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ISSN 2159-9939

Rites of Blessing Just Another Day? Doing It My Way The Temple of You Plan a Great Marriage Why I Am Not A Warlock Break or Make a Relationship Pagan Camping & Festivals Ancient Wedding Practices Kundalini

“Words, Actions, Vows” June 2011 Volume 2 • Issue 6 ™• June 2011 • Volume 2


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™• June 2011 • Volume 2


PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER LAYOUT WEBSITE ADVERTISING

Eberhardt, Personal Visions jess*ca mae Tootie Marie Dawn Sherwood Faelin Wolf Mya Om Michelle Crowskin Bond LJ Rose Ankolie Amina Racozy S. J. Drew Sister Nariel Jenn Embers Nina Pak, www.ninapak.com Refraction Design & Creative Services Personal Visions Eberhardt, Wendy Beth

Our goal at Pagan Edge is to provide readers a high quality, timely magazine with content relevant to modern pagans’ lifestyle and passions. Our publication is a lifestyle magazine so while we may publish spells, rituals, and some magick how-to; we aim to focus on ways that pagans, wiccans, earth-based-spiritualists, and those of like mind can incorporate their values and beliefs into their everyday living. Pagan Edge Magazine & paganedge.com exist solely to offer information to our readers. The publisher, editor, and the entire personnel of Pagan Edge, Pagan Edge Magazine, Personal Visions, Refraction Design and paganedge.com cannot be held responsible for misuse of any information provided. The views expressed in the articles and ads are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Pagan Edge Magazine. Product descriptions, recipes & any how-to information: While we, and our affiliates, attempt to provide accurate information in the magazine and on the site, we do not warrant that the content on this site will be accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free. It is your sole responsibility for the use of the content of this Magazine or web site. For additional details please see www.paganedge.com ™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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contents 6 Dream Weaving Pagan + Edge =  8 Divine Mind Not A Warlock 9 The Temple of You Melt Your Stress, Fit Into That Dress!

10 Keeping the Edge Doing It My Way Pagan Edge welcomes Jenn Embers to our staff as author of Temple of You She believes in and promotes taking care of your body, mind and spirit.“

11 Life’s Wit Just Another Day? 12 Elders Corner Rites of Blessing 14 Spotlight Plan a Great Marriage 16 PE Book Review Kundalini 17 Spotlight Ways to Break a

Relationship and How to Avoid Them

18 Pagan Festivals Lori Dake’s Top 10 List On The Cover: illustration by Ankolie www.lemondedankolie.blogspot.com

20 Urban Shaman Modern Wedding ... Ancient Blessings

27 PE Book Review Monday Hearts for Madalene

VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 6 • JUNE 2011 “WORDS, ACTIONS, VOWS” PAGAN EDGE™ IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY PERSONAL VISIONS ADMIN@PAGANEDGE.COM ™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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Dream Weaving Pagan + Edge =

It’s hard to believe over 18 moons have passed since my publisher Eberhardt and I were discussing the creation of this periodical. I have read many pagan publications throughout the years... some with big names and big distribution, other lesser-knowns only available in big cities or by subscription, and even some underground and only accessible online or by mail. I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. While that may seem unbelievable, it’s true. Our goal here at PE is never to put anyone out of business or compete with other pagan or new-age magazines. There is enough to go around. With great pagan periodicals already in publication, we had to answer ourselves, “Why create another pagan magazine? What can we make available to pagans not already provided?” As we weaved our dreams back-and-forth through email, phone, skype, and some lunch dates, two prominent themes evolved. One: we wanted to address how and why to live a pagan lifestyle everyday — which is why urban living, gardening and reading are some of our regular contents. Two: we wanted to shed some light on fringe topics often inter-related to paganism but not exclusively pagan — which is why we include GLBT, environmentalism and other subculture issues in our columns.

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™• June 2011 • Volume 2

editor speaks

From these ideas, we developed a mission statement; for your reference it is included on the contributors’ page of each issue. As we recruited staff and polled friends and family, one question remained: “What do we call it?” We had some great names but one stuck out as the winner: Pagan Edge. We wanted something any and most pagans would relate to, but we also wanted to let you know we planned on going “where no pagan publication has gone before”. Therefore, something “pagan” and something “edgy”. While weddings, bindings, and handfastings may not seem edgy... have you ever been part of one? As a guest, we buy a gift, enjoy the ceremony, ooh over the couple’s beauty. As a participant, things do become more intense, especially if you are the one making the oaths, officiating the ceremony, or just trying to be the supportive best-friend. While we can depend on the local party supply store for our cake cutter and bubbles, it is a definitely more difficult to find a pagan-friendly officiant or handfasting cord. Not to mention explaining the ceremony to relatives or soon-to-be relatives. So as we strive to bring you something not regularly published in pagan periodicals, we present an issue of PE focused on unions. Our writers share some heart-felt challenges and testimonies with us and we kick-off summer in the northern latitudes with a three month series focusing on pagan camping. Happy reading & bright blessings,


