Beltane is often a time for handfastings as it is the time of the Great Wedding of the God and Goddess. This is where couple betroth themselves to each other for a year and a day, and after this point the couple will decide to be together forever, or to go their separate ways. Although the year and a day is not practised so much in modern times. While handfastings are individualised to each couple, there are often certain things that are a part of this ceremony. There is an exchange of vows and rings ( or some token to represent their love for each other). Couples also have their hands tied together in a figure eight and knotted, and maybe the source of tying the knot, and later the couple are unbound. The tying represents the two people coming together and the unbinding means that they stay together with their own free will. Jumping the broom is also a part of handfastings, the broom representing the “threshold” and going from one life to another. It appears that jumping the broom was a legal “wedding” in Wales. A Birch broom is placed over the doorway of a house, where the man jumps the broom, followed by the bride in front of witnesses. However, if the broom was touched or knocked in any way then the “marriage” is not seen as “legal”, the female will keep her home and would not be the property of the male. Mead and cakes are often shared at the ceremony. Mead is seen as the Brew of the Divine and honey is known to make words sweet and seems apt at a love ceremony.
April 23, 2013