The Binding

The handfasting ceremony culminates in hand binding. In the past, couples would have their hands bound together and knotted with cord. Although some witches still like to use cord, many brides and grooms today opt for satin ribbons in purple, green, and white. These are about six and a half feet in length and wound around the bride’s and groom’s clasped left hands. The expression “tying the knot” likely derives from this ritual.

The high priestess coils the ribbons, weaving them in and out of the couple’s fingers before holding their tied hands in the air for a few moments. Ethereal, angelic music plays as the pair begin to walk around the circle, displaying their joined hands and sharing their happiness with everyone. In turn, the guests shower the newlyweds with rice (contrary to popular belief, it’s a myth that raw rice will injure birds). In Pagan times rice throwing was believed to transfer the spirit of the fertile grain to the bride and groom, ensuring that they would have a prosperous harvest and a fertile union.

Once this ancient ritual has been completed, the high priestess unties the couple’s hands and pronounces them handfasted; the groom then kisses his bride. However, it doesn’t end there, because many witches love to follow tradition and jump the broom, which has been propped up against the altar. The drummers bang on their drums as the newlyweds take a running jump over this ornate broom to finalize the marriage. The British phrase “living over the brush” comes directly from this custom; it signifies a couple who have not had an official wedding ceremony but are wed in the eyes of the community. At this point everybody cheers and applauds the newlywed couple and the ceremony is over.

The Sermon and Vows

There are many different types of handfasting services. They can last from around fifteen minutes to a half hour, and the ceremonial texts can vary considerably. Sermons are read and vows are exchanged, as in traditional non-Wiccan/Witch weddings; prewritten sermons are available on the Internet to download. In Angelic Wicca, the sermon focuses on angels; archangels are called upon to bless the couple to ensure that they go on to have a happy union together.

Once the bride and groom are standing in front of the altar, the high priestess takes a handful of salt and casts it at their feet. This is said to purify the ground they stand on. She asks the bride and groom to lower their heads, then throws a handful of salt above them to cleanse the air around them. After the high priestess has given her sermon and ask the angels to send eternal blessings, she take a small silver spoon dipped in honey and gently places it on the lips of the couple to sweeten their life together. A goblet of wine is then offered to each of them, and they drink in turn from the same vessel. The bridesmaids offer baskets to the couple and to all the guests; as the bride and groom each take a bite from theirs, so do their guests, to symbolize sustenance.

The bride and groom have usually written their personal vows in private and have not shared them with each other beforehand. Many witches like to stand at a lectern and speak their promises to their partner so that all can hear. When the vows have been spoken, the bride and groom exchange rings and the high priestess prepares to bind the couple’s hands.

The Ceremony

The service commences with the groom and the high priest or priestess approaching the altar, accompanied by hand drummers. Let’s imagine that this ceremony is conducted by a high priestess. The high priestess carries an ornamental cushion with colorful ribbons or cords, draped across it. These will be used later to bind the couple’s hands in matrimony. If it’s a breezy day, the ribbons are pinned to the cushion to keep them in place.

After the groom and the priestess have taken their places at the altar, the drummers return to the bridal party and drum the bride and the handmaidens into the circle. The groom’s attire is of his choosing: he may be wearing a frock coat or a fancy, colorful vest. The bride is usually color-coordinated with the groom. She may wear something long and flowing, not necessarily white, accessorized with a headdress or a wreath of seasonal flowers on her head and possibly a wand tipped with rose quartz. The bride has her handmaidens in attendance  throughout the service, and there can be as many or as few as she wants. Their costumes are often very witchlike – long, dramatic, gothic-style dresses in rich fabrics such as velvet, with colors ranging from deep purples and reds to vibrant turquoise. Each handmaiden wears a pentagram necklace or ring.

Guests, Gifts and Potluck

As with non-Wiccan weddings, the number of guests in attendance depends on how many people the couple chooses to invite. Most handfastings are very informal, and they’re usually not catered. Guests may be asked to prepare a signature dish, cook an old-fashioned delicacy, or bring a first-rate bottle of wine or a case of imported beer. These days, it is not so fashionable to buy large, expensive gifts or home appliances, most witches feel that small, homemade items or foods are more personal and allow each and every person invited to contribute in some way.

