Hand Fast

Whatever you do - don't break the circle!
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iriseyes
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Hand Fast

Post by iriseyes » Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:55 am

Does anyone have some info on a hand fast ritual???

I am going to do this as a private thing for me and my boyfriend.

Private being we will not have a shaman perform this for us.

I asked someone and they thought it ended with blood??

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Jescissa
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Post by Jescissa » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:15 am

Have a look at my review of "Inviting Hera's Blessing: Handfasting and Wedding Rituals" This book is very informative, gives info for all kinds of rituals at different levels of difficulty and pagan content.

Not all handfastings contain a blood rite, that is entirely up to you. If you do want to include a blood rite, the practicalities and necessity of making it clean and safe are not always romantic!

Let me know the kind of ritual you're looking for and I'll go through the book and send you rituals that might fit your requirements (you are always allowed to tweak rituals to suit you as well)
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye." - Miss Tick, Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men

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Post by Kystar » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:52 am

Remember, in the gods' eyes, you will basically be wed for a specified time period, ie- a year and a day, or such. Make sure you're ready for that kind of deep commitment to each other before going through with it. The Divine sometimes gets leary about promises made that don't last their term...sometimes you get questioned on other promises...though they understand that people grow apart sometimes over time...they still don't like it when solemn vows aren't followed. I guess it makes them wonder... :-?
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Post by iriseyes » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:37 am

Kystar wrote:Remember, in the gods' eyes, you will basically be wed for a specified time period, ie- a year and a day, or such. Make sure you're ready for that kind of deep commitment to each other before going through with it. The Divine sometimes gets leary about promises made that don't last their term...sometimes you get questioned on other promises...though they understand that people grow apart sometimes over time...they still don't like it when solemn vows aren't followed. I guess it makes them wonder... :-?
There are no worries here on lasting.. We have a deep connection, deeper than I have ever known.. We have been togather for 2 years and 1 month.. No arguments or anything... Its all good.
To thine own self be true.

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Post by iriseyes » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:42 am

Jescissa wrote:Have a look at my review of "Inviting Hera's Blessing: Handfasting and Wedding Rituals" This book is very informative, gives info for all kinds of rituals at different levels of difficulty and pagan content.

Not all handfastings contain a blood rite, that is entirely up to you. If you do want to include a blood rite, the practicalities and necessity of making it clean and safe are not always romantic!

Let me know the kind of ritual you're looking for and I'll go through the book and send you rituals that might fit your requirements (you are always allowed to tweak rituals to suit you as well)
Jessica: I really don't know what type of ritual, that is why I am asking.. I have done some research on this but I couldn't find much.. Thanks for the link to that topic..

This is what we are doing.. This will be personal with witnesses. I dont know where to begin.. What to buy for it, what to do so on and so on..
To thine own self be true.

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Post by Kystar » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:10 am

A handfasting is a pledge, voiced before the Gods and Goddesses, in a Sacred Circle.

Mainly, what's needed, is a length of colored cloth, almost a ribbon, or a number of colored strands, depending on what they mean. You need something for each element to cast the circle. Most have a broom or threshold there to be jumped.

Candles, incense, water/wine, cake, ribbon and sea salt are the things that come to mind.
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Post by Jescissa » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:31 am

Well, at its most basic, a handfasting involves two partners and a piece of cord (ribbon, scarf, cord, string etc.) The two partners make vows to each other generally promising to love, support and be exclusive to each other for a year and a day, as long as love lasts or forever. Your hands are then tied together with the cord to seal your vows, (once the ritual is over you can remove the cord!)

Unlike other faiths, there are no standard handfasting vows for Pagans and many couples prefer to write their own. They could be something like this though, "I, _____, offer you myself in marriage, as has been done throughout time. I pledge in honesty and with sincerity to be faithful and helpful to you, to strive to live in blessed peace."(Kaldera & Schwartzstein, pg 184) The benefit of shorter vows is that if you're not going to have an officiant/shaman/priestess/priest who will say the vows for you to repeat, you won't have to worry about remembering a lot of words when you're excited and jittery! :lol:

As for altar materials, Kaldera and Schwartzstein (who say they are Pagan, but I don't know which denomination) suggest that you will need the general altar materials, particularly a cup/chalice and a knife/athame if you want to include the symbolic Great Rite in your handfasting. And for some traditions (including the Celtic ones) it is important to have a broom close to hand, for the couple to jump over with their hands tied. The broom-jumping is also a nice point to close the ritual and circle with.

