Our friends Terry and Nivien were married on a brilliant, sunny, cool Houston day. The official ceremony was at noon at the Courthouse. The later “Druid” ceremony was in the garden behind the house. Terry and Nivien are both interested in the environment, nature and they wanted a Druid Priest. Rick was the closest thing they could find to one.
Rick prepared a full script for the ceremony. Approximately 50 people showed up and what follows is a rough transcript.
To begin, everyone was asked to engage in a ritual cleansing to expunge all inappropriate energies. Though puzzled, the group obeyed, and mentally tossed out negative thoughts. The grassy back yard had already been cleansed (Rick muttered a few words that sounded vaguely Lakota over it). Then everyone was invited to form the sacred circle on the grass. The bride and groom remained outside the circle while Rick led the blessing of the circle. Standing in the middle of the circle, he faced each direction and used the following blessing:
- “Let there be Peace in the East, so let it be!
- Let there be Peace in the South, so let it be!
- Let there be Peace in the West, so let it be!
- Let there be Peace in the North, so let it be!
- Let there be Peace in the All the World, so let it be!”
The crowd chanted “so let it be” along with the ceremony (along with a few asides about later singing old Beatles tunes). Once the blessing was finished, Rick asked “Who comes to be admitted to the circle?” Terry and Nivien responded as one “We do!” In succession they were asked “Do you come of your own free will?” “Do you respect the sacred circle?” They were admitted into the circle.
Holding both Terry’s and Nivien’s hands, Rick used a heavy ribbon to tie their wrists together, an old Druid custom binding the partners together for the ceremony. A member of the circle had also brought a very old and beautiful Mexican Wedding Lasso to bind the two together, so Rick added that. It was a Unitarian ceremony – anything was allowed. Fumbling with his index cards (and cursing the fact that he didn’t write in larger print) Rick had Terry and Nivien face in the four directions and asked for a response to the following:
- “Spirits of the East, spirits of air, let us feel your breath! Will you take each other through the winds of change?
- Spirits of the South, spirits of fire, let us feel your power! Will you take each other through the flames of life?
- Spirits of the West, spirits of water, let us feel flowing energy! Will you take each other as your energy flows and ebbs?
- Spirits of the North, spirits of earth, feel your certainty! Will you take each other when there is certainty or if certainty fades?”
The last question was poorly designed, since it was multiple choice. Darn it. But Nivien answered “Both!” Having been blessed by the spirits, Terry and Nivien were led back to the center. Standing before the Priest Rick said simply “Ya’ll are blessed!”, and then to the circle “All ya’ll who are part of the sacred circle, do you offer your blessings?” There was a resounding “Yes!”
Rick said “You are now united by the sacred circle as blessed by the spirits of air, fire, water and earth! Let’s all see a smooch to seal it!” Terry and Nivien were happy to oblige. They were unlassoed and untied and asked if they had anything to say.
Nivien declared how important Terry was in her life and how welcoming he had been with inviting her into his life. Terry noted how important Nivien has been for him and how the people who had gathered were open and welcoming to Nivien as well. All was well in the sacred circle.
Rick announced that his usual fee was a slaughtered lamb and a feast inside the sacred circle. However, because he was friends he would let it slide, the circle could break up and everyone could go enjoy a good time in the house at a reception. And that is exactly what happened.