ISA’s First Handfasting

The Institute for the Shamanic Arts is the education branch of Earth Web Media, an Animist Church (which the IRS calls a Religious Non-Profit Corporation), based in Tucson, Arizona.   As a growing spiritual community, we are pleased that our first facilitated handfasting occurred in the labyrinth at Unity Church on Winter Solstice 2012, and we are thrilled that the couple met by attending events at ISA!  What an honor!

Wikipedia states, “Handfasting is an ancient European ceremony of (temporary or permanent) betrothal or wedding that dates back to pre-medieval times and usually involves the tying or binding of the bride and groom with a cord or ribbons.” Much more info is at the wikipedia link above.

The following is from the couple’s invitation…

Six months ago during the Full Moon Labyrinth walk in Cancer, we realized we were made for each other.  I had manifested him right down to his long silver hair and “Harley” and he had manifested his “classic Goddess body” Owl/Dragon woman.

So here we are asking you to join us in this Magical Winter Solstice Labyrinth walk and witness our love commitment in a very ancient European ceremony called a handfasting.

Everyone present will join us in walking the Labyrinth to ponder/meditate on love, peace, and joy in your life now and into what this new era will bring each and every one of us. This is the end of a very old way of life and the beginning of something new and exciting. Cosmic energies have been preparing us for this new phase. We must go beyond that tribe of one and embrace the love of community to survive this next phase of life here on Mother Earth.

Join us not only as witness’ of our love and commitment to each other but also as support of our Shamanic community knowing that each of us needs one another through thick and thin now and in whatever the future holds for our tribe.

This ceremony was designed by the couple, and it took place in the labyrinth where they came together as a couple.  The two entered the labyrinth and walked to the altar in the center. They spoke to each other in the center, then they exchanged rings, drank out of a chalice, tied their colorful ribbons, each color representing a different quality of love.  To close, all guests, who were surrounding the couple in the labyrinth, drummed and rattled , and guided the couple out of the labyrinth with their rhythm.  In addition to this ceremony being for these two lovers, this was also a ceremony for this shamanic community, and their family and friends, to celebrate love in all of our lives.

Quynn Red Mountain, founder of ISA, facilitated the ceremony.  Elisabeth Black, Director of ISA, created Dee’s headdress and altar, and tied the ribbons around the couple’s hands.  Celia Blackwood opened and closed the ceremony by calling the directions. Darcey Madrona Blue created the special “Celebration of Love” tea, which the couple drank in their ceremonial chalice. Alyson Greene wove it all together with an intuitively inspired Blessing for all.  All participants made beautiful rhythm together. Thanks to Dee’s daughter, sister and granddaughter for the beautiful photographs below!

ISA thanks all involved in this heartwarming ceremony!

2 thoughts on “ISA’s First Handfasting”

  1. I’d love to do one of these with my partner since we don’t want a marriage ceremony. I just feel like I’d have to have you guys with me, but have our friends here too… Skype handfasting just doesn’t seem like it would be the same! :)

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