Rites of Marriage
What is a rite of passage?
A rite of passage is a ceremony that marks the transition from one phase of life to another. It refers to all of life’s transitions, including births/new beginnings, weddings,/handfastings/commitment ceremonies, and deaths/endings/completions. There are many other passages in our lives that are worthy of our acknowledgement should we choose to mark and honor them as sacred.
A rite of passage can include the creation of a life-giving guiding story to help set in motion the next phase of one’s life journey, one that honors the kind of person/family/couple/community they want to be based on their personal values and vision. This is done with the witness, support and blessings of their family and community, who are needed to both celebrate them and hold them accountable to the life they are invoking. Through this process they are welcomed into the larger fabric of life, community and belonging, and are endowed with a deep sense of continuity and context.
What is ceremony?
A ceremony is an opportunity to feed or animate the vision that we want to see manifest in our lives or in the world. It is a way of calling beauty into the world. It is a way of contextualizing ourselves within the larger fabric of creation. It is a way of marking change and creating transformation. It is a space that allows us to move out of ordinary consciousness and enter into a more transcendent realm. It is an opportunity to get out of the way, surrender control, and drop resistance so that we can receive all of the blessings that life has for us. It is a means of stopping time and becoming present to the Great Mystery.
No matter what you believe in, whether you call it God/Yaweh/Christ/Buddha or Beauty/Nature/Benevolence/Love, a ceremony is an opportunity to slow things down, mark a passage, honor a transition, and celebrate wildly. When we approach ceremony from a place of openness, innocence and receptivity, pure magic can happen.
Wise indigenous cultures around the world know about the power and necessity of ceremony. It is their spiritual life blood, the thing that feeds them at the deepest levels of their being, and keeps them living in sacred reciprocity with all of creation. In the West we have forgotten this, but I believe that deep in our bones this knowledge is alive and well, waiting to be called forth and animated once again.
Medicine Woman Wisdom Weddings
More than a ceremony, a Medicine Woman Wisdom Wedding is a rite of passage. They include special plant offerings (an herbal bundle, essential oil or custom perfume blend), astrological guidance, a custom ritual, a custom ceremony, special prayers made privately by me on your behalf, attendance at your wedding rehearsal, and pre-marital support, and may include a song written just for you and sung during your ceremony. They also include transportation to and from your rehearsal and ceremony, a beautiful copy of your ceremony, and the submission of your marriage license to the local county clerks office.
These ceremonies provide a deep alchemical cauldron for your passage across the threshold into marriage. They employ ancient ways of communing with the more than human world, the calling forth of profound blessings, and the wisdom and loving guidance of your ancestors.
These ceremonies are donation based with a suggested donation of $1800-$18,000, or more if you are inspired and able. I trust people to give generously and within their means, and always ask couples to consider the amount of time and energetic input this kind of offering requires, and to take an inventory of their other wedding expenses (gown, venue, flowers, rings), to make sure that the ceremony – the literal heart of the wedding – is valued as much as, if not more than, anything else. (Please know that when you give generously your contribution supplements the ceremonies of couples who have less to offer.)
I also offer other types of wedding ceremonies (and price points) including shorter and semi-customized elopements, vow renewals and destination weddings. Unlike these other ceremonies, a Medicine Woman Wisdom Wedding needs to be booked a minimum of 9 months in advance to allow for sufficient gestation.
“Laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it’s love and love alone that really matters.” ~Tom Robbins