Rite Of Handfasting

April 16, 1994 CE

Joy and Tom Williams


MUSIC:

Beltane Wedding Dance by Gwidion. - While Circle forms, those entering are smudged by ASSISTANTS standing on both sides of SOUTH side of circle.

HP and/or HPS:

explain for non-Pagans the idea of Handfasting, why a circle instead of pews, etc.

CIRCLE CASTING (HPS casts circle followed by FLOWER MAIDEN strewing petals):

We cast the circle of ancient lore;
Waves upon a timeless shore.
With no beginning, nor an end;
It always knows a foe from friend.
Oroboros, of legends old;
Rings of power, forged in gold.
Circle of Life, ring of stones;
Cycle of creation, birth to bones.
A ring around the silv'ry Moon;
We cast you now, o ancient rune!

QUARTERS:

(CRYSTAL BEARER takes crystal from altar and gives it to the EAST quarter caller. Caller invokes power holding up CRYSTAL. When done, the caller hands CRYSTAL back to bearer who takes it to the next quarter. After NORTH, bearer places CRYSTAL back on altar.)

EAST:

I call the Eastern powers of air,
You whose breath of life we share,
Bring understanding, kindness, care,
And loving words, both clear and fair,
Come bless this day our rite of love,
As below then so above.

SOUTH:

I call the Southern powers of fire,
Whose light doth stir the poet's lyre,
With love's bright spark our hearts inspire,
Bring passion's flame, bring sweet desire,
Come bless this day our rite of love,
As below then so above.

WEST:

Oh powers of the Western sea,
Oh water's flowing unity,
Bring feeling, warmth and empathy,
That all our lives may blessed be,
Come bless this day our rite of love,
As below then so above.

NORTH:

Oh Northern powers of living Earth,
Charge our souls from death to birth,
On solid ground of rock and loam,
Bring forth our food and build our home,
Come bless this day our rite of love,
As below then so above.

GODDESS INVOCATION (HP)

Laughter-loving Aphrodite!
Venus Amathusia!
Come to me with laughing breast,
Come on waves with golden crest,
Come with doves and golden light,
Drawn by swans and sparrows bright.
Alight! Alight!
I am thy man, I am thy mate!
Receive me till our storm abate!
Thy green glades echo with my calls,
Come to me from emerald halls,
Flanked by maidens winding there,
Rose and myrtle in thy golden hair,
Come to me! to me! to me!
And mate with me upon the grass,
Laughing, lusty, oh ravishing lass!
Our bodies arch and strain and twine,
I am thine and thou art mine!
Come from heavens of azure hue,
Ocean born and ever new,
Pulsing, laughing, yearning straining,
Pleasure, lust, all life containing,
Race with me through glades of green,
Exalting, loving, oh rapturous queen!
To me! to me!
Oh come to me!
And enter, merge, enfold, unite!
Suffuse desire with golden light!
Never sated in eons of time,
I am thine and thou art mine!

GOD INVOCATION (HPS)

Oh horned one, goat-foot,
Great God Pan!
Come to me with eyes of fire,
And with thy pipes awake desire,
Come with wild and lustful grin,
Herald of your flame within,
Io Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan, Pan, Pan!
Shout to me from scented wood,
The call of all that's wild and good,
Come to me with shaggy thighs,
And let the hills return our cries,
Come with satyrs bearing wine,
I am thine and thou art mine!
Come with joyous lusty laugh,
Come with swollen ruddy staff,
Race with me through halls of green,
Thou art my God and I your Queen,
And spend with me a tender hour,
Making love within my bower,
To me! To me!
Oh come to me!
And come oh God of stream and wood,
Oh God of life and all that's good,
Never sated in eons of time,
I am thine and thou art mine!

HPS:

And by your rites of sacred marriage I invoke ye:
Shiva and Parvati
Jove and Juno
Dagda and Boyne
Odin and Freya

HP:

And by your sacred rites of marriage I invoke ye:
Persephone and Hades
Nuit and Geb
Rhiannon and Pwyll
Ishtar and Tammuz

HP & HPS:

Blessed Be!

ALL:

Blessed Be

HP:

Our work today is a happy one. We are gathered in the presence of the deities of the fruitful trees, the flowing waters, the warming sun and the sighing air, and in the sight of the Goddess of our Blessed Earth to celebrate the joining of our two dear friends Joy and Tom, in union by the fasting of their hands by ancient rite.

HPS (holding up CORD):

This is the cord of Handfasting. It will tie Tom and Joy together with bonds of love. For such bonds to be strong they need support - the support of the lovers themselves, the support of the Gods and the support of a community of family and friends. we ask now that each of you give your support, letting it flow as loving strength into the cord as it is passed around the circle.

