Pretty much there can be a Ceremony for whatever one wants, Rites of Passage etc. The main ones include:
- Hand Fasting (see below) which represents joining hands for people in a serious relationship.
- Dividing the Paths a ceremony for people who no longer wish to be joined.
- Naming, well obviously we would not have a Christening.
- Returning the Spirit, for animals as well as people, or even a beloved object, because everything contains energy otherwise it would not be an object in the first place.
"It was early morning when a group of people gathered together at the Dolmen du Couperon near Rozel. The sun hadn’t yet risen; the air was clear and sharp and filled with a faint tangible force that seemed to have an effect on the people gathered there. Everyone was in an apparent state of excitement and some were busily occupied.
Although the weather was dry, it was very cold… so what took these people to such a place early in the morning on a cold and lonely cliff top?
As they busily finish their arrangements the reason soon became clear; they have done so for one of the oldest rites known to man. For a Hand-Fasting or Pagan Wedding! The joining together of two people in the sight of the God and Goddess, in the most natural of surroundings. But why at that time of day? To a Pagan it’s the beginning of a new life together so it follows that it should be performed at the New Moon, in the first flush of the day, with the Sun just rising over the horizon to shine on the couple with the blessing of the new future.
Their belief in the Sun and Moon is symbolic of the male and female forces or energy. They’ re not worshipped in their own right, but only as the symbolic dual forces of nature. As to the above gathering, we will watch and see in our own imagination that which occurs.
The group have separated and the ladies robe up in the Napoleonic shelter. After them the men change. The alter has been prepared with white candles, denoting purity of love and intention. A dish of incense especially prepared for this ceremony, a dish of purified water , a chalice and two wands. The rings for the couple lie on the alter and overlooking all are the figurines of the God and Goddess.
The couple stand to the side whilst the circle is constructed of light. The Watcher calls on the Guardians of the elemental ¼’s of the compass. The Priest prays to the God to attend, the Priestess prays to the Goddess to attend. The Handmaidens recite poetry to the God and Goddess… as tribute. The Guardians are present to watch over the ceremony and to protect the participants from evil influences. The God and Goddess are present to rejoice and give their blessings to the couple. The air is now filled with a strong force and energy of love and harmony.
The couple are called and they identify themselves and state their willingness to be joined. At this point the Sun sent forth its first rays of light in blessing, the birds begin their chorus and unseen by the gathering, small rabbits peeped from the surrounding undergrowth. It’s quite unreal and makes one fell that one has slipped back in time to witness an event that would have been so natural and normal in our ancestors’ day, it is very emotional.
The Priestess asks the man if he will take and keep the Lady in love and in harmony, an oath of sincerity which he freely gives with a loving look at his beloved bride. The Priest then asks the same of the Lady and she freely gives her oath in turn. The Priest and Priestess bless the rings and hand each to the couple with a blessing. The couple then exchange rings with a declaration of love.
After the giving of the rings, the Priest and Priestess bless the couple with love, harmony and long-life. A dish of cakes and a bottle of Breton Mead-Chouchen are dedicated and blessed to the Lord and Lady. Each is offered as libations, and then to the happy couple as a Handmaiden recites a poem of dedication.
The cakes and mead are then offered round the circle. The final blessings are pronounced and the couple are given hugs and kisses from all.
The Guardian then thanks the elemental guardians of the ¼’s for their care and attendance. He then bids them hale and farewell. The Priest and Priestess give thanks to the Lord and the Lady and the Guardian closes the circle of light.
Everyone now offers congratulations and friends outside of the circle can now join in with the cakes and the Mead. After the celebrations, everyone was careful to ensure that the sacred site is left clean and tidy. It was a very memorable and moving ceremony performed with love and friendship, in turn creating new bonds of happiness and friendship.
A day which my Husband and I will not forget because the ceremony was performed by our friends for our hand-fasting. We thank those lovely people for doing this."
This page was taken from “Rainbow Bridge”. A publication by Steve Le Geyt