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Guest ElleLouMay

A Lot Of Different Things

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Guest ElleLouMay

Handfasting:

 

My partner is Pagan (has been for a long time, I actually sparked his interest in Paganism when we were children because I used to talk about Paganism and witchcraft all the time) and although I've always had an interest in Paganism and witchcraft I am generally new to this entire experience, over the years I've read many Pagan books and Mythological books but I've never really noted Handfasting because before my partner I had no interest in commiting to anyone in a binding sense (marriage and such.) However, with him I dream of a great ceremony where all our family and friends watch us swear ourselves to each other for all eternity.

So, I have some questions for you lovely people.

 

What exactly is Handfasting?

 

Who would be best to perform the ceremony?

 

Does anyone know what is said during the ceremony?

 

And is it traditional to exchange rings or is that not something that occurs/optional?

 

I would be very grateful for any information that you can provide because although I have my partner to talk to he is currently at University and he needs to focus on his studies and well...partying haha.

This won't be happening for a while yet anyway so I have a couple of years to research it in depth and become familiar with it, however it would be great to start looking into it now, I like to plan things way ahead of time.

 

One year and One day:

 

I decided to do the traditional One year and One day process as that's what feels right to me, so I started a Book of Shadows to write out spells I like for the time when I can start practising magic(k) and also so I can keep track of the meditation techniques that work for me and my studies over the next year.

And I would value talking to anyone that is taking the One year One day approach or anyone that has been there, it would be helpful to know any books or research you can recommend for me to look into because so far (since I've actively started down this path) I've read two spell books, one book on Celtic Rituals and Walking the Mist and I've also been researching different Goddesses/Gods and researching different meditational techniques but still I would appreciate anyone's input.

 

Clothing and supplies sites anyone?

 

Can anyone recommend a site where I can look at robes and buy robes and other clothing garments (and also supplies for rituals and the like.) I've tried Amazon and eBay and sure they have some nice stuff that could be useful but there's not a lot of choice really.

 

How do I go about finding my Goddesses/Gods:

 

I know I have an attraction to Ancient Egypt (have done ever since I was tiny, my Mum said I used to say things about Egypt that I'd never been taught from a very young age.) And I know I rather like Celtic mythology.

So is it just a case of meditation and seeing who I am most drawn to?

That's what feels like the right thing to do.

 

Thank you everyone,

Elle.

Edited by ElleLouMay

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Pomona

So not much then? :P

 

Handfasting:

 

 

What exactly is Handfasting?

 

Historically it was the solemnising of a relationship prior to a marriage - like a formal engagement but it was a no-commitment agreement to see how each person really felt. More used in remote reaches of Scotland and Ireland where there were no priests on hand all the time to marry couples and they had to wait until priest or minister turned up - which might depend as much on weather conditions as workload.

 

Nowadays it's regarded as the "Pagan marriage" - in effect a style of ceremony that is peculiarly Pagan. Legal in Scotland (if carried out by a registered celebrant) but still not in England and Wales

 

Who would be best to perform the ceremony?

 

See above. If you're in England and Wales it can be anyone, you still need to have a civil ceremony to make it legal. In Scotland you can have a registered celebrant and they are authorised to marry you legally.

 

Does anyone know what is said during the ceremony?

 

Depends what kind of Pagan you are and what you want to say. Getting married legally (ie, in Scotland) will require a legal form of words but otherwise you say what you want. Oh, and you don't have to have someone do it: hubby and I Handfasted with just the two of us.

 

And is it traditional to exchange rings or is that not something that occurs/optional?

 

Exchanging rings goes back to Roman times but it's not compulsory.

 

 

One year and One day:

 

I decided to do the traditional One year and One day process as that's what feels right to me, so I started a Book of Shadows to write out spells I like for the time when I can start practising magic(k) and also so I can keep track of the meditation techniques that work for me and my studies over the next year.

And I would value talking to anyone that is taking the One year One day approach or anyone that has been there, it would be helpful to know any books or research you can recommend for me to look into because so far (since I've actively started down this path) I've read two spell books, one book on Celtic Rituals and Walking the Mist and I've also been researching different Goddesses/Gods and researching different meditational techniques but still I would appreciate anyone's input.