All of these offerings are placed on trestle tables, and once the wedding ceremony is over, the guests help themselves to the many mouth-watering contributions. Witches don’t tend to be materialistic, so this potluck arrangement is ideal for us and it keeps the cost to a minimum. I’m sure you’ll agree that this make the term ” the more the merrier” is very true indeed.

 As guests arrive, gentle music is played in the background, and each person is offered a glass of wine. Chairs are placed in a large circle around the altar (which is off-center in the circle), and the guests sit, drink and await the celebration.

Once all the guests are seated, the “right-hand man” (usually a member of the groom’s family or a good friend) walks into the circle, ringing a handbell. This cleanses the area inside the circle of any negative energy. The bride’s made of honor then takes dried lavender flowers mixed with small chips of rose quartz and casts them at the feet of the guests for good luck. At the same time, one of the bride’s handmaidens or bridesmaids follows the right-hand man, waving a smudging stick or some sage incense from the altar to further purify the circle.

The Witch’s Wedding Altar

For the ceremony, a lavish full-size altar adorned with a purple cloth is set up outdoors, often near water or a stream. Upon it are placed two large white candles representing the male and the female, and an elaborately decorated broomstick is popped up at the front. The cake, typically fruitcake, is placed in the center of the altar, along with a chalice of red wine, a plate of biscuits and a tiny pot of honey. The wine represents a creative union, The biscuits are a symbol to ensure that the couple will never starve, and the honey is to keep the union sweet. Crystals, such as amethyst and rose quartz, are scattered around the table, along with lots of seasonal flowers and petals. The altar can accommodate almost everything the couple chooses, such as photos, trinkets and personal items, but salt, water and incense are always included. These symbolize the elements and purify the space.

Ceremonial Officiants

As in the olden days, a high priest or priestess usually performs the handfasting ceremony either outdoors or in a place of worship, such as a Christian church. Rings are exchanged to symbolize unbroken union and the eternal circle of life  It is interesting to note that the wedding ring, which is traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, came to be place there because our ancestors believed that it sat over an artery that ran directly from the hand to the heart.

The high priest or priestess is traditionally clothed in a gothic-style outfit, usually in green, gold or lavender. These outfits typically include ornate headdresses, and the priestess may wear a crown graced with a variety of crystals and feathers. These high-ranking clergy are mostly mature members of covens who have a wealth of knowledge about spell casting and all things magickal.

Handfastings

The glitz and glamour of today’s white weddings actually derive from the ancient pagan betrothal ceremony called the handfasting.  The tradition of this hand-clasping ritual is believed to date back to Roman times. It is thought that a handfasted bride and groom initially took their vows only for a year and a day. After that time, if they were still madly in love, another ceremony was held to united them permanently. In the twenty-first century, Wiccans and Witches do still get handfasted but like most things, handfasting has evolved with the times. Angelic Wiccans tend to have ceremonies based on conventional handfasting, but with services attuned to the vibration of angels rather than the Pagan Gods and Goddesses.

Today’s Runes for July 19th is Algiz

Today’s Runes

Gold Runes are most commonly used for questions about business, career, and property. Algiz can be easily recognized as the antlers of the elk that it represents. The elk can represent victory, but is much more appropriately associated with the thrill of the hunt itself. This rune therefore can portend vigor and success in active endeavors. Also, this rune seems symbolic of a hand with outstretched fingers – a protective hand. This hand may suggest that you will be shielded from things negative – the problems still exist, you are spared the brunt of their force.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 19th is 58:Joy

58: Joy

Hexagram 58

General Meaning: A joy that is shared is symbolized by a group of friends playing, or a carefree young girl singing to herself while engaged in her work. Happiness is rising within, and spreading out into the world.

Joy arises through gentle means, but springs from a solid inner base. The power of pure joy should not be underestimated. The enjoyment of learning and discovery, for example, has let to great innovation and much material progress. Accordingly, that which brings the most joy into the world — love — is the source of life itself.

