets you freer
than you can ever be alone..."

Priest: "...for the sum of one and one, if they are soulmates, can be
infinity."

- The quarter persons go to their directions again. All others in
circle stand and join hands again.

Priestess: " We thank you, Great Goddess, for blessing this circle and
this union. May we always feel your presence in our hearts and lives."

Priest: " We thank you, God of many names, for blessing this circle
and this union. May we always feel your presence in our hearts and
lives."

North- Earth: " We thank you, spirits of Earth, for blessing this
circle and this union. May we always feel your presence in our hearts
and lives."

East- Water: " We thank you, spirits of Water, for blessing this
circle and this union. May we always feel your presence in our hearts
and lives."

South- Fire: " We thank you, spirits of Fire, for blessing this
circle and this union. May we always feel your presence in our hearts
and lives."

West- Air: " We thank you, spirits of Air, for blessing this circle
and this union. May we always feel your presence in our hearts and
lives."

Priestess & Priest: " The circle is open, but never broken."

All: "Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again."

-All drop hands to open circle.

Written and ©Andrea Brenton

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Handfasting Ritual 2


Cast Circle

HPS: (opens doorway with staff, place staff across threshold of door)
There are two who would be joined together as one.
Let them enter into this place of love and begin their union together.

(Bride and Groom enter and stand in center of circle)

HPS:(to others outside of the circle) The gate stands open to the
temple of love. There is no challenge, for all are welcome here,
who enter with joy and love for this sacred union.

(any who enter are annointed with Celtic cross and told:) blessing be upon you!

HP: (At the Eastern Watchtower) Hear me Raphael (may be replaced with the name of any air deity),
Lord of air- you who rules over the realms of birth and new beginnings.
We call thee forth to witness our rite, and guard this circle with your love and light!

(At South) Hear me Michael (or other Fire deity),
Lord of fire- you who shines so brightly over our lives,
filling them with the love that is yours, so that it may shine forth from within.
We call thee forth to witness our rite, and to guard this circle
with your love and light!

HPS: (West) Hear me Gabriel (or other Water deity),
Lady of water- you who reigns over all endings, that which without,
there could be no beginning. We call thee forth to witness
our rite, and guard this circle with your love and light.

(North) Hear me Ariel, (or other Earth deity)
Lady of earth- you who are the body and mystery,
from which all life begins.
We call thee forth to witness our rite, and guard this circle with your love and light.

(HPS- light Lady Candle HP- Light Lord Candle)

Both: (HPS) Gracious Goddess (HP) Mighty Lord (together)
Give to these before us, we do ask; your love and protection
from all that would try to harm their union.
Blessed be!

(handmaiden and summoner bring forth Bride and Groom from center of circle
and place her before priestess and him before priest)

Handmaiden: HERE WE BRING FORTH THE BRIDE.

Summoner: AND ALSO THE GROOM.

HPS: Is it your wish, (Bride's name), to become one with this man in
the bond of handfasting?

Bride: It is.

HP: Is it your wish, (Groom's name), to become one with this woman
in the bond of handfasting?

Groom: it is.

HP: Air, Be with us here, oh beings of air, With your clever fingers, tie
closely the bonds between this pair.

Fire, Be with us here, oh beings of fire, Give their love and passion, your
all consuming ardor.

HPS: Water, Be with us here, oh beings of water. Give them the deepest of
love, and richness of body and soul and spirit.

Earth, Be with us here, oh beings of earth. Let your strength and
consistency be theirs through out this union for this life time.

(Priestess places Brides ring on wand and holds end in left hand. Priest
places Grooms ring on wand and holds end in right hand. present wand to
couple)

HP: place your right hands on this wand, his hand over hers.(pause while do
so) Above you are the stars, below you the stones, as time does pass
remember...... like a star, should your love be constant, like a stone,
should your love be firm

HPS: Be close, yet not too close. possess one another, yet be understanding.
have patience, each with the other, for storms will come, yet also will they
pass. Be free in giving of affection and warmth. make love often, and be
sensuous with each other.

HP: Have no fear, and let not the words of the unenlightened give you
unease, for the God and Goddess are with you and have blessed this union
with their love and presence.

HPS: Take now your rings and place them on each others hand. remembering as
you do so, that they include a small portion of this circle to remind you
always of your love for each other and your union that is made here today.

(*couple may choose to exchange vows they have written to each other*)

(remove rings and give to couple, who then place them on each others
fingers.)

HPS: As you have chosen to mingle your lives, so now do you mingle your
love....the two becoming as one.

(HP hands her the ribbons and they are bound to each other in this manner)

HP: Then as the Lord and Lady and all the ancient and mighty ones are
witness to this rite, thus are thy hands fasted, the two are one, the work of joy is
done, and yet.... just begun.

(Priestess and Priest take broom to center of circle, while Maiden and
Summoner direct /lead couple to center in front of broom. Priestess holds
bushy end of broom and priest holds handle end, keeping broom about a foot
above the ground.)

(Couple jump the broom)(priestess takes broom and sweeps away all negativity
and traces of their past life apart from around and behind them, out the door
of the circle)

(couple picks up their own tapers and light from power candle, then
together, light their single candle)

HPS: The candle of life is lit.....

HP: Likewise, the candle of the soul...

BOTH: Together, they combine to form the eternal light of love.

HPS: May the lord and lady recognize the bonds drawn between this couple by
their own strength of love and will. let the ties between them be strong,
yet supple and let none strive to break this bond that they have set forth in
the presence of the Lord and lady for this lifetime.

HP: Let those of you here with this pair, lend your love and light to their
union.