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™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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Making the Divine Mind, Mine

by Sister Nariel, Contemplative Order of Anam Cara

Why I Am Not A Warlock Call me a traditionalist, but I still believe in the value of a promise. I still believe they should rarely be given and always kept. In the modern world we give far too many and keep so few. It is easy to see the failure of a promise in the glaring light of the media. If a political candidate does not keep them, they quickly lose their base. If a public figure does not keep them, they lose their fortune. We know, sometimes instinctively, the people who are promisekeepers and promisebreakers; they set off our warning system and tend to send us in the opposite direction. But, what about promises in the private lives of private people?

Isabelle Adjani said, “In love, one should simplify. Choose persons worthy of their promises and leave them if they don’t keep them.” It makes such perfect and yet simple sense but this attitude is not always supported in society. We’ve been taught that forgiveness is tantamount to forgetfulness and it is part of the mind frame fueling abusive relationships. We are rarely told it is okay to leave the woman who cheats or the man who lies. Simple sense: one of the qualities pagan relationships have fortunately been able to maintain. The promises made by pagans in relationships stands different than those given in society. “A year and a day” replaces words such as “until death do

you part” and it emphasizes the need to renew the commitment with deliberation at the conclusion of that term. This allows for a continuous flow to pagan relationships and offers the ability to dissolve the relationship with love and with good wishes for one another or to recommit in sincerity and devotion. Promises and vows are the warp and weft of the Universe. Even as light and dark, life and destruction occur, they are part of the natural order. As all things move ever towards a balance, even pure energy is assured: promised to right inconsistencies and disharmonies. This enduring struggle is evidence of the promise. How then, can we Warlock continued on page 23

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The Temple of You by Jenn Embers

Melt Your Stress, Fit Into That Dress! impress the guests, and we want to reminisce over a gorgeous photo album. A handfasting is an extremely special event to the bride and groom to be. It is a symbol of two individuals bound together to celebrate their love and future life as a couple. This is a joyous celebration with family and friends, and not to mention, tons of pictures.

Who doesn’t want to look sexy and fit on one of the

most exciting days of their life?

We all secretly want to wow our soon to be spouse on this day. We want to

It is natural to want to look your best on this exciting day, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. Let’s be honest. Planning a handfasting is extremely stressful, so what better way to blow off some steam then good old fashioned exercise? First, you will need to figure out what type of exercise you enjoy doing. Exercise should be a fun hobby and not a chore. Do you enjoy running, swimming, playing tennis, hiking through the woods, dancing, or doing yoga in a peaceful studio? Pick one or two activities that you enjoy doing, and create a plan of action. It is always good to create a fitness chart which details your schedule and where you can slip Dress continued on page 24 ™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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Original Photography by Nina Pak ©2011

Doing It My Way

Keeping the Edge

by Mya Om

On April 27th at approximately 10:30 p.m., I was pulling into my driveway when three things happened: I got a text from the boy I have been seeing since November, I got an email from jess*ca (the editor here at Pagan Edge), and a new song came on my Pandora Radio. Why am I telling you all this? Well, the email from jess*ca contained a suggestion for June’s article – the topic: handfasting – her suggestion: “How to do it your way without creating havoc” or “Challenges and solutions to interfaith ceremonies.” At the same time a song by The Script starting playing, titled Science and Faith, it was just at the part where the singer was saying, “you won’t find faith or hope in a telescope, you won’t find heart

and soul in the stars. You can break everything down to chemicals, but you can’t explain a love like ours.” After all of these coincidences, I had to take a minute, because at approximately 1:30 p.m. this afternoon I had been on the phone with my friend, and strangely enough we were talking about handfasting, marriage and relationships. What a strange day of coincidences. You will have to indulge me because I don’t usually go into a great deal of detail about my personal life, but there is a story in here. For two years, I gave up on the idea of dating. Why? Because I insisted the next guy I dated was going to be this mythically perfect pagan guy. I actually My Way continued on page 22

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Life’s Wit by S.J. Drew

Rachel was freaking out. There was no other way to describe her state of mind on the eve of her handfasting. “Rachel, you’ve got to calm down,” said June, her best friend. “Calm down? Calm down? How can I calm down?” Rachel shot back. “The florist delivered the wrong flowers and may not be able to get the right ones. The caterer can’t guarantee the vegetarian option even though that’s why we went with them. What if the priest forgets the words? What if I forget my vows? What if the circle gets broken because people don’t understand why a handfasting is different from a wedding? What if it all goes wrong and the most important day of my life is ruined?” “Who says this is the most important day of your life?” “What?” Rachel blurted. “It’s my wedding day. Of course it’s the most important day of my life. Everyone says that.”

