June 2008 News from Handfastings.org
As Midsummer Approaches...
Handfastings.org Has a New Look!
by Shira
Championing a New Brand for Handfastings.org
Handfastings.org new look

After many years of toiling over a "look" for the website, we've finally created a beautiful brand that complements our mission.  Check out the new home page of Handfastings.org now!  
While we still develop an HTML/CSS-friendly home page in order to be compatible with most browsers, the current home page is now readable by many more then before.  You can help us out by letting us know if you can see it, and what browser you used to view the page.  Thanks!


New Store Opens to Help Support the Site

Handfastings.org shopping bag Handfastings.org is developing a new Shop-to-Support page.  Many visitors to the site ask how they can help further the mission of Handfastings.org - well, this is the way to do it!  We aim to have the Shop-to-Support page offer to our visitors the best products used in handfasting ceremonies - from hand-braided handfasting cords to organic unity candles to marriage & love anointing oils and everything in between. 
For now, we have a wonderful Handfastings Amazon Associates eStore in its place.  We are currently selling books about handfastings, unconventionally beautiful wedding gowns, Goddess-inspired jewelry, incense, Wiccan ritual items, and more.  Our new Shop-to-Support page is located here: http://www.handfastings.org/shop.html.  Help to support Handfastings.org and come visit us today!
New Additions

Welcome New Officiants
Give a great big welcome to our newest officiants from Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Long Island, New York.  Merry Meet to all and glad to have you as a part of our Handfastings.org family.

Check out all our officiants here.

All About - You

Speaking of family - let's stay in touch!  Do you have a fun story about yourself?  Do you have any announcements to make?  Have anything interesting to say (I know you do)?  Would you like to be highlighted in our newsletter?  In out monthly emails, we'd like you to meet some of our handfasting officiants and feature anyone who has some news to share.

Networking with each other helps us to promote referrals,  grow stronger and learn about one another.
And as always, remember to let us know if you have a change in email and contact information.   You can email us at shira@handfastings.org or contact us here.

The Honey-Moon: Litha

Ushering in Midsummer

Amaterasu Sun Goddess Litha is a holiday celebrated by many Pagans.  An esbat (minor holiday), Litha goes by many names, such as Summer Solstice and Midsummer.  Later when the Church overruled rural Pagan holidays, Litha became known as Saint John's Day.  This year, Litha begins on Friday June 20, 2008 at 7:59 PM EST.  It is the longest day of the year.  Its opposite on the Wheel of Life is Yule, or Winter Solstice.
June's full moon is called the "Honey Moon" because this is the time to collect the honey from the beehives.  The honeymoon, as we now know it, is the sweet time following the unions made on Beltaine.  Mead is an excellent brew made from honey, and is the traditional drink of Summer Solstice.
Litha is a day for the fairies.  The bright sun highlights the wings of the Hidden Ones and the honeybees, captivating us as they twinkle and flutter.  Aptly nicknamed Midsummer, Litha marks the actual middle of the Celtic summer, falling between Beltaine and Lugnasadh (the first harvest).  We celebrate Litha for the warmth that has been bestowed upon us as we usher in the second half of the year.  As the sun reaches its apex in the sky, after the height of summer, the days grow shorter and we say farewell to the sun. 
On Litha we re-tell the story of the Oak King vs. the Holly King: After a heated battle, the Oak King, who rules the warm, waxing half of the year, finally gives way to his winter counterpart, the Holly King, who rules the waning half of the year.  We attend summer festivals and fairs; we mask ourselves as Sun Goddesses and Gods, fairies and Green Men, emulating their sacred images on this special day.
Happy Litha from Handfastings.org!
blessed be - Handfastings.org

Link back to Handfastings.org!  If we've added your website to our officiant list, or even if you just really dig our site, link back to Handfastings.org.  The more reciprocal links the better your search engine ranking!

Handfastings.org wants to know what you think.  Please email me at shira@handfastings.org and let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections.  I'm all ears!

As always, Handfastings.org remains a free service to all.  I look forward to hearing back from you.  Have a blessed Litha!

Mission Statement
The mission of Handfastings.org is to link people in the Pagan and Wiccan communities with ordained officiants who perform Handfastings, Wedding Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, Sacred Unions and other Rites of Passage and celebrations.

Love and Light,
Shira's signature
Artemisia Shira Tarantino

Joining Hearts in Perfect Love™
Contact Information
email: shira@handfastings.org
website: www.handfastings.org

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