Here we celebrate births, deaths, handfastings and other rites of passage related to the online Witch community
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Starwind and Mikal Evensong |
Handfasted May 10, 2003.
In a ceremony to legalize their handfasting vows made at Beltaine in 1999, Starwind and Mikal Evensong were wed at Florida Pagan Gathering, an event attended by over 400 fellow Pagan folk, at Boyd Hill Park in Tampa, Florida. The relationship that began as a friendship six and one half years earlier -- a seemingly pre-destined meeting in a Pagan chat room on Talk City, during a discussion lead by Starwind -- was celebrated and made official on May 10, 2003.
The weekend was hot (record highs in the 90s), the humidity was high, the mosquitos were heavy, the female alligator living in the pond near their campsite was looking for a mate and singing all night, the birds started singing early every morning... but even with all that, it was an incredible, loving and magickal weekend. The gorgeous campsite was filled with a gathering of 10 tents full of friends in the immediate area, and other friends on the festival grounds. Surrounded by trees, a pond (where the 'gator lives) and other plant life it was pretty much secluded from the main concentration of tents and events, just perfect. A large hawk paid regular visits and a woodpecker, an ibis, and a cardinal also dropped by on occasion.
After arriving at the festival on Thursday Star and Mikal went off to their first workshop, one on invocations and chanting led by Circle Sanctuary leader Selena Fox. At the suggestion of friends who knew her from the various Pagan Spirit Gathering events they have attended, the couple asked Selena to be the High Priestess for their wedding rite. Even though they had never met her before, she graciously and enthusiastically agreed.
The ceremony, a completely Pagan event, was held Saturday afternoon in a beautiful spot in a shady grove of mature oak trees. The wedding procession was led by two very good friends: Bill, a former professional musician who beat out a throbbing Pagan cadence on his djembe and Thorwolf, a follower of the Norse path who, despite the heat, donned his full Viking regalia. Next in line were the bride and groom followed by the High Priest and gatekeeper of Moonpath CUUPS of Fort Lauderdale, Spelcastor, a good friend who recently acquired his legal marrying credentials though Covenant of the Goddess, and High Priestess Selena, who shook her African-made sistrum the whole time. They were followed by the rest of the party, about 20 or so close Pagan friends.
Once at the grove, the wedding party formed a circle around the the bride, groom, HP, and HPS. The quarters and invocations were called in rhymes that Mikal had written and then vows Starwind had written were repeated, all to the accompaniment of Selena's sistrum. Although Mikal got all choked up and emotional during his vows he managed to get them said. Selena's boundless energy made the ceremony a truly remarkable, high powered event.
After the blessings were made and the rings were exchanged, Thorwolf stepped forward with a horn of mead from which the bride and groom made libations and drank deeply to put the final seal on their contractual union. The horn was then passed around so the mead could be shared by all, then refilled and passed around again. Finally, after all the hugs, congratulations, and photos, all were invited back to the camp site for a drink and to sit, talk, and make merry in the welcomed shade of the canopies.
While far from conventional, it was just what Star and Mikal wanted... a small quiet affair surrounded by a few good Pagan friends and nature, and all very magickal.
Top Photo: The ceremonial kissing of the bride is depicted in the attached photo. In the background, from left to right, are DawenWalker, Troy and Selena Fox
Second Photo: Left to right: Spelcastor, Mikal, Starwind, Selena Fox. Photo credit: Gigi.
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