BOTH: I now declare thee...husband and wife! blessed be!

(HPS and HP pick up cup for the inside of circle, Maiden and Summoner hold
cup for outside of circle and Bride and Groom hold their own cup. Maiden and
Summoner need not kiss to charge wine)

HPS: And the goddess said, these be the five points of fellowship.

: foot to foot

: knee to knee

: lance to grail

: heart to heart

: lip to lip

: joined together, they bring blessedness.

(Bride and Groom kiss to charge cup)

HPS: Let us drink from the loving cup and the joy of this union.

(Bride and Groom drink from their cup, pass all other chalices)

HP: From spirit we come, and to spirit we go, from their union, the power of
love will flow.

HPS: The winds of reason will stir the air, and temper their quarrels with
respectful care.

HP: Their bond is forged upon the fire and love will fill their hearts with
steady desire.

HPS: The waters of understanding will fill them up and they will drink
together from wisdom's cup.

HP: The earth in her glory will smile upon this pair health, harmony and
happiness will be theirs to share.

Both: For what goes around, returns again, to those who love. For the spirit
of union reflects the pattern above.

HPS: As these two hearts have combined like the flame of their candles, made
strong by love. May the light of their love become a beacon by which they
may always find one another. These children of the gods have lit a candle in the
darkness of the world. May it always burn with a steady light and if it
should flicker or threaten to go out, may both raise a hand to guard and
shield it. For the candle of their love may well assist other travelers on
the road of life. So Mote It Be. Blessed Be.

Both: Circles ripple out to forever echo and perform the act of magick with
which you are charged. so mote it be!

(As couple leaves, HP and HPS silently and quickly dismiss lord and lady
and watchtowers)

 


~Author Unknown

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Handfasting Ceremony

REV: You have been invited today to witness an echo of creation. Hear well,
see all, and remember for all time. You shall carry this promise back to the
world that it may be given force before man and spirit. Blessed welcome!

*********start music************ cannon in D (or other similar piece)

Attendant Procession

Rev hands unlit taper to primary female attendant (Maid or Matron of Honor).

REV: Be Blessed and well come to this place. Be free from care and healed of
harm while you sojourn here.

Rev hands unlit taper to primary male attendant (Best Man).

REV: Be Blessed and well come to this place. Be free from care and healed
of harm while you sojourn here.

********start music*************** Loreena McKennitt 'prelude' (or other similar piece)

Bride and Groom walk down aisle together, holding hands followed by a child
carrying hanging incense burner.

REV: Be Blessed and well come to this place. Be free from care and healed of
harm while you sojourn here. Well come all, and thrice blessed this place
and time that see's two travelers find a common road.

REV: In the endless dark of the unborn world there came two flames becoming
one fire. Let Their flames burn in your hearts to bring light and warmth to
the night of your soul

Bride and Groom shall light their tapers from the respective altar candles

REV: As travelers do we set forth into the forest of life. We are called
into its reaches by the promise that there we will find peace and
completion. With no map to guide us we wander blindly, sometimes aimlessly,
with intuition and faith alone to serve as signposts. Travelers are we all.
We proceed from birth to death. From birth to death till some hidden time
when we have gained understanding to choose otherwise. With only instinct to
guide us we are cast at the edge of the forest by our birth. We may withdraw
in fear seeking company at the massed fires of those that prefer the known
empty plains to the dark and wild wood. Or we may wander aimlessly spending
life for naught. We may journey forward into it following our native sense.
Occasionally are we given to meet others, also tracking the wild paths. In
their company do we find a moments pleasure...company and conversation. In
time our paths diverge and they are called to their way and we to ours. Once
again do we move forward alone towards the distant call so faintly
heard...the far-off vision so dimly seen. But chance may find that upon the
passing of a stranger we find our ways the same and the company a pleasure.
If fate is kind we may find company to join us upon our way. The journey
shared. __Bride's Name__ and __Groom's Name__ have found each other in the dark
reaches of the wild wood. Through each others eyes do both see their vision more
clearly, with each others ears do they hear the call more plainly, and in each
others arms do they find greater strength than either alone possesses. For as
far as they can see their path is one...so too have they elected to be one.

REV: Let the fires within you intertwine and become a single source of light
upon your path.

Bride and Groom light the unity candle

REV: They will now allow their hearts to speak.

Bride and Groom turn to each other

GROOM: __Bride's Name__ you have embraced all aspects of my nature. You love me
completely, for both my strengths and my weaknesses. You have given me the
courage and faith to trust you, to let you love me as an entire person. You
have allowed me to embrace all aspects of your nature. You have let me love
you completely, for both your strengths and your weaknesses. You have shown
courage and faith in me, to trust me to love you as an entire person. I,
__Groom's Name__, with the knowledge and experience of the life we've lived together
choose to take you once again, __Bride's Name__, just as you are, and
however you may change, above all others, to share my life."

BRIDE: __Groom's Name__ you have embraced all aspects of my nature.
You love me completely, for both my strengths and my weaknesses.
You have given me the courage and faith to trust you, to let you love me as an
entire person. You have allowed me to embrace all aspects of your nature.
You have let me love you completely, for both your strengths and your weaknesses.
You have shown courage and faith in me, to trust me to love you as an entire person.
I, __Bride's Name__, with the knowledge and experience of the life we've lived together
choose to take you once again, __Groom's Name__, just as you are, and however you may
change, above all others, to share my life."

