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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.|
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?
This Tarot Deck: Lovers Path
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 humorscope
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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!