ALL SING:

Love is a River (as CORD is passed around circle)

HPs (to assistants):

Now open the circle, cut wide the gate, for two are coming who would be made one!

ASSISTANTS:

(Open gate at SOUTH and stand at each side as couple enters. They then take BROOM from altar and lay it across the gate, remaining there with the circle joined together again.)

(HP: Rings bell three times. Processional, Spring Strathsprey by Gwydion, vocal)

(Couple walk hand-in-hand deosil around the inside of the circle. After a full turn around the circle, GROOM stops in the WEST while BRIDE continues on around to the EAST, at which point they both approach the altar from opposite directions.)

(Music ends when all are in place, or the song is ended.)

HPS:

Brothers and sisters, the Bride comes from the heart of the dawn, and the Bridegroom from the sunset. There is a wedding in the valley; a day too vast for recording! There is magic to be done here; the magic of Love!

HP:

You have come together in this sacred grove to stand in the presence of our Lady of Love and our Lord of Lust, that they may bestow upon you their bountiful blessings of everlasting love and devotion through the sacred rite of Handfasting. This is a bond not to be entered into lightly, but with seriousness, reverence, and joy.

HPS:

Is it your intention, Tom, to be wed to Joy in the sight of the gods and of these people? to be tied to her in giving, in dreams, and in intentions, and to vow to her your love and commitment?

GROOM: (answers)

HPS:

Have you considered the gravity of your commitment?

GROOM: (answers)

HPs:

Have you considered the levity of your commitment?

GROOM: (answers)

HP:

Is it your intention, Joy, to be wed to Tom in the sight of the Gods and of these people? to be tied to him in giving, in dreams, and in intentions, and to vow to her your love and commitment?

BRIDE: (answers)

HP:

Have you considered the gravity of your commitment?

BRIDE: (answers)

HP:

Have you considered the levity of your commitment?

BRIDE: (answers)

HPS (facing BRIDE and holding up PENTACLE):

Joy,
Thou shalt be the star that rises from the twilight sea
Thou shalt bring a man dreams to rule his destiny
Thou shalt bring the moon-tides to the soul of a man
The tides that flow and ebb, and flow again,
The magic that moves in the moon and the sea;
These are thy secret, and they belong to thee.
Thou art the Eternal Woman, thou art She,
The tides of all men's souls belong to thee.
Danu in heaven, on Earth, Persephone,
Diana of the Moon and Hecate,
Veiled Isis, Aphrodite from the sea,
All these thou art, and they are seen in thee.

HP (facing GROOM and holding WAND):

Tom,
All wild creatures hear thy call upon the haunted wind.
Within thy soul the Horned One returns to Earth again.
Together you shall manifest the magick of the man
And falcons soar from out the sky to perch upon thy hand.
The serpent's wisdom thou shalt learn from tip of forked tongue.
The fleetness of the white stag's flight in starlight or in sun.
Lord of Light and Lord of Shadow; keeper of the key
Which unlocks the door of dreams, whereby men come to thee.
Cernunnos, Tammuz, Horus, Pan; by name we set thee free!
0, Shepherd of the wild woodland, may thou be one with he!

(HP turns to HPS holding WAND. HPS picks up CHALICE and ATHAME; anoints with water, touches to flower petals; censes; then places over WAND. The HP & HPS hold WAND aloft between them.)

HPS:

Above you are the stars, below you are the stones.
As time passes, remember...
Like a star should your love be constant,
Like the earth should your love be firm.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience each with the other,
For storms will come, but they will go quickly.
Be free in giving of affection and of warmth;
Make love often, and be sensuous to one another.
Have no fear, and let not the ways or words of the unenlightened give you unease.
For the old gods are with you,
Now and always!

HP (holding wand):

Is it your wish, Joy, to become one with this man?

BRIDE: (answers)

HP:

Then give him your vow.

BRIDE:

I, Joy wed you, Tom and pledge to build with you a place of love, nourishment and happiness within our hearts and within our home.
I pledge you love, honor and trust. love, both soft and tender and love suffused with passion and playfulness; love which will honor your inner deity, endure hardship and nurture honesty, trust and devotion.
I pledge to support and cherish your growth in the human adventure; to explore with you the wonders of life; to hold you in my love when you are ill or sad and to nurture your healing, growth, development and actualization. As you evolve so shall I for we are as one and reflect one another.
I promise to create a home with you that shall be a haven for us both, a place of welcome for family, friends and lovers and a place of comfort in times of sorrow. I promise to love, honor, protect and nourish you as long as we both shall live

HPS:

Is it your wish, Tom, to become one with this woman?

GROOM: (answers)

HPS:

Then give her your vow.

