Rites of passage.

Wiccans not only mark the seasons, the Sun and the Moon, but we also mark certain phases of life.  Here is a run-down of them:

BIRTH:  WICCANING

A Wiccaning is (well, not similar to a baptism, except that it’s done for a baby), well a Wiccaning is when a new child is introduced to the world.  It is a ceremony where the Wiccan community does NOT agree to raise the child Wiccan (as opposed to baptism), but where the community welcomes the child into the world and promises to love and protect it.  Simple as that.

A Coming of Age ceremony is performed for boys and girls….and it signifies the transformation from child to adult.  For boys….it’s when they start developing hair on their bodies (age 13 or so), and for girls, it is when they have their first period.

A Handfasting is a Wiccan wedding.  Handfastings can be LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACTS if the person performing them is an ordained minister.  And there are several out there.  That’s my next step….to become ordained.  In a handfasting, the marriage contract varies…..traditionally (and back in the days of yore) it was for a year and a day (a time period that Witches respected).  If after that period of time, the marriage wasn’t working out, both parties could walk away free and clear.  There is also a

LIFETIME handfasting….similar to a Christian marriage….and some even go further and vow to love each other in this life AND EVERY LIFE HEREAFTER….and this is highly recommended AGAINST.  But, some people do it anyway.  In a handfasting, the hands of the couple are bound in a handfasting cord while a blessing is spoken over them.  It really is a beautiful, unique ceremony.  If you want more information, it’s easy to find people’s handfasting ceremonies on the web.  The vows are usually written by the couple.  Handfasting cords can be found online.  I have a simple one for my next marriage….it’s a simple white satin cord with gold threads in it and is capped at both ends.  It’s about 6 feet long.  However, more intricate handfasting cords are out there, with different colors braided in and charms put on the ends.  I plan on embellishing my handfasting cord in such a way, because the embellished ones on the internet start at $100 or so…and just go up.  I got mine for about $20.  I have decided to go to my local craft store and buy a skein of red and a skein of blue cording….red for passionate love, and blue for loyalty.  And I plan on buying charms for it from a catalog, or online….whatever is right.  The entire thing should only cost half of what they charge on the internet

children.  It is when she comes into her “wise woman” or “Crone” aspect.  These days, a lot of authors say there is no male equivalent, but there is….a “Saging”.  While a man never stops being able to make children, the time varies as to when he is “Saged” but usually when he is known as a keeper of wisdom and is come to for advice.

And finally, there is death, which we call “Crossing Over” .  It’s when we cross over to the Summerlands to rest and await rebirth.  FYI….the ancient Celts called the Summerlands, “Emania”

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