You also need to decide whether this handfasting is to be your legal marriage or not. If it is to be legal, you will need a legally recognised officiant/shaman there to sign your wedding certificate. They don't have to take part as shaman, but they would need to be there to observe the ritual. If it isn't to be legal it doesn't matter who is invited!
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye." - Miss Tick, Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men

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Post by SageWolf » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:20 pm

No wait Question???? Isn't handfasting just a year and a day, then after said year and a day, then you can decide if you want it too be permanate, it requires another ritual but it's all good. Also if after a year and a day you decide nope don't want to spend my life with you, then you can walk away with no bad reputation?

Handfasting was invented for Horny teenagers back in the dark ages I swear it was. But it was a saving face as well.

SageWolf

P.S. That is just my opnion
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Post by Jescissa » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:54 pm

No, historically a handfasting was a year and a day engagement, a trial marriage, followed by a Church marriage (in Christianized nations.) These days you don't have to have a year and a day handfasting before you decide to take the permanent plunge.

Some people choose to handfast for 'as long as love lasts' too, so if they feel that the love has left their relationship, the partners can walk away with no hard feelings.

My friends Welsh Wiccan are just having a permanent handfasting, not a year and a day one first.

The beauty of a pagan handfasting is that it is totally customizable for every couple's needs :-D Pretty much the same way Paganism is customizable for everyone who walks the path!
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye." - Miss Tick, Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men

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Post by iriseyes » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:46 am

Thanks for the information.. This is planned for the first part of April.. So I wanted to get started collecting things I need..

Some of the research I have done talks of the year and the day or the while it lasts version..

I have seen pics of this as on of my friends has done this..

My reason for doing this is the fact that I do not want a preacher performing nothing for me.. I have come to the realization that most things I have been taught all of my life are completely bunk and full of crap..
Come on even the bible has been changed so many times to suit man.. I will not get married in a church.

Have any of you guys done a hand fest???
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Post by iriseyes » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:48 am

Kystar wrote:Remember, in the gods' eyes, you will basically be wed for a specified time period, ie- a year and a day, or such. Make sure you're ready for that kind of deep commitment to each other before going through with it. The Divine sometimes gets leary about promises made that don't last their term...sometimes you get questioned on other promises...though they understand that people grow apart sometimes over time...they still don't like it when solemn vows aren't followed. I guess it makes them wonder... :-?
From my readings these cloths need to be something that represents your life together.. Is that correct..
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Post by Kystar » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:22 am

The ribbons can either respresent shared experience OR they can represent traits that you want to nurture in your relationship...like communication, prosperity, and such.

When Tony and I handfast this fall, our ribbons are going to represent, I think, growth, prosperity, fiedelity and paitence. He might want to add something, but that is what I was looking for.
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Post by Jescissa » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:47 am

Kystar wrote:The ribbons can either respresent shared experience OR they can represent traits that you want to nurture in your relationship...like communication, prosperity, and such.
Yup, and you can either have a ribbon (in the same colour) for each trait or use different coloured ribbons and invoke the colour correspondences. You could also ask each guest to bring a ribbon with them to tie your hands with, the ribbons they bring will be filled with their goodwill for you and your beloved :-D
Iriseyes wrote:Have any of you guys done a hand fest???
Not yet, but I'm going to be High Priestess for my friends' handfasting in September (so I've been reading up loads!) and before my boyfriend and I set off for our travels we're going to handfast as travel insurance :lol:

When my boyfriend and I hold our 'travel insurance' handfasting I was going to suggest we use cords that represent good times so we will carry these good times forward with us as we travel. We know a leathersmith who taught us a little of his craft, so I'm sure at least one of the cords will be a piece of leather worked by him.
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye." - Miss Tick, Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men

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Post by Kitsune » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:47 am

Hmmm, I'm having a handfasting soon (as everybody here knows, but has probally forgotten since I haven't mentioned it in months :lol: ), and I'm having a little problem with it.

We want to have the ritual in Belize on the beach(or in the forest, I'm easy to please), and it's not going to be Govermentally legal in any way. The government says we're common-law and that's good enough for me. :-D I don't need them or their priests at MY day. Hmmf.... :-D

But seriously, I want someone to perform the rite for us, but I can't find anyone pagan who even lives in Belize! Does anyone know a friend of a friend or something, that I could contact and ask them if they'd do it?

I don't really care which form is observed so long as I can discuss it with them online beforehand and make certain that I can tweak it a bit. :-)
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Post by forgotten oceans » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:47 pm

Try going to WitchVox and look under their World tab and Local Clergy, that should help some. :-D
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