The Handfasting of Deborah and Aaron 

April 24, 2004

 

The circle is laid out as above.  The marriage tent represents the join of earth and heavenly forces.  The marriage tent is constructed of 4 poles of willow bound by cross members of willow.  It has a covering made to represent the heavens.  The cover will be removed at the end of the ceremony and used to wrap the couple as a way to symbolize the blessing bestowed up them.

 

The “C” are candles that should be lit as Aaron and Deborah make way around the circle.  The four candle at the marriage tent should be lit before the ceremony begins. 

 

The “Entry Arch” has a veil that separates the circle from the outside world.  It is the only entrance and exit to the circle once the circle has been setup.  The arch is a doorway, a time of decision.  It is leaving the past behind and becoming something new.
---D&A approach from the east, walk once around the circle and stop at the archway.  The candles are lit as they walk the path around the circle.  The final two candles on the edges of the archway are lit after Aaron and Deborah have stepped through.

 

HPS : “Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties

between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the

ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.”

 

HP : “With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be married

before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.”

 

HPS : “The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross

the years and lives of each soul's growth.”

 

HP & HPS : “Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?”

 

D&A : “Yes, We Seek to Enter.”

 

---A enters through arch.

 

HP : “Blessings from the God”

HP anoints A

 

HPS : “Blessings from the Goddess”

HPS anoints A

 

---D enters through arch.

 

HP : “Blessings from the God”

HP anoints D

 

HPS : “Blessings from the Goddess”

HPS anoints D

 

HP : “In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this

belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this

tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.”

 

HP : “Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh

beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.”

 

HPS : “Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart's

passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.”

           

HPS : “Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift

excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.”

 

HP : “Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields

to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.”

 

HP : “Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you

build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order

to create what you seek in this union.”

 

HPS: “I bid you look into each others eyes.”

 

D&A : Hold hands in a figure 8 (a representation of the lasting effect of their choice)

 

HPS: “Aaron, Will you cause her pain?”
A : “I May”
HPS : ”Is that your intent?”
A: “No”

 

HP : “Deborah, Will you cause him pain?”
A: ”I may”
HP : “Is that your intent?”
D: “No”

 

HP : “Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?”
D&A : “Yes”

 

HP&HPS : “And so the binding is made. Join your hands”
*First cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands*

 

HP:  “Deborah, Will you share his laughter?”
D: “Yes”

 

HPS : “Aaron, Will you share her laughter?”
A : “Yes”

 

*To Both*

HPS : “Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?”
D&A : “Yes”

 

HP&HPS : “And so the binding is made.”

*Second chord is draped across the couples hands*

 

HP :  “Deborah, Will you burden him?”
D : “I may”
HP :  “Is that your intent? “
D : “No”

 

HPS : “Aaron, Will you burden her? “
A : “I may”
HPS : “Is that your intent? “
A : “No”

 

*To Both*
HPS :
“Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? “
D&A : “Yes”

HP&HPS : “And so the binding is made.”   

*Drape third chord across the couples hands*


HP :  “Deborah, will you share his dreams? “
D : “Yes”

 

HPS : “Aaron, will you share her dreams? “
A : “Yes”

 

*To Both*
HPS :
“Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes? “
D&A : “Yes”

 

HP&HPS : “And so the binding is made.”
*Drape fourth chord across the couples hands*

 

HPS : “Aaron, will you cause her anger? “
A : “I may”
HPS : “Is that your intent? “
A : “No”

 

HP :  “Deborah, will you cause him anger? “
D : “I may”
HP :  “Is that your intent?”
D : “No”

 

*To Both*
HP :
“Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union? “
D&A : “We Will”

 

HP&HPS : “And so the binding is made.”
*Drape fifth chord across the couples hands*

 

HP :  “Deborah, Will you honor him?”
D : “I will”

 

HPS : “Aaron, Will you honor her? “
A : “I will “

 

*To Both*
HPS :
“Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor? “
D&A : “We shall never do so “

 

HP&HPS : “And so the binding is made. “
*Drape sixth chord across the couples hands*

 

HPS : “The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords but instead by your vows. Either of you may

drop the chords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union. “

D&A : Tie the cords

 

HP : “The blessings of the God.”