n A ot ? t y s h a u e D r J Another Day continued on page 25 ™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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From the Elders Corner by Lucille M Rose

How do we get to where we are today? Does anyone have a clue? At what point did we literally swerve away from our proposed goals and end up with completely different ones? When and how did our goals change?

ites of R lessing B

While stationed at an army base, my sister experienced a major heart attack. WICCA was stamped into her military dogtags indicating her religion. However, it was a Catholic priest who came to her room and gave her last rites. Where was the Pagan clergy?

community when they were in the hospital. I felt comfortable in a hospital; I understood medical terminology and procedures.

Over the years I have seen how our Deities talk to us. We are most receptive when we open our eyes, ears and hearts. They are constantly giving us clues, hints, and opportunities. I was being given a huge clue as to what I should or could do.

Soon after my ordination, I received a phone call from a couple whom wanted to be handfasted! Handfasted? I signed up for hospital visitations, not handfastings! Handfastings are similar to weddings. There is no place to hide when performing a handfasting. Everyone is watching you and the couple. This was not going to work for someone who spoke babble when standing in front of a group of three

The situation with my sister made me see how important it was to become ordained. I could serve any member in our

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Apparently my Deities felt I was capable of so much more, so they expanded on my simple plan.

or more people. While my brain was forming the word “NO” I heard “What is the date? ...let me check my calendar... yes I am available”, coming out of my mouth. What just happened? The couple and I started an email dialog to work out the details. They had decided Blessing continued on page 26


In Service of All Resources in Faith Lucille Rose, Reverend, HPS handfastings, legal marriage, spiritual counselings, hospital visitis, prison correspondence, wiccanings, funerals ljrose@rocketmail.com • 313-674-9729 Jessica M. Sheldon, Reverend ULC handfastings, legal marriage, personalized rituals for rites of passage (baby blessings, birthdays, coming of age, etc) js@refractiondesign.com • 231-206-4947

Your Community • Your Connection

Upcoming Themes & Deadlines July 2011: Gods & Goddesses Deadline: June 5th, 2011 August 2011: Fire Element Deadline: July 5th, 2011 September 2011: Balance Deadline: August 5th, 2011

paganedge.com ™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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As you have been planning your handfasting, you have been browsing bridal magazines, and following the wedding to-do list month-by-month and week-by-week. After searching every store you have finally found dinner napkins matching the participants’ handkerchiefs. Your idea book is full of dreams including the flowers, the dress, the table settings. You have even started researching vows and have a fool-proof plan for your entrance into the ceremony circle. Congratulations! You are an excellent wedding planner, no doubt about it! Now what? What comes next? Now you have your plans for your ceremony, plans for the party afterwards, plans for the getaway after that... then what happens? Sure, you’re ready for the wedding, but are you ready for the marriage? I recommend discussing the following topics with eachother. Where there are differing opinions, come to some sort of agreement or compromise on them. You may wish to write down your answers and agreements; in fact, I highly recommend it. ____________________

Children

It is a huge red flag in your relationship if you and your future spouse can not agree on whether to have children or not. While it may seem the

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Don’t Just Plan a Great

Wedding...

answer is a simple yes or no for both of you, discussing the details of this answer will make your communication smoother in the future. If your answer is yes, then when? While some people are willing to wait ten months before getting pregnant, their spouses may have been thinking ten years... a not-so-small detail that can add stress to any relationship. Are there certain circumstances for adding children to your household? Whether your decision on children is yes or no, what would make you change your mind? What religious or moral upbringing would you use as a guide to raising your children?

Money

The mechanics of how the two of you will handle your finances really isn’t the issue. Many couples in successful marriages have separate checking accounts and many couples in successful marriages

have one account. The issue is whether or not the two of you can calmly and practically talk about money. If how your money is spent, or saved, or not spent is an issue before you get married, it will be an even bigger issue after your wedding.

Sex

There is no way of predicting the future when it comes to an individual’s sexual libido. What you can do is set a standard for communicating about it. Set time aside now to talk about sex in your current relationship and also possibilities in your future relationship. Address current or possible future issues relating to differences in sexual frequency, desire, preferences, fantasies, masturbation, pornography, and expectations. You will discover differences and hopefully some surprising similarities, both of which can bring you closer together or tear the two of you apart,


Plan a Great

Marriage! by Rev. Jessica M. Sheldon

depending on how you handle them. Be open and honest.