 

I'm not Wiccan so the "year and day" thing doesn't relate to my path.

 

Clothing and supplies sites anyone?

 

Can anyone recommend a site where I can look at robes and buy robes and other clothing garments (and also supplies for rituals and the like.) I've tried Amazon and eBay and sure they have some nice stuff that could be useful but there's not a lot of choice really.

 

Honesty? The crushed velvet stuff on eBay etc is all very pretty but for a working witch it's absolutely useless. There's a reason witches snigger at the idea of wafting around in crushed velvet and sequins. Every witch I know who has special ritual attire (and not all of them do: it's not compulsory) has clothing that is warm, waterproof and washable. Boring but true. I know witches who have tweed cloaks, wear army fatigues and Doc Martins. My own cloak is waterproof and warm and has functioned as a item of clothing, disguise, bed cover, pillow and picnic blanket and is usually covered in cat hair, snagged with branches and muddy round the hem. My footwear is whatever pair of sturdy warm boots I have in the cupboard.

 

How do I go about finding my Goddesses/Gods:

 

I know I have an attraction to Ancient Egypt (have done ever since I was tiny, my Mum said I used to say things about Egypt that I'd never been taught from a very young age.) And I know I rather like Celtic mythology.

So is it just a case of meditation and seeing who I am most drawn to?

That's what feels like the right thing to do.

 

In my experience the gods direct you to where they want you to look. I often tell people to look where they feel an urge to. It's a case of paying attention and noticing. You'll know when you know. Sorry - not very definite but it's how the gods work. You should look in our Starters Orders as there're dozens of threads asking about the same thing: it's the new pagan's most oft-asked question. And - bear in mind - it's not necessary to have gods in your life: many pagans function perfectly well without them, not because they haven't been nabbed by a God, but because they don't believe and don't need them. It's not necessary to have a god to be a Pagan. And if you do get nabbed, it's not a blessing necessarily. Having a god or gods is hard work, it's uncomfortable and makes demands of you that you might not be happy with.

 

 

Hope that helps - lots of questions, hope my answers made sense :D

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herneoakshield
Clothing and supplies sites anyone?

 

Can anyone recommend a site where I can look at robes and buy robes and other clothing garments (and also supplies for rituals and the like.) I've tried Amazon and eBay and sure they have some nice stuff that could be useful but there's not a lot of choice really.

 

I suppose clothing wise it depends on what you want and where you will be doing your rituals. Flowing robes and all the finery are okay if you are doing your workings indoors though you need to watch out for the candles..., but if you are going to be working outside and outside at night, then they really are not practical. As Pomona says a stout pair of walking boots warm functional clothes and waterproofs are more in order. I do have a home made brown woollen cloak that I do sometimes take and wear on occasion when I am out in the woods (hence it now having a moth eaten and weathered look to it) and I find it great to wrap around me at home during meditation. in general though I just wear my everyday clothes which as anyone can attest who has met me or seen photographs are pretty much what I described in the last sentence.

 

if you really want to spend some money on ready made robes you could look here http://stagmancreations.com/cloaks.htm but they are not cheap. as to supplies for rituals, it depends what you are after, there are any number of on line shops where you can buy incenses candles, oils etc. herbs yeah you can buy them as well but you will pay through the nose for some that you could buy much cheaper from the supermarket rather than from "pagan" supply sites or shops. If you can it's nice to go foraging and find some yourself, if you do that it's best to take a book to help identify the plants and herbs so you get the ones you are after and avoid (or not as the case may be) any possibly poisonous ones, A good resource for finding what grows in your local area, or in places you know you are going to be visiting is the postcode plants database which you can find here http://www.nhm.ac.uk...ostcode-plants/ also if you are wanting candles while it's easy to buy them you could always have a go at making your own, either using candle moulds or buying beeswax sheets and rolling candles with them. both of these methods give you the chance of adding herbs and or incense or oils relevant to your purposes at the time into the candles while you make them. You can buy candle making kits at most craft stores and the same goes for beeswax sheets and candle wicks

Edited by herneoakshield

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Guest ElleLouMay

Thank you Pomona, that was indeed incredibly helpful. That's really sweet that you and your hubby did you're handfasting with just the two of you, to be honest that sounds very special and romantic. It's definitely answered all of my questions, for now at least haha.

