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...and Happy Halloween!
|Artwork by Joanna M. Bromley|
I am so psyched about our new officiants who have joined the Handfastings.org family this month. Everyone is so interesting, so check out the website when you get a chance. We welcome them in our newsletter below.
It's Samhain time, and I'm ready to dress up for Halloween as Glinda the Good Witch of the North (not much of a stretch)! Our family is having a Wizard of Oz theme this year, and so my husband will be the Tin Man and my son will be a Flying Monkey! Later I'll be setting aside some quiet time to meditate on my ancestors and loved ones who have crossed over to the other side. Want to know how to go from preparing elaborate Samhain rituals to just collecting yourself for a little quiet time? Throw a toddler into the mix! But I digress...
In this month's newsletter, we welcome our new handfasting officiants, including a spotlight on a Deputy Marriage Commissioner of San Fransisco. We also explain a simple and traditional love divination technique by using a whole apple peel. Later we discuss banishing negativity, for this is the perfect time of year to do so - especially if you plan to be entering into a new beginning, such as a marriage. And finally, we inquire - what on earth do couples do with those handfasting cords following the ceremony? Nothing a little creative thinking can't solve. Enjoy, and have a Blessed Samhain!
Welcome New Officiants
Officiant Spotlight On:
Cynthia Gregory, Deputy Marriage Commissioner of San Francisco
Cynthia Gregory is a Deputy Marriage Commissioner in San Francisco, California and performs many civil ceremonies. She has decided to expand her Wiccan practice into her work by performing handfastings as well. As she puts it, "The Wiccan ceremonies are so much more soul touching." I couldn't agree more. We are delighted in welcoming Cynthia to our Handfastings.org family!
We are also extremely pleased to announce our other new handfasting officiants to the list: Candy Lacey (HPS Ravenmoon) of Ohio,
Scott Bounds of Arkansas,
Rev. Sally Collins of North GA and TN, (not pictured),
Reverend William Greyowl Snodgrass, D.D., of Ohio (not pictured)
, Rev. Jack McNulty of Ohio,
|Rev. Jack McNulty|
and Amanda Brown (Rev. High Priestess Mandi) of Rhode Island.
Divine LoveUsing the Magical Apple to See the Future
| Apple Peel by Hallie Watson, oil pastel |
Divination is traditional during Samhain.
Because now is the time of year when two worlds collide - the world of matter and the world of spirit.
Substance and soul weave together in a temporary (for most) synergistic and mystical realm of oneness.
Oooooooo... (said in a ghostly breath).
The #1 spell that everyone wants Witches to perform? Why, a love spell, of course. Well I surely have one for you here. Since apple magic is a popular form of divination at Samhain, I'll offer you a simple way to divine love through the use of the magical fruit.
To learn the initials of your future lover, peel an apple into one long piece (as best you can). As you peel the apple, focus your intent on asking who will be your future lover or spouse. Toss the pairing into a bowl or cauldron of consecrated water. Then gaze at the peel and see the initial of your future lover manifest itself [adapted from A Witch's Halloween by Gerina Dunwich, p.130].
Artist Hallie Watson's official website
Exorcising Your Personal Demons
Before New Beginings
"Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand..." oh wait, that's Vincent Price. But these lyrics ring true, because now we delve into the darker time of the year when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. We honor our ancestors and meet our shadow-selves.
Delving into the darkness can sometimes be scary, but when we come out of it - we become better versions of ourselves.
When a couple enters into a new union, their relationship will be all the better if each person has already met and dealt with their own "personal demons" prior to starting their new life together.
This may be in the form of baggage from old relationships, low self esteem or an abusive past.
I know this doesn't seem very romantic, but once you meet your shadow-self and work through personal darkness
, it's easier and more pleasant to coexist in a current relationship. The time between Samhain (October 31) and Yule (December 21) is a wonderful time to "sweep clean" any negativity that may be deep-seeded within.Banishing Spell
Light a white or black candle, or conversely, light a fire in your cauldron if you have one, and write down on a small sheet of paper the thing or things that you want banished or gone from your life.
Burn the paper in the flame (make sure you have a fire-proof dish to place the ashes/burning sheet) and visualize the thing that you want gone - out of your life for good.
Once the paper is burnt up, bury the ashes outside or in a container of soil to be placed outside later.
The banishing effect can take some time, so try to do this in advance of your wedding, handfasting, or new beginning if you can.
Your new beginning will be ever the sweeter. Blessed be!
What to do with Handfasting Cords after the Ceremony?
|Handfasting cord by Liorah Lleucu|
Your sacred handfasting cord is a symbol of your union and a beautiful keepsake after your ceremony for years to come. While it is the couple who forms the bond by their vows and their intent and not by the handfasting knot itself, the cord nevertheless becomes a symbolic and meaningful heirloom that can be handed down from generation to generation, and can even be reused by the child of the couple that originally used it, much like a daughter will wear her mother's wedding dress (or a part of it) on her own wedding day.
So what on earth does a couple do with their cords after the ceremony? Many people preserve their cords in a beautiful keepsake box. Some place their cords on display on a shelf by wrapping it around other wedding keepsakes, like around their wedding chalice.
One couple decided to tie their cord to the end of their handfasting besom (broom) and has it displayed over the door to their home.
You can even tie your cord to the top of a bedpost (if you have one) to ensure fertility if you do so desire. Or you can simply go to a craft store, purchase a shadowbox, and pin up your handfasting cord into an infinity symbol and display it in your home. Be creative and have fun!
Liorah Lleucu on Etsy
For The Northern Hemisphere
All Souls Day - November 1
New Moon - November 6
First Quarter - November 13
Full Moon - November 21
Last Quarter - November 28
Thanksgiving (U.S.) - November 25
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.
I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. Handfastings.org is a labor of love, and I couldn't have made it this far without people like you. Please consider supporting us and tell your friends about us!
Love and Light,
Artemisia Shira Tarantino
Joining Hearts in Perfect Love™
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