GROOM:(Takes cup from altar & kneels) With this cup, I promise to accept the
love you pour upon me, and to return that love in kind. (Bride takes pitcher
and fills cup)
BRIDE: Drink, then, of my love. (Groom drinks, places cup on table, and rises,
Bride takes up her cup and kneels)
BRIDE: With this cup, I promise to accept the love you pour upon me, and to
return that love in kind. (Groom takes pitcher and fills cup)
GROOM: Drink, then, of my love. (Bride drinks, places cup on table, and stands)

GROOM: With my breath I ask our God/Goddess to bless this union. (Takes cup from
table and speaks over it) With this drink I rebind my life to yours. (Groom
holds cup up, Bride places her hands over his)
BRIDE: I drink of our life together. (Bride drinks, Groom places cup on table and
stands. "With this cup I ask our God/Goddess (or both if you prefer) to bless this
union. (Takes cup from table and speaks over it) With this drink I rebind my
life to yours. (Bride holds cup up, Groom places his hands over hers)
GROOM: I drink of our life together. (Groom drinks, Bride returns cup to the
table)

Bride and Groom place hands on altar, Rev binds with silken cord

REV: May your spirits be bound, your minds be common, and your bodies be one
that none may come between you so long as your path is shared.

REV: Behold, the renewed, going forth as one. May their path be clear and
easy beneath their feet. Go forth and celebrate.

******** music: Boadicea by Enya (or other similar piece)

 

 

~Author unknown
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Wedding Ceremony
The Bard

THE ORDER OF SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE (GENERAL)

The Altar shall be dressed with a white cloth, with a Cup, and an
unsheathed Sword. A small lectern should be provided to the
Minister,that he may hold the Sword and read the ceremony. One candle
shall be unlit upon the altar, and two lit candles shall
be provided, to either side.

Smaller candles shall be provided to at least the wedding party, and to
the whole congregation, if possible.

Ministers take Altar
Groom and attendants take altar

Processional music starts
Bridesmaids process
Bride and father process
Bride and father take altar

MINISTER: Dearly beloved, today you are surrounded by your family, your
friends, and your loved ones, all of whom have
gathered here today in the sight of the ONE to share your joy and
witness your marriage. Who gives this woman to be wed?

FATHER: I do.

(the Bride's father shall give the Bride's hand to the Groom, and then
take his seat)

MINISTER 2: This most sacred of bonds is not to be entered into lightly,
but soberly and advisedly, with openness and
honesty. I require and charge you both now, upon your honors, to
disclose any reason or impediment why you may not be
lawfully joined his day.

BRIDE/GROOM: By our honors, there are none.

(The Minister shall turn to the congregation and say:)

MINISTER: Likewise, I charge all of you now, upon your honors, that if
any know a reason that these two may not be lawfully
joined this day, to speak now or forever hold your peace.

(There shall be a short pause for any response)

MINISTER: (__Bride & Groom's Names__), life has no singular meaning so much as it is
made up of many meaningful events, some of which may
be specified and planned for. One of these is Marriage. As you know, no
minister, no priest, no rabbi, no public official can
marry you; you can only marry yourselves. By a mutual commitment to love
each other and to create an atmosphere of
consideration and respect, you can make your marriage come to life.

On this, the day of your marriage, you stand somewhat apart
from all other human beings. You stand within the
charmed Circle of your love, and this is as it should be, b u t love is
not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather
it should serve as a source of common energy, a form in which you can
find the strength to live your lives with courage. From
this day onward, you must come closer together than ever before, yet
your love should give you the strength to stand apart; to
seek out your own unique destinies, and to make your own special
contribution to that which is always a part of us, and more
than us.

A marriage that lasts is one which is continually developing,
in which each person is continually developing while
growing in understanding of the other. Deep knowledge of another is not
something that can be achieved in a short time. Real
understanding can only develop fully with years of intimacy. This
wonderful knowledge of another grows out of really caring for
the other so much, that one wants to understand as completely as
possible the intricacies of the other.

May you be blessed with this deep knowledge of each other
through all the days of your lives. Would you now
give your vows?

BRIDE/GROOM: We will.

MINISTER: What tokens do you give that you will keep these vows?

BRIDE/GROOM: We give these rings.

(The rings shall be given to the Minister, who shall take them in hand.)

MINISTER : The ring is used in this ceremony because the Circle is our
symbol for Spirit; that which was in the Beginning, is
now, and ever shall Be, Love, without end. In this ceremony, it is that
love which is deathless and eternal.

MINISTER: We ask now the Blessing of the One upon these rings. They are
bands of silver with the Tree of Life cast in relief
upon their surfaces. Let the bands represent eternity, love without end,
and let the trees represent the nurturement you will share
in that Love, now and always.

BOTH: And so it is.

(The Rings shall be taken by the Minister.)

(And if it is a Swordfasting, then the Minister shall take up the Sword,
and flourish it aloft, and then place it point-down in front
of him.)

(The Bride and Groom shall face each other, and place their hands upon
the Sword's pommel, with the Ministers placing his/her
hands over the Bride and Groom's.)

(the Minister #2 shall turn to the Groom, and say:)

MINISTER 2: (N), repeat after me:

GROOM, I take you as my wife. I pledge to share my life openly with you To
speak the truth to you in love And to honor and
cherish you all the days of our lives. I promise to love and tenderly
care for you For better and for worse For richer and for
poorer In sickness and in health In all storms and fair days we may
weather together For as long as we both shall live.I promise
to respect your needs, To support you in your endeavors And encourage
you as an individual Through all the changes of our
lives. With these words, I pledge my love.

(The Groom shall take the Ring)

And with this ring I seal my vows Now and forever.

(The Groom shall place the Ring upon the Bride's finger.)