I don't very much like the velvet cloaks because velvet tends to be a material that I find displeasing against my skin, so I think I'll just try to make my own if I can (although I'm no seamstress) I suppose I could get my partner to make me one because what he sews tends to stay sewn up instead of falling apart like mine.

Thank you for the advice on Gods/Goddesses as well, I'll see what feels right as I go along :)

 

Also, thank you Hermit that was very informative and covered a lot of stuff. I had been thinking about looking into herbology and candle making so I can keep the expenses to a bare minimum. Thank you for the links as well, I dare say they will prove to be extremely helpful. I'll make an attempt at moulding/rolling my own candles, fingers crossed I actually manage to make something vaguely resembling a candle haha ^_^

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Moonhunter

OK, I'm probably going to sound like Pomona because I'm not Wiccan now, either, though she and I have different pagan religions. :)

 

Handfasting:

What exactly is Handfasting?

 

Who would be best to perform the ceremony?

 

Does anyone know what is said during the ceremony?

 

And is it traditional to exchange rings or is that not something that occurs/optional?

 

To be honest, I have no idea whether there's any historical basis to this, in England (folk customs tend to be different in Scotland, where Pomona lives). I have the feeling there might have been something in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries about a "folk marriage" but I've never put in the research to find out whether that's true. I suspect Gerald Gardner, who created Wicca as we know it, wanted a word other than marriage to describe a mating ceremony.

 

It can be whatever you want it to be. When my partner and I handfasted we borrowed a ceremonial magician's home - a deconsecrated 13th century church - to do so, and wrote our own ceremony.

 

Rings were as important in my religion as to the Romans - more so, because we used rings for many things, including consecrating vows and as a sign (as a warrior) that you were part of a lord's household, or were good at your job. In handfasting, anything is optional - it's up to you what you want.

 

One year and One day:

I decided to do the traditional One year and One day process as that's what feels right to me, so I started a Book of Shadows to write out spells I like for the time when I can start practising magic(k) and also so I can keep track of the meditation techniques that work for me and my studies over the next year.

 

Traditional as in Wicca? Well, that's 'traditional' since the 1950s, when Gardner created it. I have the feeling he drew on another bit of folklore, to do with hiring people. Or it might be back to folk marriages. Hmm...the trouble with trying to research stuff like that is that it's not folklore as such, so it's not in any of my reference books. It's more folk customs - but if I try to Google then the Wiccan stuff gets in the way. It looks like it comes from handfsting, and that's mainly from Scottish folk customs, but that's a very superficial look, taking what is said on one site at face value. :P

 

So, unless you're in a Wiccan coven, you can do what you want. You'll find a couple of threads on this site about books of shadows.

 

 

Clothing and supplies sites anyone?

 

Can anyone recommend a site where I can look at robes and buy robes and other clothing garments (and also supplies for rituals and the like.) I've tried Amazon and eBay and sure they have some nice stuff that could be useful but there's not a lot of choice really.

 

To be honest, don't waste your money. Pomona has a fancy cloak but I use one made by a friend, from wool processed using Anglo Saxon methods. No lining and not hemmed. But I don't think I'd bother at all, if I was starting from where I an now. Good walking boots and a good gore-tex jacket to keep out the cold are more useful. :)

 

 

 

How do I go about finding my Goddesses/Gods:

 

I know I have an attraction to Ancient Egypt (have done ever since I was tiny, my Mum said I used to say things about Egypt that I'd never been taught from a very young age.) And I know I rather like Celtic mythology.

So is it just a case of meditation and seeing who I am most drawn to?

That's what feels like the right thing to do.

