Just a few days after Prince William became engaged to Catherine "Kate" Middleton, I received a mysterious email inquiring about where to find a handfasting officiant in a very specific place in England. Hmmm, I thought, could it be that Catherine and William are looking to be handfasted? But today I got word that William & Kate have decided on what seems to be a more traditional ceremony this spring at Westminster Abbey. Too bad they aren't going to ditch a thousand years of royal tradition in exchange for the rich and meaningful handfasting ceremony (a tradition, nevertheless, thought to be even older than the royal family itself).
| Kate Middleton and Prince William announcing their engagement |
And what about that gorgeous engagement ring on Kate's finger? It looks familiar... As it turns out, the 18-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds is the one and only engagement ring worn by Princess Diana herself. As a child, I remember drooling over pictures of Diana's beautiful ring. The theme for this month's newsletter is "True Blue," inspired by this very ring.
In the States, diamonds are the number one coveted engagement stone. But in the UK, the sapphire is what it's all about, especially since the then Lady Diana's engagement to Prince Charles. Read more below about the rich tradition of sapphire engagement rings and the symbolism behind the beautiful blue stone.
This month we also welcome a few more wonderful handfasting officiants to our list. And we give thanks to all for that which we are grateful.
Welcome New Officiants
Welcome to all the new officiants that have graciously joined our Handfastings.org list.
Jeanann Miller of New York,
Alina M. Hensley of New York,
|Alina M. Hensley|
and Rev. Michael A. Thompson of West Virginia (not pictured).
Engagement rings as we know them today became popular in the 14th or 15th centuries amongst royal and wealthy families. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds were all used in these early tokens of betrothal. Sapphires were favored because they symbolized romantic love, truth, and commitment. In addition, as diamonds were becoming less rare due to a mine discovery in Africa, Sapphires became more popular because there were fewer of them.
While sapphires can invoke healing and calming properties, the color blue is also associated with feelings of sympathy, harmony, friendship and beauty. In feng shui, the Asian art of environmental placement, the color blue is associated with the clear sky and healing waters. In the western tradition, the color blue represents love, faith and loyalty. The phrase "true blue" is said to have originated from the color's symbolism of fidelity and truthfulness. The birthstone of September, sapphire is a strong stone, much like an ideal marriage. All of these properties make the sapphire a suitable and appropriate stone for an engagement ring.
Fidelity Magic Using Blue
"All Couples Day" - A fidelity spell,
using blue candles and some lovely magical prose, by Elizabeth Barrette for Llewellyn's Spell-a-Day:https://www.llewellyn.com/spell.php?spell_id=3743
To ensure fidelity, weave in a thread of blue into your handfasting cord used the day of your wedding.
Carry sprigs of rosemary and bluebells in your bouquet.
Eat a bowl of blueberries together with your loved one on your first wedding anniversary. After your bellies are full, recite together, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine," three times. So mote it be.Reference
| Nymphs Filling The Horn of Plenty|
oil on canvas, circa 1617
by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, 1577-1640.
As the month of November draws to a close, the US prepares for the holiday of Thanksgiving. During this time of Autumn harvest, we look inwards and are thankful for all the wonderful things in our lives. We are thankful for family, health and the beauty of the Earth that surrounds us. No matter what you celebrate, take a moment to ponder the things for which you are thankful. Enjoy this holiday season, and may you never hunger and never thirst. Blessed be.
December 2010 Moon Phases
For The Northern Hemisphere
| December 2010 Moon Phases |
New Moon - Dec 5
First Quarter - Dec 13
Full Moon - Dec 21
Last Quarter - Dec
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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