GROOM:

I, Tom wed you, Joy and pledge to build with you a place of love, nourishment and happiness within our hearts and within our home.
I pledge you love, honor and trust. love, both soft and tender and love suffused with passion and playfulness; love which will honor your inner deity, endure hardship and nurture honesty, trust and devotion.
I pledge to support and cherish your growth in the human adventure; to explore with you the wonders of life; to hold you in my love when you are ill or sad and to nurture your healing, growth, development and actualization. As you evolve so shall I for we are as one and reflect one another.
I promise to create a home with you that shall be a haven for us both, a place of welcome for family, friends and lovers, and a place of comfort in times of sorrow. I promise to love, honor, protect and nourish you as long as we both shall live.

HP:

Does any say nay?

GROOM:

Then we are happy, but we would yet ask the blessing of the May Queen on our union.

BRIDE:

Oh Queen of the May, we ask your blessing on our union and on our connection with this land which is our home upon the Earth.

MAY QUEEN:

As you marry, take my blessing and the blessing of our Mother Earth that you may live long within Her breast and flourish in Her abundance. (Takes cord from the altar and hands it to HP and HPS) I bid you bind them in love with my blessing,

HP & HPS (tying the hands of bride and groom together with the cord):

This day you marry your friend, the one you love, laugh with, live for, dream with.

HP (handing ATHAME to GROOM):

This knife is for the troubles that lie ahead.

HPS (handing CHALICE to BRIDE):

This cup is for the love that conquers them.

GROOM (holding up ATHAME):

I bring the energy of yang, active, bright, logical and hard. I bid you blend these energies with yours to make us whole and keep this token on the altar of our love.

BRIDE (holding up CHALICE):

I bring the energy of yin, dark, intuitive, flowing and soft. I bid you blend these energies with yours and make us whole and keep this token on the altar of our love.

(GROOM dips ATHAME into CHALICE)

HP:

Yin and yang, male and female, light and dark. neither may stand alone, but out of their eternal interplay the universe is born. So it is above and so it is here below.

HP:

Now share you the water of life, the blood of the sacred Goddess our Mother Earth, water that binds us and all living things to her body.

(BRIDE and GROOM share water and kiss)

HP:

Out of the billions of the Earth, these two have come, have looked into each other's eyes, and are now made one. Their ways have converged and shall now be together. In our deepest being we hope that their path may be pleasant and the sky fair where they reside. But if trouble comes, as it can surely come to all, may the pressure of the trial only bring them more closely together. With clasped hands and united hearts, may they bear life's sorrows together and share life's joys together.

(BRIDE pours libation and speaks however she is moved, then hands CHALICE to GROOM, who sips, libates and passes cup to HPS, who sips, libates and passes CHALICE to HP. COUPLE then moves around the circle deosil greeting guests while chant is sung: I am the Heart and the Soul of Creation, then return to altar.)

HPS (gives Navajo Wedding Blessing):

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you shall be the warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you.
Now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon this Earth.

(GROOM thanks guests and invites them to the feast.)

(ASSISTANTS open the gate in SOUTH where the BROOM has been lying and hold the broom a LITTLE off the ground. HP and HPS: lead the chant: JUMP THE BROOM! as COUPLE runs around the circle and jumps the BROOM on the way out.)

HP & HPS (Stand on opposite sides of altar, raising arms):

We thank you Gods and Goddesses of the Sacred Marriage for attending and blessing this, our rite of life and love. We bid you now, Hail and Farewell!

ALL:

Hail and Farewell!

HP:

Oh mighty Lord of life and death, whose hooves dance upon the altar of Time and whose pipes play the song of never-ending, we thank You for Your blessing and bid You now Hail and Farewell!

ALL:

Hail and Farewell!

HPS:

Oh gracious Goddess, Queen of love and birth whose body is the green and flowering Earth and the dust at whose feet are the stars of heaven, we thank You for Your blessing and bid You now Hail and Farewell!

QUARTER CALLERS:

We thank you now, oh powers of Earth (Water, Fire, Air)

HPS:

All from air into air, let the misty curtain part.
All is ended, all is done
What has been must now be gone!
What is done by ancient art
Must merry meet and merry part!
AND MERRY MEET AGAIN!

Well, there it is. It was beautiful. And so smooth. Hope you all enjoyed it. Tom wrote the invocation to Pan and Aphrodite. If you want to use it though would expect people to ask permission to use it, since it is copyright protected in the Green Egg.

Anyway, this is a guide, and it is OUR h-fasting. People can use it as a guide, but it is much more magickal if you create your own.

Thou art Goddess!
Joy Williams
Quote of the moment:
We should build an Intel processor out of penguins.

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