Guests and your Pagan Ceremony...
Do you want a pagan, or nature based style ceremony but worry about your guests?
Do you worry they won't understand? Or worry they might not like it? Worries of it seeming too different. Perhaps you worry its too pagan, or too witchy, or some aspects may not be understood?
In my experience, I find that is not ever the case! Honestly, every pagan ceremony I have attended or facilitated has always been enjoyed, or understood by the guests regardless of their religious views, or background.
The family I created a naming for today were pagan, following the 'old ways'. However, apart from one guest no one else was of that way.
The response afterward the ceremony was beautiful.
Here are some comments people said after, I wrote them down because it was so touching.
' I loved its simplicity and way of connecting to the elements'
' it was so lovely being outside, very different from church namings and blessings, thank you it opened my eyes to something new'
' i loved how it was so unique to the family'
'I was really looking forward to today, to seeing something different, it was wonderful'
' truly wonderful, I feel like I've opened my eyes'
Those were just some of what I recall to write. It also sparked an interest in a lovely young teen who wanted to find out more more and asked me questions.
The only ceremonies in which guests haven't spoken up about how they enjoyed a pagan style ceremony is in a one to one ceremony because there were no physical human guests, or obviously in non pagan which isn't the topic anyway.
I do recall worrying about guests and if they'd get it or find it too fantasy at our handfasting. I wasn't going to honour the gods, or ancestors to start with. I wanted to keep it simple for the guests. I changed my mind last minute and went the whole way and we were glad we did. Because we got married for us, no one else.
Four years ago now, a friend of mine, Judy Papenhuijzen, passed away. I want to share her name in her honour. She introduced me to the Druid aspects of my pagan path and stayed a good friend in my young years despite our age gap. We both shared Dutch heritage too so that bonded us more.
When she passed she asked our friend Gabriela Aluna to hold her ceremony. Judy wanted a druid ceremony, the full works, including a labyrinth. She wanted her parting message to all to be 'life is a labyrinth'. My gods has that stayed with me, and my work!
Gabriela invited me as a guest to support a little and write the opening for Judy's funeral. It was an honour. I had my Druid robe made then especially for it.
Judy's funeral was held in a crematorium in Eastbourne where she lived. We stood at the front in our druid robes and opened the ceremony calling the elements. Gabriela and her husband Paddy gave a beautiful ceremony honouring all of Judys wishes.
The staff of the crematorium were so intrigued that some came in to see the service because they had never seen a druid ceremony before.
They all spoke of how beautiful it was afterwards! The best they had seen. They see ceremony all the time too.
Judy created the ceremony she needed to help her transition to beyond the veil and show her guests her heart. It was her only ceremony, she knew this, so she made it meaningful, we all felt connected as the guests, even those who werent pagan or druid, and that's my point.
This is about you creating a ceremony for you, whether that be a rite of passage, handfasting wedding, naming ceremony, mothers blessing, blessing, untying, or even funeral. Create it the way you feel aligned with your heart, your meanings , your hopes, your beliefs, your dreams. It's for you on your path, others will choose theirs for them.
Your guests will see those meanings and it will touch them.
If that means it is a nature based, pagan, wiccan, druid, or shamanic style ceremony, then go for it!
It's your ceremony, aligned with your heart, you will very likely open others hearts too.
Dont worry about what they'll think or how awkward they may be, let them experience, be open and feel the earth beneath their feet, and the sky above.
You have the chance of one ceremony, one handfasting, one naming, one mothers blessing, one funeral, one rite of passage for that moment in your life's path. It must be right for you, it must fill your heart.
It will be worth it.
Blessed be /l\