Family & Friends

There is a reason why you have chosen to live with eachother, to be domestic partners, to cohabitate as lovers. Set some rules about what is or is not acceptable time spent with family and friends. Your inlaws, family, and friends should not be allowed to interfere in your marriage relationship. Set boundaries with people when it comes to visits, phone calls, finances, children, etc. Decide together, which decisions should be made with consulting each other versus decisions made with consulting families and friends.

Concessions

Of course you love your fiance, but are there some things you are not prepared to give up in the marriage? Are there some errors that are unforgivable? How and when will you resolve

differences in your marriage? Are you willing to go to bed angry with each other? Will you hold a grudge for weeks, months or years? Or will you resolve problems as quickly as possible? And if so, how? Will you be willing to seek professional counseling if necessary?

Substance Usage

How often do you drink? The answer to this question, or to questions about smoking cigarettes or using drugs, will reveal whether or not your future spouse has a potential addiction problem. These habits can threaten your marriage and could also put you in legal and financial jeopardy.

Fidelity

Do you think it is important to be faithful to one another? Open marriage, polyfidelity, and swinging is okay for some couples. Most want and prefer a monogamous relationship.

Discuss with your partner each of your opinions on these topics and verify your preference is the same. If your future spouse and you have differing opinions on what cheating is or isn’t, don’t get married until this issue has been discussed and resolved.

The Future

Where do you see yourself in 25 years? This is a fun question but still vital in making sure you have the same dreams and goals, and agree on how you will achieve them. ____________________ Once you have answered these questions with your partner, take time to reflect on your responses. What was the easiest issue for you to answer? What was the toughest issue for you to answer? Overall, what was the one new thing that you learned about eachother in this process?

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The PaganEdge

Book Review

by Faelin Wolf

Kundalini:

Divine Energy, Divine Life

by Cyndi Dale, 2011 ISBN: 9789738725888 Kundalini has always been a vague idea to me. I knew (or thought I knew) a little about it: it had something to do with energy, it had something to do with sex, and it probably had nothing to do with me. Luckily, Llewellyn sent Pagan Edge a copy of Kundalini by Cyndi Dale for review and now I feel as though I understand kundalini better. I now realize that, yes, even I can benefit from awakening my kundalini! Dale begins by defining kundalini as life energy that exists in us all and that can help us become our truest, highest selves and bring enlightenment. She quickly dispels the myths that surround it— no, it isn’t all about sex, although that may be a part of it and it has been connected with Tantra. She provides a history of kundalini, sharing

information from Hindu thought and paths, so we know how we came to our current understanding of kundalini. But the majority of the book addresses how to recognize when your kundalini may be awakening and rising and what to do with it when it does. Kundalini is intimately linked to our chakras. A rising kundalini can cause many problems and difficulties as it rises through each chakra and brings up old issues, feelings, and difficulties. Each step in the process must be worked through. Kundalini is unpredictable. It may begin to rise at any time, at any age, then recede for awhile. It is a complicated process. Yet, Dale shares stories from clients that she has helped, and from her own experiences. She breaks the process down and offers practical suggestions for how to handle any issues or symptoms as they arise. She provides good meditations and other exercises to ease the process. She offers guidelines on how to prepare yourself for your kundalini awakening so that the process may be easier. Overall, this seems to be a very practical book, for those just discovering kundalini or for those with more knowledge and perhaps in the midst of their kundalini awakening. Check it out, and please be safe and take care of yourself as you discover your kundalini!

Book Review continued on page 27 16

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Ways to Break a Relationship

and How to Avoid Them

by PE Staff

Any long term relationship has its challenges. Humans are dynamic and ever changing so we all have to embrace the fact that we do have what it takes to get over bumps and keep those relationships strong. Below is some advice on how to deal with common relationship problems. We are our behaviors and attitudes. It always seems like it takes a day to gain a bad habit and a lifetime to get rid of it. If there has to be a number one way to break a relationship from the start, it is to enter one with the belief that each relationship is an “it”, as “We will see how ‘it’ goes”. Giving a relationship a life of its own means giving up some of your power to change it. Remember: all relationships are partnerships and we all have to think about what we can do to make each other happier and satisfied. If it is not clear from above, relationships are about communication (men groan here) and the first step in communication is active listening. This means that you have to be a bit impartial when you listen to your partner; it

is not always all about you. Understand that friendships are different and we are more likely to be sympathetic. After all we do not have the depth of investment made that we would with a significant other. Always keep in mind that when you listen, it’s not about strategy or defense, it is about understanding and sharing solutions. Then you can share your perspective, using an “I” statement: “I didn’t intend to belittle you,” instead of “You always take everything as a slam.” Put all the ideas and feelings on the table, recognizing all ideas and feelings as valid, and then see how you can compromise. If you feel you have communication in hand and are both happy with how you deal with issues then perhaps you need to think about whether or not you’re taking your partner for granted. Even the most awkward person can remember to do something sweet on occasion, but have you contributed in a more significant way? If you see that you are out of a needed household item, do you grab it Relationships continued on page 27 June2011 2011 •• Volume ™™••June Volume 22

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The Temple of You

Lori Dake’sby Jenn Embers

Top 10 List

for Pagan Festivals

1: Money, your ID and your

registration. The fest won’t happen without these three things!