(The Minister shall then turn to the Bride, and say:)

MINISTER: (Bride's Name), repeat after me:

BRIDE, I take you as my husband. I pledge to share my life openly with you
To speak the truth to you in love And to honor and
cherish you all the days of our lives. I promise to love and tenderly
care for you For better and for worse For richer and for
poorer In sickness and in health In all storms and fair days we may
weather together For as long as we both shall live. I
promise to respect your needs, To support you in your endeavors And
encourage you as an individual Through all the changes
of our lives. With these words, I pledge my love.

(The Bride shall take the Ring)

And with this ring I seal my vows Now and forever.

(The Bride shall place the Ring upon the Groom's finger.)

(Both Ministers shall then say:)

MINISTER: May you never hunger. May you never thirst.

(Here there may be an interlude of music)

MINISTER : At this time, I would like to speak of some of the things
that many of us wish for you. First, we wish for you a
Love that makes you both better people, That continues always to give
you joy And a zest for living, And provides you with the
energy to face the responsibilities of life.

We wish for you a Home, not a place of stone or wood, but an island of
serenity and sanity. We hope that this Home is not just
a place of private joy and retreat, But rather serves as a Castle
wherein the values of your life and family are generated and
upheld.

We hope your home stands as a symbol of humans living together in Love
and peace, Seeking Truth and nurturement through
each other.

We hope that it has within it the elements of Simplicity, Exuberance,
Beauty, Silence, Color and a concordance with the
Rhythms of Life.

We wish for you a Home with Books, Poetry and Music, For a home with all
the things that represent the highest strivings Of
men and women.

Finally, we wish that your lives be blessed with Spiritual Abundance,
and that your spiritual involvement be enhanced through
This marriage.

(The Minister shall turn to the congregation, and shall say)

MINISTER: Let us all stand together for the closing benediction, and the
passing of the Light.

(The congregation shall stand. The Bride and Groom to the Altar and
light the single candle from their and then shall light their
attendant's candles, and light the candles of the first person in each
row of the congregation. They shall then return to the altar,
and extinguish their candles, placing them on the altar, and return to
their place before the Ministers.)

May we all recognize that the Presence of the One has
already blessed you with the presence of each other.
Keep in remembrance the sacredness of this trust and the love knows no
end. May that Peace, which passes all human
understanding abide with you now, and for always.

BOTH: And so it is.

MINISTER: And for as much as (Bride) and (Groom) have expressed their desire to
be husband and wife, and showing their love and
affection by joining hands, and have made promises of faith and
devotion, each to the other, and have sealed these promises by the
giving and receiving of rings:

MINISTER: In the presence of this company of witnesses, by virtue of my
sacred stewardship and the power vested in me by
the State of __Your State__, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may kiss
the Bride.

(The Bride and Groom shall then recess from the altar, followed by their
attendants. The congregation shall be released by rows.)

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Handfasting

 

Invocation

"We stand firmly here on the Land, the land that is our foundation, the land
that is ever beneath us, the land that is our sure footing. We are
surrounded by the Sea, the sea that nurtures and envelops us, the sea that
is our eternal cloak. The Sky is above us, the sky who watches, the sky who
protects us, the sky who is our endless guard. We are here in endless time
and space, here in the Center of the Three Realms, the center of the Cosmos,
the Center of the ALL THERE IS."

"We are here in the midst of the Old Ones--the creative power of the cosmos,
the binding energy of the universe, life force of ALL THAT IS. We stand
centered with our feet on the ground of mother Earth out of whose depths
comes the bounty that makes our lives possible. We stand with the sky above
us--sheltering us, guarding us, holding sun and moon and skies and rainbows
and clouds all a part of the plan to keep us safe and secure. We stand
surrounded by the water of life that is the sea and all the moisture that
gives life to both our bodies and the earth herself--nurtured, rocked in
peace by the waves on the beach or the tumbling falls. We stand in the midst
of all that has been created, the beauty that has been given to us."

"And as we stand here, so surrounded and sheltered and held, we feel the
love of the Divine Ones swirling around us. The very creative forces of the
universe and the Gods that our people have sworn by from time out of mind
are with us here to honor this occasion of the handfasting of their
children, . Ancestors bride and groom>both are here with us to add their blessing and their
strength and guidance for the road ahead. The Spirits of this land that we
have worked and loved and have come to call home are here to watch and to
acknowledge and to bless and to remind us of our responsibility to the land.
We honor the Gods and the Ancestors and the Spirits of the Land and all who
are assembled as we witness the vows that our children have for each other."

To the Bride and Groom

To the Groom by name "When you became a man in the eyes of this people you
vowed:*

Not to take life just for the sake of killing
Not to kill a beast lying down, or a bird sitting
Not to kill the mother of a brood, or an unfledged bird
Not to kill the mother of a suckling, or a suckling beast

Not to sow seed just for the sake of sowing
Not to take advantage of a person whose wits are not about her
Not to sow seed on another's mother or wife, nor on a person who knows not
the consequences.
Not to sow seed on the mother of a suckling babe, or a babe."

"Are you now ready to take another vow to build a life with this woman, to
build a household and your own hearth?" This is not an easy task. There
will be moments of great joy and moments of great passion, but there will
also be moments when you are sure that the vision of liveliness you see
before you today has been maniacally transformed into the most irritating,
most annoying woman on the face of the planet. It is easy to hold to your
commitment when there is joy or passion, but it is the vow you say today
that will give your heart room to celebrate your love even in the midst of
the most trying of times.

The Groom to answer in the affirmative in his own words.

