Wiccan wedding traditions

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Wiccan Wedding Traditions

Wicca is a religion that while relatively new is greatly influenced by older pre-Christian pagan religions in Europe. Wiccans in a general sense believe in a male and female aspect of the creatrix termed the Lord and Lady, or that go by different god and goddess names. It is individual and personal how each Wiccan chooses to personify their relationship with deity. There is also a reverance for nature, and deity's ability to work through nature and ourselves as part of nature and visa versa to bring into being that which the Wiccan in question wants, hence the idea of magic, and psychic abilities which are believed to be a part of that.

Wiccan wedding ceremonies are quite different from your traditional white wedding. While a bride might wear a white dress, it is highly unlikely that you will see one of the more modern silk, or satin ones that are bead encrusted for example. Instead you will be more likely to see a medieval, or gothic designed gown at a Wiccan wedding ceremony. Also, the chances of the groom in a tuxedo are just as unlikely.

Whether or not a Wiccan wedding ceremony is considered legal or not has to do with whether or not the person officiating the Wiccan wedding is a registered minister and as such legally able to marry people. For some Wiccans the legalities are not as important as following their hearts by having a ceremony that reflects their beliefs. For those for whom the legalities are important they choose to have a civil ceremony as well if the person officiating their Wiccan ceremony is not legally able to marry people.

Many Wiccan weddings include the ancient Celtic practice of handfasting which was actually legal in Scotland until 1939. This is where the couple's hands are tied together signifying their union. Sometimes the couple have small cuts made in their wrists so their blood can mingle and as such personify the strength of their bond. With AIDS and other blood borne diseases though, this is probably not a safe practice any longer unless you are absolutely sure your partner is disease free.

It is different for every Wiccan as to just what this commitment means. Some think it means for a year and a day, to be renewed at the end of such time as the couple chooses, for some it means for a lifetime, and for others it means through all lifetimes. It is up to each couple as to how intense the meaning of the handfasting/wedding is. Handfasting is also where the term "tie the knot" comes from in relation to marriage.

Another wedding tradition that is quite ancient and that is employed by some Wiccans in their weddings is "jumping the broom." Jumping the broom or besom as they are sometimes called appears to have originated in Wales where a couple would place a birch broom aslant in the open doorway of a house with the top of the handle on the doorpost, and the head on the doorstep. Then first the groom would jump over it, and then the bride. Incidentally for it to be a "real" marriage they had to do this in front of witnesses, and they couldn't knock over or touch the broom in any way or the marriage was not considered to be real one. Divorce was relatively simple and could be done anytime during the first year, simply by jumping back over the broom. Any children from the union were considered to be the responsibility of the father.

While jumping the broom appears to be a bit less common than handfasting with Wiccans, some Wiccans actually choose to employ both practices into their wedding ceremony.

Practices in Wicca are as varied as with many other religions when it comes to weddings, but these appear to be the two main types of ceremonies for Wiccan weddings.

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