Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celtic Marriage Herbs, Spells, and Traditions

Adapted from A Druid's Herbal, by Ellen Evert Hopman (Inner Traditions,

Learn how to do a traditional divination to see if you will marry
your lover, find out which herbs Wise Ones used to increase passion
and ensure fidelity, read some good-luck Celtic wedding customs, and
more. It's all here:

To See if You Will Marry Your Lover:
Drop two acorns in a pan of water. If the nuts come together, a
match is certain.

Celtic Marriage Traditions
Weddings are often held under the marriage oak, or inside stone
circles within which the participants dance. Newly married couples
might circumambulate a stone while asking for fertility, or pass
naked through a large hole carved out of a stone (symbolic of
rebirth into their new life).

A bride was thought to be the earthly representative of spiritual
treasure, which must be fought for with determination and courage.
She symbolized the Otherworld and a previously unexplored region of
the groom's psyche. The groom embodies the assertive male energy
that must accomplish worldly deeds. Spiritually and physically, the
couple must overcome the obstacles to their union in order for each
to become whole.

For these reasons, displays of mock hostility, the blocking of
entrances and gates, and the creation of rope barriers to test the
couple's determination are often part of the rite. Hostile spirits
are dispelled by loud noises. A relative of the bride might carry
her off, with the groom and his party in hot pursuit. When everyone
tires of the game, the groom is "allowed" to claim the bride, and
the celebrations and feasting begin.

An alternative to the horseplay might be to challenge the groom to
solve a riddle. Or the bride's people and the groom's people can
challenge each other to a contest in verse. And old Welsh custom is
for the bride to disguise herself; one of the groom's men is
supposed to pick her out of the gathered crowd.

After the ceremony, an old woman meets the bride and presents her
with a bag of hazelnuts--symbolic of the wisdom and the creativity
she will enjoy in her new life's passage.

Traditional Marriage Herbs
Because they are an herb of protection, said to avert evil, the
Ancient Romans baked ANISE SEEDS into wedding cakes.

APPLES AND APPLE BLOSSOMS are symbolic of love, healing, and
immortality. Burn the blossoms as incense, wear the perfume, and
make them into herb candles.

BROOM FLOWERS bound with colored ribbons are carried at weddings.
Couples may choose to "jump the broom" as they make their transition
to a new station in life.

CARAWAY SEEDS are often added to love potions to keep lovers
faithful. They are said to inspire passion when baked into cakes or
breads, so put some in the wedding cake, or throw it at the bride
and groom instead of rice (it's much better for the birds!)

ELDERFLOWERS are used to bring blessings and luck to married

LAVENDER is a classic ingredient of love charms. If worn, it helps
protect against spousal abuse.

LEMON VERBENA is worn to increase one's attractiveness to the
opposite sex.

LICORICE brings fidelity and passion to a sexual union.

MARJORAM brings joy and is a common ingredient in love spells.

ROSES are ancient symbols of love. Strew them before the bridal
pair, use them on the altar, wear them, and place them on the
marriage bed.

ROSEMARY, an herb of consecration and remembrance, is often added to
incense, placed in the chalice, and distributed to guests.

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