To the Bride by name " When you became a woman of this people you vowed:*

As an honorable woman of your clan, to:
Respect your woman's body with the care of a mother and the protection of a
father.
Honor your woman's mind with the challenge of strong thought and firm
judgment.
Empower your woman's spirit with the passion of truth and cultivation of
love.

All these things you vowed in the names of the Gods your clan swears by."

"Are you now ready to take a vow to build a life with this man, to become
the heart of your own hearth?" Tis not an easy task, my dear one. You will
have moments when liquid love for you shines out of his eyes, and there will
be moments that his touch excites you with fire, but there will also be
times when you are sure that you are in the presence of the most
exasperating, most opinionated, most irritating man in all the cosmos. It
is in those times, that the words you say here today open your being to true
compassion and absolute unconditional love.

The Bride to answer in the affirmative in her own words.

Name of groom, are you willing to treasure this woman and honor her, protect
her and joy in her? Are you willing to support her not only physically, but
also emotionally and spiritually? If there are children involved you may add
this. Are you willing to be in the place of father/mother to her/his
children and teach them and nourish them as if they were flesh of your
flesh? Name of bride, Are you willing to treasure this man, honor and care
for him and joy in him? Are you willing to support him not only physically,
but also emotionally and spiritually? If there are children involved, you
may add this Are you willing to share your children with him/her as you
truly blend many into one? Names of children, are you willing to be
respectful to the Elders the Gods have gifted you with and be a part of this
hearth? If you are so willing, now is the time to speak the words of the
commitment you make to each other.

The Bride, Groom and children if they are present speak the words they have
for each other and rings or other gifts can be exchanged.

Blessings (Specific blessings may be asked of patron saints, specific
Deities or other Divine entities as specific to the people being married.)

We ask the blessing of the Gods we swear by for these two people as they
bind together these two Clans and their lives. We ask that in times of joy
you would be present in their laughter, in times of trouble you would be
their strength, in times of seeking you would be there to guide and in the
changing times of human lives you would be the grounding and foundation that
is unchanging. We honor you for your presence and your blessing.

Bride's blessing (or insert blessing of other matron or saint)
Bless this hearth Brid
That your fire might kindle our spirits and warm our hearts
Let our household echo laughter.
Filled with love where there was once hate
Joy where sadness dwelled
Warmth where we were once cold.
Guide us to peace
Lead us to love
And hold us close in your arms.
Hail to Brid, Lady of fire, burn bright here.#

Manannan's blessing (Or blessing of other patron or saint)

Manannan- we ask your blessing on this hearth and these two so that when the
waves come in their lives, they might ride over them smoothly even as your
chariot rides over the waves of the sea. When enemies seek to come against
them, defend them and keep them in the eye of the storm. Let your
treasures be blessings in their lives of truth, strength, plenty and
protection from harm and the best of all blessings, that of laughter.
Manannan, let the sea that is our very life blood, nurture this union and
make this hearth strong.

And of course, you have my blessing. May your hearts be filled with joy.
May your hearth prosper. May your children grow into honorable men and
women. May your compassion assuage your anger when it threatens to erupt.
May your tolerance stay your tongue when it has sharpened itself into a
cutting blade. May your patience with each other manifest in the spirit of
compromise in the midst of differences. May you be strength for each other
in times of weakness and ill health. May you be comfort for each other in
times of sorrow. May the love you have for each other manifest as peace in
your hearth.

In the name of the Old Ones who have many names and many faces, known and
unknown, In the name of the Gods our people have been swearing by from time
immemorial, In the name of the One many of our people now swear by, in the
presence of the ancestors, in the presence of the land spirits, in the
presence of friends and family, I celebrate the love that is between you,
I acknowledge the commitment made in your vows to each other, and I
recognize your union.

Three things a person gains when their mate endeavors to be excellent: their
household peaceful for love of them, their children gentle in manners, and
the respect of their neighbors.

You may kiss the bride.

 


© 1998 Alix MacIntyre Hall

*taken from The Book Of Rites...Coming Of Age by Sítheag Nic Trantham bean
Bochanan ©1997 Clannada na Gadelica

#prayer to Bride written by Cristina FitzSimmons

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PAGAN HANDFASTING

(suitable for adaptation, spindling, folding and mutilating to fit many
occasions, including same-gender unions.)

This is written for a chapel service, but may be beautifully adapted for a
grove or other outdoor site. A rehearsal is essential, at
least for the handfasting and blessing of wine and cake, since it could get
confusing.

Before the rite begins and the Bride is dressed, the priest (P), priestess
(PS), bride (B), and groom (G), privately bless and charge the rings.
These are then placed on a wand (or perhaps in a shallow bowl for two-female
handfasting). A cord is loosely wrapped around the wand. The rings will be
carried by the Ring-Bearer.

Mother, bride and attendants prepare in one room. This may include a
women's blessing of advice and good wishes. The groom and men prepare in
another room and do likewise.

While all are preparing, and before anyone is allowed into the chapel,
grove, etc., the P&PS bless salt and water, bless fire and air, join the
elements, cast the circle. While the guests are seated by the ushers,
the P&PS quietly call the quarters, lighting the candles (there are great
candlelabras available for this from wedding rental places).
P&PS return to the altar. When all are seated, the ring-bearer enters,
hands the wand and rings to the PS. The maidens and groomsmen enter,
then the groom, and finally the bride (with her father, if she likes, alone,
otherwise) [ In same-gender unions, I would recommend the couple enter
together, or if their parents attend them, the eldest should enter first.]
When all have entered, the Warden or an usher should discretely close the
circle portal with flowers, sealing the circle.

