An Oath by Cord

Handfastingcord

About two weeks ago I got an email from two pagan friends of mine. They’d been married for five years, {which had been a Goth wedding bash in a torture museum on friday the 13th, ’cause they rock that way}, and now they wanted to do it all over again and renew their vows with a handfasting. A handfasting is, to put it overly simply, a pagan wedding ceremony. The couple’s hands are bound by a special cord and they speak their vows. After that, they jump over a broom, which is believed to bring fertility and good luck to the happy couple. It is a wedding before the Gods and the Elements as well as a declaration of love in front of their family and friends.

They asked me if I would do them the honour of leading the ritual and doing the actual handfasting, on friday the 13th of May. Which was a little over a week away… gulp… I was of course amazingly honoured that they asked me and dove into my treasure trove of books to put together a ritual that was personal, heartfelt and festive. After a few emails back and forth asking tons of questions I had everything I needed to write the ritual. They also asked me to weave the cords, which are the braided cord in the picture above. Black and purple as ‘their’ colours, with red, love, to bind them together.

Handfasting1
The happy couple and me, just before the fasting of hands.

To the day itself: we were lucky enough to have the last day of bright, sunny weather that day, so the back garden where we had our ritual, was beautifully lush green and warm. A group of the happy pagan couples friends and family had gathered, together with three other witches to celebrate their love with them. We hung out and enjoyed to almost-summer-sun while talking and mentally preparing for the ritual to come. Now, I’ve been a High Priestess for a few years now, but this was the first ritual I led with this many non-pagan people. I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous, hoping that I didn’t overwhelm them with too much information, while at the same time explaining why we were doing what we were doing.

Handfasting2
The Vows

I really was a magical night and a lovely group of people to share this moment with. The couple exchanged vows, jumped over the broom and shared their first mead and cake as a married couple. After closing the circle again, we went back to our cosy nooks in the garden and feasted and talked until the sky was dark and littered with stars. Blankets came out for those who were cold and the mead flowed freely. It was warm and it was wonderful and I’m still honoured to have been a part of it. This was my first handfasting of a couple that wasn’t me and my husband and I loved it! It’s an amazing thing to acknowledge a couple’s love in this way, in front of the Gods. So again, thank you Jan and Mira, for this heartwarming honour.

Handfasting3
Thanking the Gods while the couple is munching cake.
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One thought on “An Oath by Cord

  1. Thank you and the couple for sharing this. It’s lovely to see and hear the explanation behind it. The cords look beautiful and made with love to bind with love.

    Liked by 1 person

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