There was a handfasting this weekend. In my religion this is one of the things we do in addition to/in lieu of a traditional wedding ceremony. Traditional being defined as the dominant culture’s take on it which for me is the social structure of the U.S. Being part of a minority religion can make for difficult conversations with folks who practice the dominant religion because our outer public image is almost wholly different from that of (in this country) Christianity. I could go into all the why’s and wherefore’s and privilege, but this post is not about that.
I don’t doubt that I’m on the wrong path religiously. I don’t wonder how I’d be if I’d remained in the religion of my youth. I know what I’d be. I would be someone living a stunted life. Because a bad fit is not changeable. If I have a bad fit in a marriage staying in that relationship doesn’t somehow turn me and my partner into a good fit. Longevity cannot right a wrong fit no matter how much one wishes for that. That is how it is with religions. You fit or you don’t. Like a marriage every detail may not line up perfectly every day, but you know you are where you should be. Of that you are certain.
My religion is orthopraxy over orthodoxy. This suits me very well as I believe right action trumps the belief behind the action every time. My religion is experiential over thinking-based. Prone as I am to overthinking things this may seem like a poor fit, but it is exactly the opposite. It is what balances me and makes me whole. It is the experiential nature of moving and shifting energies that takes me out of living only in my head and allows me bring my whole Self to life. Our rites, be they group or solitary, bring a deep moving of Love through us and out to the Universe and from the Universe into us. They facilitate change within us that pushes a ripple out to our local community, the larger society, the world, and beyond. It sounds grand and too big and yet from what I know of other more well known religions it seems no different in that piece, only the tools to get there differ. My tools do it best for me. (In the interest of honesty I believe my tools do it best, period. Otherwise I wouldn’t be using them. Rock/paper/scissors – the proper tool at the proper time matters.)
Which brings me to the handfasting. I had the honour of co-facilitating it. I had the honour of standing in community with my people and co-creating something that not only elevated us all, but was one of those times that cemented again the knowing in my core that I am where I’m meant to be religiously. It was a private ceremony in a private home and even if I wanted to share the details here (I don’t, this event was not for public consumption) I could not possibly do it justice with words. And that, the ineffability of the experience, is the absolute marker of being exactly where I should be. When a group of people, some of whom are previously unknown to each other, come together and create an experience that shifts not only the couple united, but all of us attending, well … the words “mystery” and “magic” are the only ones that suit. Outer image differences aside, I think if you are a good fit with your religion (no matter what that might be) you understand exactly what I mean.