Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Let the Two Be One: Rethinking the Form of Weddings

 Holding hands with your partner can help ease their pain | Daily Mail Online


Taking “articulate action” as a thumbnail definition of ritual, let us consider the wedding.

Two people enter separately and leave together.

That says something.


Say “wedding,” and I strongly suspect that most of us envision the standard “church” model: The bride is the star. Groom and assembly wait in place, bride enters in procession. Rites are enacted. Couple leaves together. I've seen the same trope in synagogue weddings, too.

This form marks a union of individuals.

But what if we consider weddings in the older sense: not just as the union of two individuals, but as the union of two families?

What if we rethink the wedding tribally?


Here's what I would envision, then: two—let's keep to two, for now, for simplicity's sake—groups of people converging from opposite directions, one clustered around the bride, the other clustered around the groom.

(For clarity's sake, I'll say “bride” and “groom” here, but the same would pertain for two grooms or two brides.)

They meet in the middle, the rites are enacted, and the party begins.

Let the two be one.


Later this year I'll be marrying (in the sense of "performing a wedding ceremony for") a local couple who are considering recasting their ceremony along these lines.

I'll keep you posted.


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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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