 

In my experience, if anyone is interested, they will come and tell you. usually when you're not expecting it. Then they will expect you to go away and read up about them. I don't know of anyone with a real relationship with a god who has been able to choose whom to have a relationship with. Sometimes there are gods you may not want a relationship with, who come calling! :lol:

 

Having said that, the Kemetic gods are different. If you're really drawn to them, I suggest you do some basic reading (so, for example, to know the difference between kemet and deshret). There might be a couple of threads in out links section or pagan paths that will direct you towards useful sites. If not, give me a prod because I've had to do a lot of research for my seventh book.

 

But really, though you can ask and make an acceptable offering (go to, for example, wapawet wiki), it really is up to one of them if they want to talk to you.

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Guest ioan

That's timely, my partner and I were chatting about handfasting/marriage yesterday. I don't really know what the old Saxon/Norse ceremonies were for marriage, and he wants to marry in a church (if it ever becomes legal) or Castell Goch down the road. Though he likes the idea of a 'celtic' style handfasting being worked into a civil ceremony. It's a confusing mix of legal stuff and traditions! Great links folks, today will be a day of research :)

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Maeve

^^^^ all the above!

 

From the Wiccan point of view: the "year and a day" is not much written about and is used by coven leaders to give a time period within which to assess someone who wants to be initiated into a tradition (usually Gardnerian, Alexandrian, traditional, clan of tubal cain .... ). The year is a year and the "day" can be any length of time .... that it takes to make the assessment. Then again, some coven leaders do not observe such things.

 

You indicate that you are using the "year and a day" to gather information before you start doing magic .... have a read of the threads about practising magic (put "magic" into the search button at the top right hand corner of the page!).

 

Clothing - some initiated witches (and probably some non-initiated ....) work "skyclad" - indoors that is easy enough and avoids the candle problem noted by Herne :P - and outdoors? Well, if it is a particularly nice warm summer evening! However, there are other WIccans on here who will tell you that they work skyclad at Winter Solstice outdoors! For pagan parties, it is quite nice to have drapey long dresses - the chaps sometimes wear re-enactment type clothing - the Americans are very fond of this sort of dressing up! So far as I am concerned, my wool lined and quilted cloak is an essential for all the reasons stated above!

 

In the end, none of this stuff is essential! No self-respecting witch needs "gear" neither clothing nor altar-clutter - a finger should be all the "athame" required and the mind and body all that is needed to do magic .... when it is the only way, after every mundane solution has been tested and not just for fun!

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Moonhunter

heh - just found the wiki article on handfasting. I'm in the middle of researching an ancient Egyptian ceremony, and thought I'd take a break to run this one down.

 

There is a site about pagan handfasting, though I can't find a foundation (yet) for their assertion that

A handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts. A handfasting was originally more like an engagement period, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. The original handfasting was a trial marriage. It gave the couple the chance to see if they could survive marriage to each other. After a year goes by (a handfasting was once believed to last a year and a day), the couple could either split as if they had never been married or could decide to enter permanently into marriage.
The Wiki article seems to have no evidence for its existence prior to 1600 in the Isles of Scotland and a reference from 1200 in England that could mean a betrothal. It's worth noting that most of the interesting detail in the Wiki article about the history of handfasting in England derives from a single (secondary) source. There seems to be no note of contemperanous matieral, unlike the detail on scotland.

There's this bit of Irish folklore, that mentions a year and a day. I'm not sure how far Finn McCool goes back. so far, I can't trace the tales being written down before the early 18th century. I've come across an onsite reference to a year and a day in the Mabinogian (Llew saying the spear to kill him had to be forged for a year and a day), but my tranlation simply states "a year". I have no idea which is correct. In any case, the Mabinogian is, IIRC, at most early medieval in composition.

 

No self-respecting witch needs "gear" neither clothing nor altar-clutter - a finger should be all the "athame" required and the mind and body all that is needed to do magic .... when it is the only way, after every mundane solution has been tested and not just for fun!

