I have studied the spiritual practices of many different groups, and love to be able to incorporate these as part of a non traditional wedding ceremony if a couple requests that. Here is a story that combines Christian and Native American elements – it was lovely!
The wedding this afternoon was the uniting of two people who had been together for over eight years, and who came from very different spiritual sources — Roman Catholic groom and Native American bride. So I needed to create a ceremony that would honor both their backgrounds.
I was raised Anglican in Canada. Native American rituals came later. So I packed the car very carefully. The basket and abalone shell were there, the last of the sage I found in Ojai many years ago and for some reason, two thick washcloths, one green and the other blue. These leapt into my hand when I reached into the linen closet this morning, I had never carried them with me before today.
Upon arriving at the location, I went to the outdoor site and lit the sage. It flamed up immediately, then settled into voluminous smoke, very little flame. I walked around the entire area where the guests would be sitting, then up and down the aisle — and ended at the front table, wondering then how to quiet the smoke in order to take it back to the lodge and smudge the bridal party.
It suddenly became clear why the thick cloths had invited themselves. The blue one stayed beneath the abalone shell, protecting the basket from the heat of the flames. And the dark green one covered the mouth of the shell, stilling the smoke until we got back to the Lodge. It was ready to go without needing to be relit. Marvelous.
We called in the directions, and blessed this couple. The ceremony was rich with traditions and feelings, an eclectic group of guests who brought their own powerful energies to witness this union.
As the couple said their vows to one another, several geese flew overhead, adding their honked blessings. I referred to this gently, saying: “What a blessing it is from these geese, who themselves mate for life.”
It was a magical time, and a privilege to participate — the rain only started to fall after we had made our way back to the reception place.
I thank you and I bless you, Laura and Jimmy! Congratulations.