Handfasting Part Two-k-boxing

Religion In the next phase of the ceremony the bride and groom asked for the blessings of the Mother Goddess and the Father God. This is interesting because it came after the elemental blessings. If it had been done before the elemental blessings, the Gods/Goddesses would have held the position of authority and power in the religion. This shows that the Pagan religion values the spiritual earth over the human further supporting the Pagan belief of union and harmony with the earth (Wright). It is also interesting that they ask for blessings from a Goddess. This really shows that the Pagans have no gender bias when it .es to worshipping their deity. It also emphasizes the idea of female power in the religion. By elevating a woman to the status of Goddess, the religion gives women power in "human" form. At the same time, it is important to include the fact that a woman is conducting these blessings. The act of allowing a woman to officiate the ceremony shows how much the Pagan religion believes in equality between the two genders. The ceremony shifted after the initial blessings and became more of a "secular" affair. They exchanged rings and then they lit the unity candle. Again this was because the mother of the bride was Catholic and requested the change in ceremony. However, it is fascinating that the Pagan religions are tolerant enough to incorporate another religions tradition into their own. While watching this facet of the ceremony, I noticed that the minister showed no signs of being un.fortable with performing the Catholic tradition. I did ask her in the interview what she thought of performing a religious act outside of her religion, she told me it was an "honor and something kind of fun" (Williams). She really thought that performing something outside of her religion was liberating and allowed her to broaden her spiritual knowledge (Williams). I personally thought this was a very profound statement especially considering religion in the world at the moment. People are fighting over sacred lands, calling each other names, saying the other is wrong, and yet here is a Pagan female minister who is not afraid to perform a ritual outside of her religion. If every religion could be this tolerant the world would be a different place. After .pleting this aspect of the ceremony they went back to the Pagan tradition of "tying the knot," a phrase that originated from the Pagan Handfasting ceremony (Alder). The actual tying of the knot varies from minister to minister but is essentially just as it was in pre-Christian times. The first thing that they did was "Cast the Circle" (Stephenson). The minister, bride, and groom stayed in the middle of the circle, while the wedding party encircled them. It is similar to having witnesses in a secular wedding stand on either side of the bride or groom, except they circle them and are not separated by groomsmen and bridesmaids. The minister, who simply used a cord that looked similar to a tie for drapes, did the actual tying of the knot. She wrapped it around the right wrist of both the bride and groom before tying a small knot. Through further research I found out that if the knot is tied on the left wrist of the individuals, the woman is considered a mistress and not a wife. Similarly, to divorce a couple is called a Handparting, one only has to make the knot and then untie it to perform the ceremony (Reverend Thompson). If the knot .es untied during the ceremony, then the wedding is considered unfinished and must be performed, from the beginning, again (Fox). The circle was then "released" and the couple was pronounced husband and wife. A reception was held afterwards and was pretty typical of a reception. It was medieval themed, the food was great and consisted of some traditional Celtic and Pagan foods like Ginger Beer, Irish Herb Scones, Irish Stew, and Covenstead Bread. Overall, the ceremony was very interesting. It showed that the Pagans value a very similar, and yet different, belief system to that of Christian and Catholic faiths. I found it very fascinating that the Pagans seemed to value the earth over an actual God or Goddess. I guess it is strange because the average religion is very God focused. It was also weird to see a religion that allowed for equality in all things, not just male and female. Seeing a religion that did not hold bias against a person’s sexuality is almost refreshing. Most religions, or at least the religions I am familiar with, do not tolerate any sexuality but heterosexuality. There are so many hate crimes because of that fact that you almost want to scream at times. Seeing this different viewpoint almost brings a sense of relief to me. It really says that there is hope in the world and that people can be tolerant. The Pagan’s seemed so much more tolerant over other religions. They embraced the powerful female, they embraced the gay and lesbian peoples, and they understood and accepted other religions. It is odd that such an excepting and tolerant religion is the one persecuted the most. Witnessing this ceremony has brought up so many questions for me. I want to know why a religion that is so spiritual and uplifting is viewed as satanic. In a way, I almost feel, that it should be the other way around. In the end, the Handfasting ceremony showed that the Pagans do not have a power struggle between the Male and Female sexes. To me this is a powerful and beautiful thing. The ritual bonded two people together equally instead of bound them. I guess it felt like the ritual was more about the spiritual aspect of marriage over the religious aspect, which made it seem like something liberating over binding. It is strange that a ceremony, which literally bound two people together, created that affect. So, it would seem that the Pagan Handfasting ceremony demonstrates the overall tolerance and acceptance of the Pagan religion. It is flexible and allows for the spiritual exploration of its followers. On the whole, the Pagan religion is greatly misunderstood, if people would only take the time to look at it closer they would .e to realize how tolerant, flexible, and spiritual it really is. Work Cited Alder, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today. Penguin USA, 1997. Fox, Selena. "Pagan Wedding Consideration for Couples." Selena’s Guide to Planning Pagan Weddings. 1998. Circle Sanctuary. 14 Oct. 2008. Reverend Thompson, Helen J. "The History of Handfasting." 2002. Amy Brown. 10 Oct. 2008. Stephenson-Donley, Sara. "Pagan Wedding Basics." 2007. Ezine Articles. 9 Oct. 2008. Williams, Casey. Personal Interview. 25 Oct. 2008 Wright, Lauren. "Some Basic Pagan Beliefs." Pagan Student Association. 1998. Ohio State University. 18 Oct. 2008. Copyright (c) 2009 James Holan About the Author: 相关的主题文章: