An Alternative Rite for the Passage of Divorce
© MoonpathCUUPS in Fort Lauderdale
(A handfasting is when two people are joined together. A handparting is when two people are splitting or divorcing. For this ceremony perhaps only one of them is present. For this example, we shall assume that this person is a woman and call her the Extant.) (Present are the Extant (the person who is exiting the relationship), a High Priestess (HPS), High Priest (HP), and perhaps some invited guests.) (The Deities invoked, the energies at the Quarters, and the choices of colors are quite personal. So are the words to be recited by the Extant, all depending upon her circumstances.) (Props include altar tools, a black column candle, a black taper candle, a white taper candle, anointing oil, a sword, and optional mementos.) (The HPS casts the Circle:) "I cast this Circle 'round about, Good stays in and bad stays out." (The Quarters are invoked alternately by HPS and HP. Give special thought to the significance of what you draw from each Quarter.) HPS: "Elementals of the South representing fire and passion, be with us tonight." HP: "Elementals of the East representing intellect and choice, be with us tonight." HPS: "Elementals of the North representing earth and the material world, be with us tonight." HP: "Elementals of the West representing emotion and finality, be with us tonight." (The Goddess and possible a God are invited. Select the Deities most meaningful.) (HPS & HP, standing at the altar, declare the intent of the Ritual:) HPS: "This evening we gather in the sight of the Goddess and the God to mark a passage. Extant is ending a relationship and moving on." HPS: "Extant, is this why you are here?" (Here Extant steps to the altar and may repeat her intentions.) HP to the Others present: "Do you come in support of Extant?" Others: "Yes!" HPS: "Do you, Extant, bring with you any symbols from your past?" (Extant responds.) HPS: "What is, is. What was, used to be. What lies in the future is guided by our choices today." HP: "To move forward, we are invited to lighten our load by letting go of the past." HPS lights the column candles and starts, "Once there was a relationship. It was one of two people. There was some good and some less than good." (HP picks up the black taper. The Extant picks up the white. Together they light them from the column candle.) HP: "A relationship is made of two people and now one of them is gone." (HP steps away from altar, snuffs his candle, and places it outside the Circle.) HPS to Extant): "Do you acknowledge that this relationship is over?" The Extant states, "I acknowledge that this relationship is over." HPS uses snuffer to extinguish the column candle. "More than this candle is extinguished." HPS: "Tell us of your independence." The Extant makes a statement on independence, "I, Extant, tonight begin my life anew.... I am done with _________." Optional words depending upon the Extant's situation: (Extant places her burning taper on the altar.) (I will be amicable enough not to feed fires of past discontent in whatever links I must maintain to my past. I look back only for child support or whatever.) (HPS and HP offer blessings of the Goddess and the God to Extant as they anoint her with oil.) HPS: "Extant, the blessings of the Goddess are upon you." HP: "Extant, the blessings of the God are upon you." (HPS and HP present Extant to each of the Quarters:) HPS/HP: "Elementals of the North, we present to you Extant, a strong and powerful woman." HPS/HP: "Elementals of the West, we present to you Extant, a strong and powerful woman." HPS/HP: "Elementals of the South, we present to you Extant, a strong and powerful woman." HPS/HP: "Elementals of the East, we present to you Extant, a strong and powerful woman." HPS and HP present Extant to the others present: HPS/HP: Friends gathered in support, we present to you Extant, a strong and powerful woman." Others: "Raucous applause!" (The others present offer blessings, encouragement, and token gifts to Extant.) "HPS: "Extant, tonight you take the first step in your new life." HP: "Extant, step over this sword as the first of many obstacles you will overcome." (The Extant takes the first step of her new life.) (Much cheering and applause.) HPS: "Extant, you are in charge of your own life. Close this Ritual by thanking the Deities and dismissing the Quarters." Extant: "I thank the Goddess and the God for their presence tonight. Be with me on my journey." Extant: "I dismiss the Elementals at the Quarters: North, West, South, and East. Heed my call in my time of need." Extant: "This Circle is open but unbroken. Let food and drink be brought forth! Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again."