 

IME, the only thing a witch needs is to have the ability to work the magic. ;)

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Fortuna

The year and a day thing seems to crop up in a number of ways. I'm sure I have come across if in fairy stories and penances..... and mourning. I suppose its simply a way of making sure you do something for at least a year and that the day is a sort of safety net. Just a personal opinion, not fact, but in mourning a year and a day ensures you get through all the sad milestones.

 

Mike

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Amanita

 

Clothing and supplies sites anyone?

 

Can anyone recommend a site where I can look at robes and buy robes and other clothing garments (and also supplies for rituals and the like.) I've tried Amazon and eBay and sure they have some nice stuff that could be useful but there's not a lot of choice really.

 

 

 

Another vote for the good solid walking shoes and good weatherproof gear - I'd add a pair of fleece lined walking trousers to that as well! I found myself sitting under a tree in January for a good couple of hours this year and I'd have been frozen without them.

 

As for indoors I'm a jeans sort of person so that's what I wear. I guess I might get around to a robe one day for formal ritual occasions but I will make that myself and TBH I am not that motivated so it may well never happen.

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shinicat

Having not had anything to do with wiccan type ideas since I was a teenager and it was the only books I could get my hands on in the rather fluffy new age shop (get me sounding old there!) I'll not add opinions to those type of questions.

But I will just say that if there are Gods around that are "yours" then they will make themselves known, at least that they're around. If they don't want to be known then they'll stay hidden and nothing you do will convince them to reveal themselves! Having gone from being a staunch atheist to having my eyes opened in a rather interesting manner to other possibilities!

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Guest ElleLouMay

Thank you everyone, that's all been extremely helpful indeed.

 

I was thinking more along the lines of a robe for the more 'formal' occasions (but I think I will definitely just get someone to make one for me) as I do like to be 'skyclad' when I am meditating and such indoors and the times I have meditated outdoors so far I have just worn my usual jeans, t-shirt, cardigan, coat and doc boots (because they're durable and I don't slip on my butt when I'm walking down steep, grassy, hills or anything like that.)

 

The One year and One day process is sort of just like a long thought time for me, a time in which I can make sure I am 100% certain that I am on the right path. A time to note down any important feelings and thoughts because I'm a big thinker and I like to record important things in my life (and this is all very important to me.) And it's also a chance to get my meditation techniques perfected and develop mentally.

 

I like the idea of writing up our own ceremony, very much. It's more heartfelt. And it gives me something to work on before we actually get engaged :)

 

Thank you for the links as well ^_^

You're all so awesome!

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Fortuna

Well it sounds as though you are at the beginning of an interesting journey; one that most of us make, but which is different for us all. Why not record how it goes for you in a blog? Then we can all have a nose and find out how things are going for you? :)

 

Mike

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shinicat

Oh I would always write my own ceremonies/rituals. Feel to me far more honest than copy and paste spells and incantations from books. And as a friend of mine says, the Gods want to hear what YOU have to say, not just regurgitate what someone else has done.

Also, be aware that what is the right path for your year and a day could become something entirely different a year and two days from now. That's what's so wonderful and exciting, you never know exactly what is round the corner. Don't be disheartened if all of a sudden something metaphorically smacks you round the head and seems to make all the work you've put in so far meaningless.

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Guest ElleLouMay

That's not a bad idea at all Mike, I'll get right on it :) I rather enjoy blogging.

 

I do like to write things out, it's very meaningful that way to put loads of your own creativity and effort into something ^_^

I like change and I enjoy the surprises that could be just ahead. It's pleasant :) I shouldn't think I'll be disheartened at all, life is change.

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NorseNephilim

My girlfriend and I are getting married in November. While I am heathen and she is heathen-by-proxy ;), we are keeping things pretty simple. We have a registrar and nothing outwardly pagan in our ceremony or anything. But, really, what could be more heathen than a knees up with friends and family?

 

That and the fact we are marrying in a threshing barn ties in nicely with most of my recent ancestors being farm labourers, I guess.

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Guest ioan

omygods, a hogroast! Sorry, thinking out loud now :) I wonder if the other 'alf will go for a hogroast for the reception. and the vegan brother-in-law brews his own ale, aaah, it's slowly coming together...

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