If happiness is supported by personal stability, it will eventually wear down the stiffest barrier and win over the hardest heart. True joy is a beacon in the world, and though it is indeed rare, its presence is an indication of great good fortune, both now and in the future. How could it be otherwise?

Today’s Tarot Card for July 19th is Triumph

Triumph

This Tarot Deck: Lovers Path

General Meaning: What has traditionally been known as the World card points to the presiding intelligence, called “Sophia,” or Wisdom, which upholds life on this and all worlds. A more precise title for this card might be “the Soul of the World,” also applicable as a symbol of personal empowerment and freedom. In most Tarot decks it is a female figure that has become our standard World image. She originates in Hebrew, Gnostic and Alchemical lore, and stands between heaven and earth as the Cosmic Mother of Souls, the Wife of God and our protector from the karmic forces we have set loose upon the Earth in our immaturity and ignorance.

Where the Empress energy secures and fertilizes our terrestrial lives, the goddess of The World invites us into cosmic citizenship — once we come to realize our soul’s potential for it. Just as the Chariot stands for success in achieving a separate Self, and Temperance represents achievement of mental and moral health, the World card announces the awakening of the soul’s Immortal Being, accomplished without the necessity of dying.

This card, like the Sun, is reputed to have no negative meaning no matter where or how it appears. If the Hermetic axiom is “Know Thyself”, this image represents what becomes known when the true nature of Self is followed to creative freedom and its ultimate realization.

Daily Horoscopes for July 19th

The planets are quiet today, giving us time to integrate all that has recently happened. The lack of noisy aspects also allows us to experience a deeper and often hidden side of the intuitive Pisces Moon. Instead of getting caught up in distracting fantasies, we can now tap into a more spiritual perspective. Still, we must be extra careful not to confuse the feelings that arise from our psychic impressions with our obligations in the real world.

 

Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Hiding out might sound like a good plan, especially if you’ve been overdoing it on the social scene. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about being alone for long because you’re too engaged with others to withdraw completely. It’s simply time for some rest. If possible, you would be wise to coast for a bit while you can today, since you’ll be raring to go tomorrow when the Moon returns to your fiery sign.

 

 

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

You don’t have to agree with everything that others want to do today, especially since jumping from one project to another isn’t your preferred modus operandi. Actually, it makes sense to find some time to chill out and dream about your future, rather than being so busy running around. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to avoid being part of the group for too long, so take advantage of the time you now have to relax.

 

 

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

Paying more attention to your career is a smart plan now that the Moon is visiting your 10th House of Public Responsibility. However, your dreams can overtake reality when you’re thinking about your professional objectives. Instead of assuming that anything is possible, temper your vision with a bit of common sense. Remember, you can’t just believe your way to success; you also need a sound strategy and the determination to follow through with it.

 

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

Your emotional involvement in planning your future makes it challenging today to separate your desires from reality. You might believe that your perception of a current situation is valid, yet it’s colored by your opinions more than you realize. Instead of being overly judgmental now, simply describe an event without showing your bias. There will be plenty of time later to express your feelings when it really counts.

 

 

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Your intuition is functioning very well today, enabling you to sense what’s happening underneath the surface. You don’t need anyone to tell you the details, but you should be careful because your perspective may be warped by an old fear that now comes back to haunt you. It’s healthy to remember what happened as long as you understand the difference between the present and the past.

 

 

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You may be concerned that your schedule is overbooked today, but you don’t see any way to cut back on your activities. You’re usually motivated to be efficient and do as others expect, but your dreams can be more pressing than what’s actually happening right now. There’s no reason to frustrate yourself by trying to bridge the gap between reality and your imagination. Give yourself permission to explore idealistic possibilities without having to make any of them come true.

 

 

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You cannot seem to get much accomplished today because you’re not being very practical. Your idealism is fueling your strategy and your plans may not be concrete enough. Unfortunately, you cannot fit your ideas into the narrow confines of a calendar. You’ll be happier now if you take action when you feel like it, rather than forcing your creativity to conform to someone else’s clock.