2: A tent (canvas or nylon)

with double your capacity for comfort and storage space (“sleeps 5-6” really means 2-3). Spare stakes with a tent tool kit (mallet/hammer/etc.) should be included, as well as checking prior to the fest for leaks or tears. (Apply sealant at least before the start of each festival season.)

3: Besides a sleeping bag

6: A bathroom kit should

consist of everything you use in your hygiene routine - just in compact size. (You do have a routine, right?)

7: Sunblock and DEET deserve their own category, because these two items will make or break your level of festival enjoyment!

or bedding; a mat, cot or air mattress should be included, as it makes outdoor sleeping much more comfortable. It also keeps the body from directly contacting the cool earth.

8: Lots and lots of lighting,

4: Both cool weather and warm

9: A travel altar, offerings, and/

5: Depending on the fest, you’ll

10: Anything you need to stay sane, be it your tablet, a deck of cards or a carton of smokes. Just remember to bring at least two comforts, because you might

weather clothing should be packed, with extra socks stowed away in a water-proof container. Included should be sandals, gym shoes and boots. Ritual garb should be included, too! want to plan your meals wisely,

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from the food itself to what you’ll use to make it. Many have café fare for purchase, but that can get very expensive and is nowhere near as fun as making it yourself.

™• June 2011 • Volume 2

and the tools needed to ignite said lighting. Urbanites like me forget how dark it gets out there!

or drum circle instruments. Pagan fests are spiritual retreats, so make the most of them!

not have a place to charge up, your cards might get wet, and some folks really can’t stand cigarette smoke. Lori’s list is much longer than this, so be sure to check out her new book, A Guide to Pagan Camping: Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings, found everywhere online and at many Pagan booksellers. Lori Dake is a lifelong camping and music enthusiast who loves to combine the two whenever possible. She has traveled to almost every edge of North America the oldfashioned way, and she is always up for pitching a tent and living simply among like-minded, spiritual individuals.


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Illustration by Ankolie

Modern Wedding Practices... ncient eginnings A B

Ever notice similarities between wedding rituals? Some aspects of today’s wedding traditions actually come from civilizations much older than our own. There are many elements of the modern marriage prototype which harken to ancient history. Some of these traditions seem obvious, and some not. Either way, it seems the symbolism behind many marriage practices are truly as old as love itself. 20

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the Urban Shaman

by Michelle “Crowskin” Bond

The Engagement

Ancient Egyptians may have been the first civilization to practice marriage. In ancient Egypt, most marriages were contractual as well as political. Engagement was created in order to allow the couple time to get to know each other. It was to ensure both were compatible and could actually get along. It also allowed for the would-be groom to gather up everything he needed for a proper wedding dowry to the bride’s parents.

The Wedding Ring

There are many suspected origins of how the wedding ring came to be, but most agree the Egyptians have this claim as well. Instead of being made from precious metals, the first rings were originally braided from twisted reeds and rushes, which grew alongside papyrus. No matter what the rings are made out of, the symbolic nature remains the same. The circle symbolizes eternity, therefore, wedding rings were the symbol of ‘eternal love’.

The Ring Finger

Palmistry’s history goes back to Aristotle and the ancient Greeks. It is an ancient science inspired by alchemy, astronomy and magick. In palmistry, the ring finger relates to matters of the heart

and is ruled by the god Apollo. It was once thought a large vein passed from the third finger straight to this mighty organ, kind of like an internal power cord. The left hand being slightly closer than the right, made it the most direct route to the heart. The center of emotion, love, family, and caring.

Tying the Knot

Throwing Rice

Originally it was a common pagan rite for grains and oats to be tossed over couples in hopes their fruitfulness and fertility would shower the new couple with good luck in having many healthy children. In the middle ages, the grains and oats were replaced with rice, the new symbol of fruitfulness among the people.

Phrased with “getting hitched” and “legally bound”, “tying the knot” is attributed to the traditional pagan custom of handfasting. Various cultures, including Greek, Celtic, Buddhist, Hindu, and African, used the method of tying hands to symbolize the joining of a married couple. The saying has survived, even though actually tying the hands of the groom and bride is left out of the modern ceremony.