HP : Ties the cords

 

HPS : “The blessings of the Goddess.”

HPS : Ties the cords and removes them to be placed on the altar.

 

HP : “As you have made an inward agreement to join your lives together, much of the world can not see what

resides on the inside.  The rings are gift representing Aaron and Deborah’s love for one another, as they

exchanged rings, they also exchange the gift of consideration with one another.”

 

HP  : gets the wands with rings from the altar.

 

HP : to Bride : “Deborah, I have not the power to give you to another.  If you wish to be Aaron’s wife, take

your ring and place it in his hand.”

 

D : take ring places it in A’s hand. A takes ring and recites vows while place it on D’s finger.

A: “ I, Aaron Schmidt, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within

my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee Deborah to my hand, my heart,

and my spirit to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be

possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself. “

 

HP : to Groom : “Aaron, I have not the power to give you to another.  If you wish to be Deborah’s wife, take

your ring and place it in her hand”

 

A : take ring places it in D’s hand. A takes ring and recites vows while place it on A’s finger.

D : “I, Deborah Switzer, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within

my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee Aaron to my hand, my heart, and

my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself. “

 

HP : “What you have here done together with one another, let no one break apart.

 

May the Lord and Lady take notice of, and be favorably inclined toward your union, and may you be blessed with health, prosperity and fruitfulness, from this day forth and forevermore.

 

By the power invested in me by the State of Florida as ordained clergy in good standing, and an Elder in Communion, with the Covenant of the Goddess, I pronounce you husband and wife.

 

So mote it be!“

 

HP : “And now, as in all marriages you have certain duties to one another.”

 

HP : pours water into a cup, and passes the cup into the D&A’s left hands.

 

HP : then takes up the knife from the altar and passes it into D&A’s right hands, above the cup

Their hands and arms thus describe the sign of perpetuity.

 

HP :     As the knife is to the lover,”

 

HPS :  So is the cup to the beloved. “

 

They lower the knife into the cup, saying:

 

HP&HPS :  And conjoint, they bring blessedness.”

 

HP : takes the knife from them, placing it back on the altar.

 

HPS : takes cup and replaces it on the altar.

 

HP : blesses the bread.

 

HP :  pours juice into the chalice. Then hands the chalice to the D’s right hand

 This is your first drink together. May you never thirst!”

 

D&A : D hold’s cup for A to drink.  Then A holds cup for D to drink.  HP returns cup to altar.

 

HP : breaks bread, offering a part to the God and Goddess, and giving a piece each to D and A.

”This is your first food together. May you never hunger!”

 

D&A : D holds bread for A to eat.  A holds bread for D to eat.

 

Guardian and Maiden: place the Broom down on the ground. They hold the ends of the Broom in place upon the ground.

 

HP:  “This will be your first leap of faith together.“

 

A&D : jump the Broom.

 

HP&HPS : bring heaven down and drape across D&A’s shoulders while saying

“Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time doth pass, remember like a stone should your love be firm like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly.”

 

HPS:  “Thanks be to the Lord and the Lady. Go if you must, Stay if you will.

And now, from East sun wise round to North, let us do what we must do.”

 

GONG

East Keeper: stoking smudge stick, raising overhead

“Hail, guardians of the East! Thank you for your attendance at our rite. We bid you, hail and farewell!”

Replaces smudge stick in shell.

 

GONG

South Keeper: raising candle overhead

“Hail, guardians of the South! Thank you for your attendance at our rite. We bid you, hail and farewell!”

Blows out candle, replaces candle on altar

 

GONG

West Keeper: raises bowl overhead

“Hail, guardians of the West! Thank you for your attendance at our rite. We bid you, hail and farewell!”

Replaces bowl on altar

 

GONG

 

North Keeper: raising bowl overhead, sprinkling salt on ground

“Hail, guardians of the North! Thank you for your attendance at our rite. We bid you, hail and farewell!” Replaces bowl on altar

 

GONG

HP:Thus what is Hers in truth, and mine in trust, returns to me for safekeeping. It be done! Merry Meet,

            Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again. Blessed Be!”

 

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