 

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

A creative stream of images floods into your awareness now, but you might have a tough time expressing your ideas to anyone. Although you could have a very clear picture established in your mind, it fades as your day unfolds. If you want to start a project that truly captures your imagination, do it today. Don’t wait for anyone’s approval because your excitement will begin to dissipate if you don’t act soon.

 

 

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Today’s Pisces Moon feels like the beginning of an end. You’re ready to call it quits and start something new, but you may be jumping the gun. Stick to what you’re doing for another day, even if you’re already bored. You’ll gain more now by sinking into your feelings about your past than distracting yourself by prematurely changing your direction.

 

 

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

It’s challenging to manage your schedule today as the diffusive Pisces Moon moves through your 3rd House of Immediate Environment. You might even mix up the time of an appointment or meeting. But reining in control by paying attention to details won’t work either, for someone else may be the source of trouble. Practice detachment and let your plans unravel if they must. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to put the pieces back together in a way that will work better than your original agenda anyhow.

 

 

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

A concerted effort to demonstrate how important your values are won’t prevent others from ignoring you if they disagree with your ideas. You still might try your hand at making an intelligent plea to muster support for your point of view. Fortunately, your words may have more impact than you realize because it’s nearly impossible to get a clear read on anyone now. Say what’s on your mind and then let it go. Don’t judge your progress until tomorrow.

 

 

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

The Moon’s monthly visit to your sign usually brightens the colors of your dreams. The edges of reality are softened, luring you into believing something that may be quite irrational. Don’t try to distinguish the differences between fact and fiction today because some of your beliefs could cross the line, flipping back and forth without concern for logic. See what changes the next few days bring before you make up your mind.

the daily humorscopes for tuesday, july 19th

the daily humorscope

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

 
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
You will narrowly avoid a collision on the sidewalk today, as a small giggling person runs past you, being hotly pursued by a weeping incoherent person waving a ham sandwich. Aside from that, a pretty typical day.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Some strange “hooting” creature will hide in your bushes today. You should be able to drive it off by whacking the bushes soundly with a kitchen broom.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
You are sad about an upcoming event, but can do nothing about it. Try knitting — people say it’s wonderfully relaxing.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Lately you feel blessed with great abundance, as though your cup runneth over. Basically, you just need a bigger cup.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
An elderly gentleman next to you on the bus will spontaneously combust, today, and you’ll become an instant celebrity when you put him out with a large diet coke. Eventually, they’ll make a prime-time TV drama about the incident.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Excellent day to come up with new theories to explain the universe around you. Remember: the simplest explanation is usually the best. For example, most physicists today subscribe to the “Big Band” theory of the creation of the universe. I have an alternate theory that I prefer, which I call “Tuba Ensemble”.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
You will soon learn to fear and loath the word “diaper”. Don’t know why.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
When you were young, your heart was an open book. You used to say “live and let live”. But if this ever-changing world, which we live in, makes you give it a miss, say “live and let die”. Or something.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Good day for a nice nap.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
Today is an excellent day to wink slyly at people, just as they are turning away. When they look back, smile innocently.
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
Good day to bring donuts to a meeting. Later, ask people how their diets are going.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Today you will be overcome with a sudden strong urge to learn to play a wooden flute while cavorting around in the forest. I recommend you treat those separately at first. You’ll find what you need under “Music, Instruction” and under “Cavorting, Instruction”. Don’t get talked into buying any cavorting supplies, though — they’re really only needed by professionals.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Good afternoon everybody! I hope you are having a fantastic Tuesday. It is hot as heck here. The temperature is 95 degrees but the heat index is 105. Who came up with this heat index thing anyway?

 I think you all know I am always trying to do things different were you won’t get bored. Today, while playing with the kitten and thumbing through some old books I can across something that is seldom talked about. It is handfasting. Few sites feature this topic at all. Then when you run across a site that does have it, it is just the sermons. So today I am going to do the basic dailys then the rest of the day will be devoted to handfasting. I believe we will all find it interesting. I hope you enjoy!