Well here it is, my spiritual/spooky blog. I have always been interested in ghosts – I think I have every ghost book available. I have never been frightened, only fascinated as aged five or so I used to play with a poltergeist! We named him (it) George and we’d laugh as the beds rattled – I thought it was like being on a rodeo horse! We’d clap when the doors banged shut and play hide and seek with the objects that went missing.
I ‘knew’ when ghosts were around and I was always sensitive to places and people and as I grew older I’d be asked to visit places to talk to the spirits and find out what the problem was.
And so, as you can see in this very brief outline of my life, ghosts and spirits have played a major role in my life and continue to do so. Our home is visited every day and orbs are seen in every photograph taken.
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Handfasting is a Pagan marriage which is usually held on Beltane – May Day, though this is not carved in stone. Beltane is usually chosen as it is a fertility festival, a union between the goddess and the god following months of him chasing her, she finally allows him to catch her and they consumate their relationship – thus bringing forth an abundance of nature.
The ceremony usually happens outside in mother nature with friends and family gathered to witness the joining of two souls. Though, centuries ago handfasting was a way in which two people could join together without the consent of their families. It did not need witnesses or a priest. It was acknowledged, especially in the Celtic countries, that once handfasted and sexual intercourse had been performed – the couple were legally wed and no one could argue with it!
By around the 14th century, the Roman Catholic church decided weddings must be sanctioned by God, banns read, performed in front of witnesses and the marriages consumated with witnesses within the building – NOT the same room!! – Although, it was pretty close at times with some marriage rituals – putting the couple to bed etc!
Regardless of what Catholics wanted, Handfasting continued to be used, especially within small communities within the Highlands and later blessed by the local priest as many area’s didn’t have a ‘holy man’ living near-by.
The ceremonies can be as individual and unique for each couple. Some have brooms to jump over and sweep away any negative energies whilst other will also have a sword to jump over and cut any previous ties of life. Each person makes their own vows before a High priestess and priest who offer balance, representing both goddess and god, her consort.
My husband and I married 25 years ago this May. We originally had a church wedding as I was not ready to inform my family of my leanings towards Paganism. June 10th 2006 we, together with our daughter and our best friends who were also getting handfasted, spent a wonderful weekend at Pistyll Rhaedre waterfall, on the hottest weekend ever!!
Dressed in medieval bridal gowns, we walked into the meadow with the priest and priestess, found a shaded area beneath the oak trees and were handfasted. Our witnesses – the trees, the sun, the wild flowers and the elementals who gave their approval. We created our own brooms. Martin and I brought one of our swords. We exchanged vows. (Extremely emotional) We drank, we ate and celebrated well into the next morning.