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Holidays and Handfastings

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

The start of autumn has always been a busy time for me. Work begins to increase in demand as students return and consume more beer, the kids return to school, and I work on turning over a new leaf in my spiritual life and my self.

Haustblot, or Mabon, or Autumn Equinox (take your pick) was celebrated by my family a few days early. That morning I dragged my children out of bed and took them to our local farmer's market to gather some beautiful items for that evening's festivities.

I moved on to continue prepping for dinner. With a few exceptions (condiments and cooking fats) I was able to piece together an entire meal from locally grown foods. Our farmers are in this area are incredible and their goods are always amazing. Local lamb and beef went into a meatloaf, we have a fish monger that arrives every two weeks to sell fresh Alaskan caught fish (not local, but purchased from people who care), a beautiful blend of greens and flowers, butternut and kurri squash puree, and roasted radishes, carrots, and apples made-up the feast. For dessert we opted for the cinnamon bread from a local baker and I made-up some maple glazed apples to top it with.

Friends arrived with bubbles and beer, goodies for s'mores and their appetites. We laughed and offered thanks to the land and the farmers for the bounty they provided for us, and exchanged thoughts on what we had grown over the year and were about to harvest in our own lives. We discussed our thoughts on COVID-19 and how it had actually allowed many of us to grow as a family and cultivate time we would not have normally been able to spend together.

My step-son builds a pretty good fire and this one was no exception. The children went out and toasted marshmallows and ate chocolate while my wife made some delicious hot cider and rum to warm our already bursting bellies. Incense was tossed into the fire along with the runes Gebo and Jera to celebrate their binding by flame in honor of the harvest and giving back to the earth.

The night ended with my daughter leaving out a little feast for our fae and wights. I was shocked to see all of it gone the next morning. It's possible animals took it, but I didn't see any trace of that happening so part of me is chalking it up to our friends really liking the offerings!

After we recovered I realized that I had to get a few things in order for an upcoming wedding I was asked to officiate in Minnesota. A very good friend of mine and his amazing lady had asked me to celebrate their handfasting which they informed me was being conducted with a Nordic traditional flare.

I had never been to this part of the United States and my wife and I took it as a great way to have a few days to ourselves and grow our relationship while also helping to facilitate the growth and start of another relationship.

The location was amazing. We arrived early and began blessing the space and assisting in setting up the rest of the ceremony space. The alter held everything needed to honor them, their ancestors, the spirits, and their gods.

The bride had been busy over the past few months, maybe even year! She made many of the decorations herself, including the bulk of the handfasting cord and amazing mandala like hanging behind the alter. She really is incredible and is working on designing some of her own products for sale. Feel free to drop me a note and I'll get you her information!

Runes were everywhere! They had taken wood from Florida, where they lived previously, that had been from a hurricane felled tree and painted runes of home, love, joy, loyalty, and connection to be burned in a bonfire later that evening. The handfasting cord was adorned with Gebo, Uruz, Algiz, Othila, and a Vegvísir. Beautiful cups were set aside for a mead blot, and we filled them with the mead her future husband had made several years ago. Quite tasty and packed with intent.

This was my first ceremony I'd officiated and I was honored to do it for them. I can also say I was nervous as hell! The bride had written the ceremony and it was beautiful, so I was relieved that I didn't have to do that part myself. Regardless, my nerves still on high alert and I decided to pull a rune to see what I should really be focusing and grounding with prior to the ceremony. I pulled Stan. This is a rune from the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. It is the keystone rune; a rune that holds-up two sides of an arch, something to bind those two sides together. I love the sense of humor behind the runes.

The handfasting went well and both sides seemed very pleased. I was honored and grateful to have been able to participate and wish them well. They're a magical couple for sure.

The temperatures and trees are changing and so is the world around me. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of this season and where I'm being guided. I am grateful to all of my friends and family who have chosen to walk with me in this journey.

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