The Wedding Kiss

The Bridal Bouquet

The Honeymoon

The beautiful flowers carried by a bride down the isle started off as fragrant herbs woven in the bride’s hair. This careful garland was picked, not for its beauty, but for each of the herb’s special qualities. The ancient Greeks assigned each of the fragrant herbs to protect the bride and bring good luck to the new life she was embarking upon.

In ancient times, a kiss was a legal and binding contract. Often used both in pagan rituals and legal dealings, it also became a binding act in marriage vows. So powerful was the act of a single kiss, the ancient Romans held it as binding law. Although it is not certain when the first marriage kiss was given, it is still seen as the last act which makes the wedding official in ceremony. There are a few persistent legends of why and how the honeymoon evolved. One of which is from Ancient Babylon where it was customary for marriages to only take place on a full moon. After the ceremony was over, the couple would drink a honeybased mead for a complete lunar month after a marriage, evolving into the honeymoon.

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My Way continued from page 10

It is unusual, inexplicable and unexpected, but they would die for each other. had a really long list of requirements: he had to be Pagan, articulate, educated, employed, and one thing he absolutely could not be was another lawyer or law student. Instead, I found an imperfect, funny, Jew, who as of three days ago is a lawyer. I hate his friends. I hate that he is a republican. I absolutely cannot stand the fact that he reads the Wall Street Journal and likes it. I loathe that he likes business and finance. My dad’s family, all Muslim, would have a fit big enough to start world war three if they knew. It is havoc. It is unpredictable and it is not what I planned. But when I think about him, I smile one of those silly sappy smiles. All I can say is he gets me. Would I marry him? I don’t know. Those who know me know I am fundamentally opposed to the idea of marriage because I grew up in a culture where a woman’s value was based not on her accomplishments, but rather on whether or not she had a husband and children. Also, the idea of dressing up in a poofy white dress, and throwing a party for a couple hundred of my nearest and dearest, is about as appealing as a root canal. Would I shack up with him? No comment. My point is, life happens and you do not always to get a choice in the person you fall for. It happens when you aren’t paying attention, and by the time you notice, it is too late. My parents have been married for over thirty years. My father is a Muslim, a first generation immigrant; he has a master’s degree in economics. He is a self proclaimed perfectionist and is one of the most driven people I know. He drove my brother right into medical school and he 22

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drove me to law school, after several stubborn detours. My mother is Christian, her family has been in the United States since 1898, she is not a perfectionist – in fact she is the most laid back person I know. They are the least likely pair I have ever come across, and yet they still hold hands and sneak kisses when they think no one is watching. For years both my dad’s and my mom’s families had trouble accepting their marriage. Until I was ten my mother was estranged from her family. I think it took Grandmother that long to realize that Dad wasn’t just some phase Mom was going through. To my dad’s family, Mom will always be that white American woman, who doesn’t understand “our culture” and whose children are too independent to be truly happy. Their relationship is havoc. It is unusual, inexplicable and unexpected, but they would die for each other. So when jess*ca wrote, “Without creating havoc,” I have to say I d isagree. Love itself is havoc, and just being in a relationship (even with someone who is very similar to yourself ) is havoc. Why? At some point in every relationship lives begin to intertwine, and people, places and experiences that you never sought out will become part of the fabric of your life. It is the best kind of havoc and you cannot escape from it. The more different you are, the more havoc there is. I say embrace it, enjoy it, and laugh at it. If you are having a hard time with the mental image, let me give one: my pagan friends, his republican friends, my Muslim/Christian family, and his Jewish one, all at dinner together – let the games begin.


Warlock continued from page 8 think we are not held to the same accountability and structure? Our struggles in relationships are evidence of promises made to be a part of one-another’s lives and the surety we are all interconnected. Yet, in all things, there is choice. Our choice to be a promisekeeper or a promise-breaker is individual. In pagan history, we have clearly defined our views regarding promises and vows. The word ‘warlock’ is often times associated with a male witch. However linguistically, the word originates in Old English and is defined as an

“oath-breaker, a liar” in the American Heritage Dictionary. It is the prevailing reason why the term fell into disuse with modern pagans and likewise why it is so distasteful to hear coming from Charlie Sheen as a personal characteristic. Thus, to desire to be a warlock is to desire and follow after the intentional lying and breaking of promises. No doubt, few readers here would want to be associated with the moniker. If then, we are not a warlock but a witch, and if a warlock is an oath-breaker, does it not follow that a witch is an oath-keeper? We find the evidence of this in The Wiccan Rede, as well as in ancient

esoteric texts that show the words “learned” and “wise” to be associated with the healers, the midwives, the shaman, the witches. By virtue of the words spoken in a magickal working, the pagan gives their energy to the power of those words and recognizes the Energetic Laws, the Promises of the Universal. The work accomplished is in accordance with the vows (or laws) of magick and energy. As we then consider the promises, bindings and vows that we take part in, let us do more than speak words. May we let our words be our token and bond; to be honored and kept sacred.