Begin with a prayer of invocation to the God and Goddess. If you use names,
I'd recommend Deities appropriate to weddings (seems obvious, but...)

P&PS each hold an end of the wand with the rings.

PS: "We are gathered in this sacred place to join this man and this woman,
life to life and spirit to spirit."

P: "Place your right hands over this wand and your rings, his hand over
hers."

P: "Is it your wish (B's name) to become one with this man?" (B answers)

PS: "Is it your wish (G's name) to become one with this woman?" (G answers)

P: "If any would ask why these two should not be joined, let them stand
before the Gods and those assembled here and speak
now."

North voice: "I would speak. Do you have the means to support yourselves and
to provide for your worldly needs?"

PS: "Do you?"

Couple: "We do."

West voice: "I would speak. Do you love one another? Do you like one
another?"

P: "Do you?"

Couple: "We do."

South voice: "I would speak. Do you have the will to argue, if you must, to
air your problems, then stand together against
adversity?"

PS: "Do you?"

Couple: "We do."

East voice: "I would speak. Do you share your thoughts and ideas, burdens
and dreams?"

P: "Do you?"

Couple: "We do." A pause follows.

PS: "All challenges have been answered; let the rite proceed."

(This challenge is widdershins to banish all doubts and obstacles.)

P: "Do you (B's name) take (G's name) to be your husband, in the sight of
the Gods and all here assembled?" B: "I do."

PS:"Do you (G's name) take (B's name) to be your wife, in the sight of the
Gods and all here assembled?" G: "I do."

P takes cord from the wand (handing it to the PS), removes the rings and
gives each the other's ring. PS at this time may say a
word about the symbolism of the ring and perhaps mention the ring in which
the rite is taking place.

G then says his vows as he places the B's ring on her finger.

B says her vows as she places the G's ring on his finger.

(People nowadays often write their own vows, so I'll not add any here. "With
this ring I thee wed, to have and hold, " etc. is the
old style.)

The wand is given to the G and the chalice from the altar to the B. He
blesses the wine. B gives G a sip of wine, takes a sip
herself. P takes the wine. B takes the wand, PS gives the G the cake from
the altar. The cake is blessed. G gives bride a piece
of cake, takes a piece himself. (P&PS may take and receive wine and cake
from one another also if so desired but it's not
necessary.)

P: "Place your hands again upon the wand."

P: using the cord, the P binds the hands very loosely: "As your hands are
bound together now, so your lives and spirits are
joined in a union of joy, love, trust, and mutual support."

PS: "As the Goddess and the God and those within this circle are witness to
this rite, I now proclaim you are husband and wife,
thus are your hands fasted, two are now made one."

P: "You may seal your union with a kiss."

(P &PS may kiss the B&G, also, if everybody likes.) The P&PS may present the
couple to those gathered, as is sometimes
done.

Usher opens portal, B&G process out, followed by attendants who may
accompany parents and other honored guests. After all
have left, P&PS thank the Gods, release the quarters, open the circle.

Feasting should follow, photographs should be taken, the broom jumped, rice
should be thrown, and everybody should have a wonderful time.


~Author Unknown

 

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Handfasting Ritual - 1995 - Akathia

The entire area is first consecrated with salt, water, and
purifying incense such as ceder, frankincense, sage, or sandalwood.
Erect an altar and place upon it two, white, illumination candles, a
censor of incense, a dish of salt or soil, a brass altar bell, a wand,
a chalice of water, a cup of rose oil, a quartz crystal, the wedding rings,
and two white cords.

Cast a circle in a clock-wise direction using an athame or ceremonial sword.
Bless each guest with greetings and incense, then ring the altar bell thrice.

The couple enter the circle holding hands. They face the altar (north)
and bless them with greetings and incense. The wedding guests form a
human circle chain around the altar with the High Priest/ess and the
couple in the center. The High Priest/ess raises her arms to the sky
and says:

IN THIS SACRED CIRCLE OF LIGHT
WE GATHER IN PERFECT LOVE
AND PERFECT TRUST
O GODDESS OF DIVINE LOVE
I ASK THEE TO BLESS THIS COUPLE
THEIR LOVE, AND THEIR MARRIAGE
FOR AS LONG AS THEY SHALL LIVE
IN LOVE TOGETHER
MAY THEY EACH ENJOY A HEALTHY LIFE
FILLED WITH JOY, LOVE, STABILITY
AND FERTILITY.

Hold the dish of salt or soil before them and let each of
them place their right hand over the dish.

BLESSED BE
BY THE ANCIENT AND MYSTICAL
ELEMENT OF EARTH

The couple must than face east. Ring the altar bell thrice
and smudge the couple with incense.

BLESSED BE
BY THE ANCIENT AND MYSTICAL
ELEMENT OF AIR

The couple must then face south. Hand each of them a white candle
to be held in their right hand. Light the candles and hold the wand
above them as the High Priest/ess says.

BLESSED BE
BY THE ANCIENT AND MYSTICAL
ELEMENT OF FIRE

The couple must now face west. Sprinkle the water from the chalice
over their heads.

BLESSED BE
BY THE ANCIENT AND MYSTICAL
ELEMENT OF WATER

They must then return to the North. Anoint their foreheads with Rose oil
and hold the crystal above them.

MAY THE DIVINE GODDESS OF LOVE
IN ALL HER GLORY
BLESS YE WITH TOGETHERNESS
HONESTY AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH
FOR AS LONG AS YE BOTH SHALL LIVE
FOR THE MARRIAGE IS THE SACRED UNION
OF THE FEMALE AND MALE ASPECTS
OF DIVINITY

Then consecrate the rings with salt water.

