Here we celebrate births, deaths, handfastings and other rites of passage
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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Passages
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Article ID: 10042
Posted: July 23rd. 2005
Days Up: 3,189
Lady Sable And Erin Righ
by Sable Aradia
Well, I got married!
Actually, I was legally handfasted; our fledgling organization’s (Congregationalist Wiccan Association of British Columbia) first legal wedding. It’s one of the reasons why we formed, to have the right to legally conduct our own Rites of Passage, and I thank the Goddess that we have it.
There were two ceremonies, one in the privacy of my coven, and the other (the legal one) very public; as a matter of fact, we advertised it as a CWA event in our local community calendars and invited the general public to join us at Polson Park in Vernon. More than a few showed up too; those who were curious, and those who were Pagans who were part of the general Vernon Pagan and New Age communities, but not part of the email lists or regular CWA attendees. It was also attended by our friends, covenmates, co-workers, CWA congregation members, and chosen family. Our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen were not decorations; they called Quarters, offered the blessings of the gods, and assisted in the mundane tasks of handling the complex stuff of Pagan ritual. We spoke vows honouring the Divine Within each other in openly Pagan language, exchanged rings, were handfasted, and jumped the broom.
It is also significant that we were able to have the private coven ritual, which, like the public and legal one, was officiated by Sam Wagar and Priestessed by Rowean, my coven’s Maiden. There are traditional elements to a Witch wedding that simply are not suited to public environments; for instance, it was important to us to be skyclad (ritual nakedness) . Because the CWA clergy are also traditionally Initiated Witches, this was possible as well.
This is what Sam wrote on the topic (reprinted here with his permission) :
Dear sisters and brothers,
Well, I was honoured and delighted to perform my first legal wedding last weekend in Vernon. My friends Sable and Erin, who'd been handfasted seven years ago, were legally joined in a lovely ceremony (I wrote it, so I suppose I should be more modest) with the participation of about twenty-five people, including a couple of co-workers, friends and adopted family, plus one or two people who saw the newspaper announcement and showed up.
There was a private coven-only ritual the night before which contained those non-public elements of bloodletting and the ritual consummation of the marriage (while coveners stood around outside the door, made suggestive sounds and cheered them on). Althouh the public ritual was strongly and obviously Wiccan, with standard circle casting, evocation of the Goddess and Old Hornie, handfasting and sacred meal, there were a couple of elements that were inappropriate for cowans that were only in the private one. But the signing of documents and legal bits happened in public and friends' energy was joined together to help seal it all.
Many photos were taken, I understand, although I have not seen any yet. I imagine Sable will sort through them and post the best ones here.
Blessings of love,
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Location: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
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