™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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Dress continued from page 9

in some hot sweaty exercise time. This may seem a bit rigid, but in the midst of planning this year’s most amazing handfasting, you may forget about your commitment to exercise. Invite your soon to be spouse along on your scenic nature hike or to your yoga class. This way you are both making a commitment to looking awesome on your special day! Jenn Embers is a solitary practitioner in the Craft of the Wise. She resides in Southern California. She is an avid blogger and has a YouTube Channel (A Broom and The Moon). Although she works full-time and has a busy personal life, she still finds time to fit fitness into her schedule. She believes that developing your “spiritual self ” is important but so is taking care of your body, mind and spirit. Her new column “The Temple of You” will be a regular feature in Pagan Edge.

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™• June 2011 • Volume 2

It’s easy to make exercise a part of your spiritual practice. Let’s take yoga for example; yoga challenges us to bend our bodies in ways that might seem unnatural to us. Relationships do the exact same thing. They force us to bend and make compromises with others in order to live a harmonious life. Yoga has been scientifically proven to rid the body of some of its toxins, so who’s to say it can’t rid the body of negative or unneeded thoughts? Dedicate your hard work during your yoga practice to what no longer serves you or your relationship with your loved

one. As you work through the challenging poses, push forward and be strong. As you ground your feet in warrior pose focus on letting go of guilt, jealousy, resentment, past relationships, bad habits, and fears. Focus on love, light, and your bright future with your soon to be spouse. Don’t stop your fitness r o u t i n e after your handfasting. Keep it going, as it is one of the best ways to honor yourself and your spirit. They say the body is just a vessel for your soul. What better way to honor your soul than living a long healthy life surrounded by the ones you love? Your body should be your temple. Fill it with healthy food, and honor it by being fit and strong. The gift of your health is the greatest gift you can give to your spouse. Many Blessings to you on this special day in which we join together to celebrate the sacred union. May your life be full of love, health and happiness. Namaste, the Divine in me recognizes the


Another Day continued from page 11 “But why? The day you were born was a lot more important than this.”

two decide to buy a house? Or the day your children are born?”

“That doesn’t count,” she said crossly. She started to recheck her lists on what supplies had been delivered by the vendors.

“Well obviously important too.”

“What about the day you got your college acceptance? You moved across the country. That’s a huge change.” “Nothing is a bigger change than getting married.” “Why?” June asked. “If you’re not going to be helpful you can just leave.” “I’m being serious. You’ve known Jamal for six years. You’ve been dating him for four. You’ve lived together for two. What is it about tomorrow that is going to change anything?” “Well, nothing, really, but it’s still important.” “As important as the day you met Jamal? Or the day you asked him out? Or the day you

those

are

“Then what about this day is making you into a total wreck?” June asked. “My family will be here. His family will be here. I want it to be perfect.” Now June laughed... “Rachel, what in the world is ever perfect?” “Nothing, but it doesn’t mean I can’t try,” she answered sullenly. “But it’s turning you into a lunatic,” June said, gently moving the lists away from Rachel. “Listen to me. You made the decision to join your life with Jamal’s a long time ago, and probably on a day you’ve entirely forgotten. Tomorrow you make that decision official in the eyes of the law and your families and the gods... and yeah, that is important. But nothing

changes between the two of you and that’s more important. The gods aren’t going to get mad at you because GreatAunt Matilda broke the circle. This is just stepping through a gate. You’ve already taken the steps to lead you to this gate, and there’s a long road to travel on the other side of this gate. Every day is the most important day of your life, Rachel. Life isn’t perfect and it goes wrong and you know that. Just go with it. You did yesterday and you will on Sunday. Tomorrow is no different.” Rachel sighed. “Maybe you’re right. It just feels like there’s so much pressure to make everyone happy.” “Well, we know that’s impossible, so don’t worry about it. They should be happy for you no matter what they think of the ceremony or the food. This is a celebration. Now, put those lists away and relax, alright? Tomorrow is just another day in your life.” “You’re right. Let’s go do something fun,” Rachel said.

™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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Blessing continued from page 12 Time was moving forward minute by minute, not second by second.

to have a wedding for the Christians in the family and a handfasting for openminded family members and Pagan friends. She had found handfasting vows she really liked.