LET ALL NEGATIVE VIBRATIONS
IMPURITIES AND HINDRANCES
BE CAST FORTH HENCE FROM
AND LET ALL THAT IS POSITIVE
LOVING AND GOOD
ENTER HEREIN
BLESSED BE THESE RINGS
IN THE DIVINE NAME OF THE GODDESS
SO MOTE IT BE.

They place the rings upon each other's fingers.
They exchange their vows and poetry.
Then consecrate the cords as the rings.
Then hold the cords side by side and have the man and woman take an end
and tie a knot. Tie it in the middle of the cord and say:

BY THE KNOTS ON THIS CORD
YOUR LOVE IS UNITED

Tie the hands of the couple together with the cord and have all the guests
visualize a white light of energy surround the couple as their auras join.
Everyone must raise the energy by chanting love!

BY THE POWER OF THE GODDESS
AND HER HORNED CONSORT
I NOW PRONOUNCE YE
HUSBAND AND WIFE
FOR AS LONG AS YE BOTH
SHALL LIVE TOGETHER IN LOVE
SO MOTE IT BE.

 

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PRIEST] We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of ____bride______ and ____groom______. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls,has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two, who stand before us, we can hope to leave with them the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time. The law of life is love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Groom and Bride have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family's blessing.

Bride, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

[BRIDE] Yes, it is true.

[PRIEST] With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you.

[FATHER] She comes with me, her father, and is accompanied by all of her family's blessings.

[PRIEST] Please join hands with your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say.

Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time doth pass, remember...

Like a stone should your love be firm like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly.

Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you unease, for God is with you always.

Groom, I have not the right to bind thee to Bride, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.

[GROOM] It is my wish.

[PRIEST] Bride, if it be your wish for Groom to be bound to you, place the ring on his finger. (places ring on Groom's left ring finger)

Bride I have not the right to bind thee to Groom only you have this right. If it be your wish,say so at this time and place your ring in his hand.

[BRIDE] It is my wish.

[PRIEST] Groom, if it be your wish for Bride to be bound to you, place the ring on her finger.(places ring on Bride's left ring finger)

(to Groom) Repeat after me:

I, (grooms full name), in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee (bride's full name) to my hand, my heart, and my spirit,to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.

(to Bride)
I (bride's full name), in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood, and the love that resides within my heart,take thee,(Groom's full name) to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my chosen one. To desire and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint,in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.

[PRIEST] (hands chalice to the groom,saying:) May you drink your fill from the cup of love.

(Groom holds chalice to bride while she sips then bride takes chalice and holds it to groom while he sips. The chalice is then handed back to the Priest who sets it on the table. Next the Priest takes the plate of bread, giving it to the groom. Same procedure repeated with bread, groom feeding bride and bride feeding groom.)

By the power vested in me by God and the State of [name] I now pronounce you husband and wife. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you.

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Handfasting Celebration

For Flame RavenHawk & FireWolfe of BirchTree Circle, May 1, 1999.
Facilitated by Cronelady, HPS and FastBison, HP - Elders of BirchTree Circle

Casting the Circle
Circle will be defined by Flame, FireWolfe, Cronelady and FastBison prior to arrival of guests.

A Guardian will be assigned to smudge guests as they enter the circle with sage from the shell bowl. After all have entered the circle, we will take a moment of silent interfaith Divine acknowledgment, asking that Spirit, as each individual knows/understands it, be present.

Opening Invocation (Cronelady)
What a beautiful day - the lusty month of May! What better time to conduct a Handfasting than on Beltane! Welcome!

Call Quarters: (Flame, FireWolfe, FastBison and Cronelady)

EARTH - (FastBison)
North, the physical realm - we present a dish of fertile soil. We ask for good health, a happy home and groundedness.

AIR - (Flame)
East, the mental realm - we ring a bell. We ask for wisdom and good and effective communication.

FIRE - (FireWolfe)
South, the action realm - we present the Athame. We ask for harmony and vitality.

WATER - (Cronelady)
West, the emotional realm - we pour water from the chalice. We ask for understanding and emotional support.

SPIRIT - (Guardian)
Center, the Spiritual realm. We drop some anointing oil into the fire.
(Each guest is anointed with a drop of the oil, if they so wish).
[crossed hands is "pass" - open hands is "accept".]
We ask for balance and Spiritual growth.

INVOCATION of the Goddess: (Cronelady)
My Lady, you who are Maiden, the embodiment of unconditional trust and love, the one who does not yet bleed; My Lady, you who are Crone, the wise woman, the one who is there at birth and again when we leave for the Summerland, you who holds Her wise blood inside; My Lady, you who are the Great Mother, who bleeds freely - You who blessed Flame with your presence and gave her a mission in this lifetime - come once again and rest in Flame now.

INVOCATION of the God: (FastBison)
Lord, who art the strength of the hunt, and the fire in our veins, the embodiment of the life that thrives on our mother's breast, the wisdom of the tribe, and the wild beat of the drum, We invoke thee to come and rest in FireWolfe now.

The GREAT MARRIAGE: (FastBison inserts Athame into Chalice held by Cronelady)

THE VOWS: (Cronelady)
A little over a year ago, Flame RavenHawk conducted a solitary personal HandParting, initiated by circumstances beyond her control, from the father of her children. Shortly thereafter, Flame and FireWolfe conducted a solitary personal Handfasting. Since it is exactly one year and one day since that dedication to each other, we gather here, before community, to witness a renewal of the vows they have already made with each other.
Others may ask at this time, "Who gives this woman to this man?" But Woman is not property to be bought and sold - given and taken. Therefore I ask Flame — "Do you come here of your own free will and accord?"

