Over many years as a shamanic practitioner and author I have gained great understanding of the power of the ancient traditions of ritual and ceremony. It seemed like a natural step to take this knowledge and wisdom into becoming a celebrant, certified by FOIC sharing the ways of old. You have arrived here because you have a special wish to have your hearts’ desires witnessed by Spirit in a non-traditional ceremony at a place chosen by yourselves. Honouring all the sacred elements and this beautiful planet that we live on. Sharing the day with your friends and family as you celebrate a wedding, a hand-fasting, a vow renewal or a child naming in a ceremony that resonates with your own beliefs.
As a celebrant, I offer ceremonies at any place that is special to you, be that out in the beauty of the elements or in the sanctity of a sacred building or sacred site, as you wish. Within the ceremony there are many choices for opening the directions, hand-fasting, unity candles, Quaichs, despachos and fire offerings, or any other rituals derived from your beliefs and your lineage that you would like to incorporate. We can harmonise all of these ancient elements and ideas collaboratively into the day that you have been dreaming of.
Prices depend on the complexity and location of the ritual you would like, but for an initial free consultation to discuss your requirements and create the vision for your ideal ceremony, please call me on 07813180446 or email me at [email protected]
Many couples, whether same sex or male and female, also appreciate the opportunity to honour masculine and feminine aspects within their commitment to each other, and my husband George Christie can participate with me in holding the space if you wish to explicitly incorporate the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within your ceremony.
In England and Wales, it is only civil registrars or registered Churches that are allowed to conduct legally binding wedding ceremonies. Registrar officiated weddings are legally obliged to be devoid of any spiritual content, and church weddings are obliged to adhere to the rules of that particular religious denomination. There are also restrictions on where, when, and who can be married in these ways. In particular the Church still often refuses to marry same sex couples, which is not an issue for a celebrant!
Many people want something different to celebrate their commitment to one another – perhaps because they want to get married at an outside location or in a sacred place, or perhaps because they want to include intimate and personal Spiritual but not religious content.
I specialise in sacred, spiritual commitment ceremonies which can take place (if you wish) in conjunction with a very low-key registry office wedding for the legalities. Or it can be a stand-alone commitment celebration (possibly witnessed by friends and family) without a legal marriage.
Your bespoke ceremony can be at the location of your choice and can include whatever rituals are part of your Spiritual tradition. If you would like your wedding to be honoured by both masculine and feminine celebrants together, then my husband can participate in holding the space with me. Some of the elements that can be included in weddings or commitment ceremonies are described below, but this is not an exclusive list. We are open to honouring your lineage and your traditions.
In the ancient traditions of the Q’ero of the high Andes of Peru, my primary lineage of shamanic teachers, there is only one instruction, which is to live in ayni – which means right relation, with ourselves, others and all of creation. The kausay pacha is the energy of the living universe and the pampa mesayoq shamans are the experts at making wonderful offerings to help bring us into ayni. These powerful and beautiful offerings can be made for any significant undertaking – including births, weddings, moving home, a new job and so on. Usually after being created they are burned, sending the prayers and blessings of the despacho into the kausay pacha with the energy of fire.
As a shamanic practitioner I can offer a despacho as part of any ceremony. For a wedding or vow renewal these despachos would include red and white rose petals, candles, ribbons and other items to honour all the elements, and also blessings from your close friends and family. You can see photographs of several of these from previous occasions. For a new child they would include offerings to represent the wealth (in any form) you wish for the child as well as items for all the elements and blessings from all those present.
The unity candle ritual involves lighting two individual candles at the beginning of the ceremony and then after the vows have been exchanged (or the hand-fasting has taken place) the couple take their individual candles to light a larger single candle. This represents their individual lights coming together into a greater unified power.
The Quaich is also called the loving cup. It is a small pewter or silver dish with two handles and is usually engraved with the name of the couple, or the child for a naming ceremony, and the date of the ceremony. A blessing is offered and for a wedding, each of the couple holds one handle of the dish, whilst one after another drink from the cup (whisky, champagne or even water). For a naming the parents would be drinking a toast to their child. The historic origins were to ensure that if both parties were drinking, neither one was poisoning the other! Today it is used as sharing of what is available within a marriage or within a family.
For shamans, the fire opens a portal to other dimensions, and in a fire ceremony to accompany your celebration, you can throw in to be burned anything that no longer serves you before stepping into a new way of being. You can also feed your intentions for the future from the power of the fire. If you include a despacho in your ceremony we will burn this in the fire as we send out our prayers and hopes for the future.
An addition or alternative is to make a beautiful ‘pachamama’ stick of natural elements, into which each person present can blow their blessings for this planet that we live on, and then the couple can put this blessing from themselves and all their guests into the fire. This is a beautiful ceremony whether to honour a wedding, a vow renewal, or a new member of the family.
A hand-fasting is a beautiful practice which can be done as a stand-alone ceremony, or as part of a larger wedding ceremony. It is an ancient practice and is the historic source of the phrase we use today, ‘tying the knot’. We do it by binding the hands of the couple together, using coloured cords or ribbons, with different colours involving different symbolism. You can choose the colours that resonate with your own plans for your lives together. Often it may represent a temporary commitment, for instance for a year and a day, and then it can be renewed in the future if the couple so desire, but it can also be a symbol of permanent commitment. We tie the cords in such a way that they can be kept (still knotted) on an altar or other sacred space in your home after your marriage, as a visible representation of your lives being intertwined.
Many times, after a period of marriage or perhaps after a period of temporary hand-fasting, a couple want to renew their commitment to each other in front of Great Spirit. This may be after a difficult time in the relationship and then reconciliation, or it may be to celebrate a significant anniversary, or to renew their vows after the birth of a child.
If you would like to renew your vows, we can together craft a ceremony, large or small, to reaffirm your desire to live together in partnership, as a couple. If you have children it is a wonderful opportunity to include them in your commitment to live as a loving family. Any of the elements mentioned above for a wedding can be included in a vow renewal.
The birth of a child into a family is an opportunity to honour the lineage, the ancestors that have led to this point. Particularly if the family is of mixed race or traditions, a naming ceremony can be a beautiful time to acknowledge the whole family, including rituals from different cultures to celebrate the arrival of a new member of the tribe. Once again despachos, a Quaich or fire ceremony can be included if you would like these.