All we had to do was insert the names of the couple in the appropriate places. Simple. I typed the vows into a word program on the computer and created a four-inch by five-inch booklet, covered with heavy handmade paper, fastened with string, and embellished with some beads. After the handfasting, the booklet would be given to the couple as a keepsake. All we had to do was open the booklet and read the words in 26-type size font. We did not have to memorize anything. Open the booklet, look down, focus on the words, say the words out loud. Pretend the people were not there. We could do this. The day arrived handfasting. 26 22 26

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™ ™•• June June 2011 2011•• Volume Volume 22

the

There was nothing I could do to slow down time. I stared at the dress I had chosen to wear. I could hear my husband asking if I was ready to leave. Sure… My husband drove us to the hall. The butterflies in my stomach now felt like they were the of size dinner plates. The flowers and decorations inside the building looked beautiful. Tables and chairs had been set up and the altar had been prepared. I glanced at the clock, hoping for the floor to open up and provide me with a place to hide. When I finally realized this was not going to happen, I took my place and smiled at the people sitting in their chairs. Then it happened. I heard the music playing softly. The bride entered the room. Her face was glowing with happiness. And when the bride and groom’s eyes met, you could see and feel the love between the two of them. They were ready to make a verbal commitment to each other. This was their day and everyone would be looking at them! I opened the booklet containing their vows, took a deep breath and began the ceremony.

After the handfasting my husband told me my face changed color several times and I did a “great job”. Other people told us they had never been invited to a handfasting and were impressed with the ceremony. They were really very happy to have been invited.

I know how blessed I am to have been asked to be part of that special day. I now spend my time and energy on my homebased business, corresponding with prison inmates, performing an occasional handfasting, wedding, reaffirmation vow ceremony, funeral, or even visiting a member of the community in the hospital. There have been no requests yet to perform a Wiccaning. However, one never knows when or what the next request will be.


Book Review continued from page 16

Monday Hearts for Madalene

by Page Hodel, 2009 ISBN: 9781584797784 This is a book about love and it is a book OF love. Page Hodel created the hearts photographed in this book for Madalene Rodriguez. Page loves Madalene and to show her love, to give Madalene her heart, she creates a heart every Monday. The only problem? Madalene can no longer see the hearts because she died from ovarian cancer after they only spent 11 months together. Page vowed to continue to create the hearts as messages of love to Madalene and to the world. The hearts are made from a wide variety of materials—metal shavings, pencils, small toys, candy, buttons, stones, seeds, berries, sticks, stems, even people—but most are made from flowers or flower parts. Some are very elaborate, some are very simple. Some are made of one thing (like Peeps!), but most are made from multiple materials. All of them are beautiful. All of them radiate love. And this is just a small collection gathered in book form. Visit www. mondayheartsformadalene.com to see more and join the email group to receive the hearts every Monday! Let’s celebrate love. PS. My favorites from the book are “Lovevolution” and “Birch Bark Blossom.” What are yours?

Relationships continued from page 17 on the way home or do you have to be told each time?

T A

A relationship can end up being like a long exercise in the “three fold law” with each little slip or habit coming back much bigger and more damning that it should ever be. If our relationships are full of all the features we don’t like then we need to cut each other some slack. We all make mistakes. Some of us have to make them a few times, so if you run in to words like “never” and “always” recognize them as warnings. The danger of over-generalizing and distorting behaviors can really sap the energy out of any partnership. Try instead to focus on helping each other feel valued and good. Also remember gratitude is always important to feeling balanced.

o R f

b I

I b u

D & a i t c e a s a t s o g a a h d

Many of us have psychic abilities but somehow the closer the person is to you the weaker our talent is. Never expect your partner to be a mind reader no matter how in tune you both are. If you find yourself saying or thinking “..if you cared, you’d know what I like/want.” Then you are not being clear about what you want. A relationship is not a skills test. You can shape your partner’s behavior: let them know what you like by giving a clear positive reaction. It’s OK if you have to suggest or initiate the behavior to get it going. Take a tip from any of the animal whisperers out there, praise what you like and you’ll see more of it over time. After all, when did nagging your pet ever work? The same guideline applies to humans. The solutions too many of your relationship problems are not hard. Remember your partner is your chosen equal. Treat them as you would any best friend. Good listening skills are critical. Appreciate all the good in your partner and say so. Allow each other some slack. And most important - take responsibility for your half of the relationship. You want it to be better? Do something about it. After all it’s what the Gods keep telling us to do. ™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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Envisioning Spiritual and Climate Wise Living

™• June 2011 • Volume 2

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June 2011 "Words, Actions, Vows"  

Contents 6 Dream Weaving Pagan + Edge = <3, 8 Divine Mind Not A Warlock, 9 The Temple of You Melt Your Stress, Fit Into That Dress!, 10 Keep...