Flame: I do.

Flame and FireWolfe, please join hands and listen to what we say:
LOVE is a decision. Love can involve sexual unity and is all wound up with passion — but the physical unity should only be by mutual desiring. "Love is a decision" means understanding, acceptance and commitment to your beloved. Have patience with one another, for storms and change will come, but also will they pass. Be free with each other in giving and accepting affection and warmth. Know that Goddess and God is with you and in you, both forever and for all time.

UNITY CANDLE: (Cronelady)
As you rededicate yourselves before your community as witness, we acknowledge that you have shared many experiences as if you were one, but yet, you retain your individual identities. We invite you now to light this candle as a symbol of your Unity. May your love for one another be always symbolized by this flame, and may this light guide you in your new life together.

RINGS: (Cronelady)
Do you, Flame and FireWolfe, wish to rededicate your rings and your lives, one to the other?

Flame & FireWolfe: We do. (They do so privately).

Affirmation of Vows:
(Cronelady) FireWolfe, please repeat after me:
"I, FireWolfe, in all the names of God, and the love I have for you, I join with you, Flame, my chosen one."

(FastBison) Flame, please repeat after me:
"I, Flame, in all the names of the Goddess, and the love that I have for you, I join with you, FireWolfe, my chosen one."

APACHE WEDDING PRAYER (Cronelady)
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
You are now and forever will be two bodies,
But there is one life before you, together.
May your days be good and long upon Mother Earth!

FINAL BLESSING: (FastBison)
May the Four Winds Bless You, may you always Dream Gently, and May You Never Thirst!!


~Flame RavenHawk
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Handfasting Ritual
Officiated by couple

Set up altar
Unity Candle, taper candles to light unity candle, sage & feather fan for east, altar candle for south, chalice of moon water for west, rose quartz heart for north, Athame for casting circle, rings, cord

Cast Circle
(mark borders of Circle with Athame)
I hereby mark and define our Sacred Space. May only love be found herein.

(asperse Circle with Water)
I hereby cleanse this Sacred Space. May only love be found herein.

(smudge Circle with Sage)
I hereby purify this Sacred Space. May only love be found herein.

The Circle is cast. So Mote It Be.


Call Quarters
(call the Energies of East)
We summon and stir the Powers of the East; The bright light of the Rising Sun and of the Clarifying Wind. Bring with you clear vision and hope for a bright future.

(call the Energies of South)
We summon and stir the Powers of the South; The burning light of the Noonday Sun and of the Purifying Fire. Bring with you the heat of devotion and passionate love.

(call the Energies of the West)
We summon and stir the Powers of the West; The golden light of the Setting Sun and of the Cleansing Water. Bring with you the power of deep emotions and nurturing love.

(call the Energies of the North)
We summon and stir the Powers of the North; The Twilight of the Hidden Sun and of the Healing Earth. Bring with you the powers of solid support and enduring love.

(call the Energies of Spirit)
We summon and stir the Powers of Mystery; Above, Below, and about us. The mystics throughout time have all revered God and Goddess as the embodiment of Love. We hereby invoke the energy of love to charge our circle and witness our Rite.


Invoke God & Goddess
(Bride lays hands on Grooms shoulders)
I call upon the energy of the God to fill this man. Thou art God in my eyes. In the strength of your body, the knowledge of your mind, and the love of your heart, in all ways thou art God. He and thee are one. So mote it be.

(Groom lays hands on Brides shoulders)
I call upon the energy of the Goddess to fill this woman. Thou art Goddess in my eyes. In the strength of your body, the knowledge of your mind, and the love of your heart, in all ways thou art Goddess. She and thee are one. So mote it be.


Bless Rings & Cord
(Thread rings on cord)
These rings, circles without end, represent our love.
This cord represents our connection to one another.
We are connected by love.
Bless these rings and this cord, to always serve as a reminder of our love for one another.
So mote it be.
(Remove rings and place them with cord on altar)


Speak Vows
(Bride and Groom hold hands; each takes turns speaking)
We have shared the heights of joy and faced the depths of pain together. We have shared each others happiness and sorrow, and made it our own. Our lives are one. You have allowed me into your heart, where I see the love, beauty, and strength you have within. I am blessed by the gift of your love. I promise to love you to the depths of my being. I promise you my faith and trust. I offer you the gifts of my heart, mind, and spirit. I am honored to take you for my (husband/wife).
(Place ring on finger of partner)


Light Unity Candle
(Bride & Groom light tapers from altar candle. Light Unity Candle together.)
As we light this candle, let it represent this unity of our lives from this moment on. As this one light cannot be divided, neither shall our lives be divided. May the radiance of this one light be a testimony of our unity.


Bind Hands
(clasp left hands. Tie cord around wrists with three knots.)
Hand to hand... heart to heart. Our lives are joined. We are one.

(Kiss. Slide hands from cord, leaving knots intact.)

Open Circle
Lord and Lady, thank you for sharing our love and witnessing our sacred vows. Stay in our hearts always. Hail and farewell.

Energies of the East! Thank you for your presence in our sacred rite. Stay if you will, go if you must. Hail and farewell!

Energies of the South! Thank you for your presence in our sacred rite. Stay if you will, go if you must. Hail and farewell!

Energies of the West! Thank you for your presence in our sacred rite. Stay if you will, go if you must. Hail and farewell!

Energies of the North! Thank you for your presence in our sacred rite. Stay if you will, go if you must. Hail and farewell!


The circle is open, never broken. Blessed Be!
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