A legal marriage in the Goddess Temple is unique in the fact that it is in the format of a Handfasting, an ancient Pagan sacred marriage ceremony.
As the sacred marriage ceremony takes the couple on a journey around the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, so it includes a ritual for each of the elements.
We provide the equipment needed, such as incense bowl and incense for the Air ritual, which represents the beginning of your relationship. The Priestess Celebrant smudges you both with incense hand-blended by Priestesses and Temple Melissas to cleanse and make ready for your new life together as married beloveds.
At fire we bless your union with the sacred temple flame, the Flame of Avalon. Fire represents passion and the fire of love in your relationship. During the ritual you are both invited to light your own candle from the temple flame and so keep it as a perpetual flame to love with the deep connection to the Goddess Temple wherein you spoke your words of truth and love.
For the water ritual we have the temple chalice, which holds the waters of the red and white springs, collected ceremonially by Priestesses the evening before your Marriage. The element of water represents the emotions and flowing freely with the Ocean of your love as you take your vows and say the legal words.
At Earth we have the handfasting ritual, which is the deepening of the sacred marriage. In Avalon we favour the hoop and wand method. The groom creates his wand from a fallen branch that is a gift from Mother Earth on the forest floor or even driftwood from the seashore. This represents the sacred masculine and is prepared by the husband-to-be. He may sand, carve or oil it, then decorate it with crystals and copper wire – all done as he feels his creative flow and thoughts of his beloved and his role in the family. The hoop is traditionally made by the bride from withies, flexible lengths of willow wood, and decorated with silk flowers, ribbons and crystals. Priestess Sharlea Sparrow holds hoop making workshops for Brides several times throughout the year, where you can sit in sacred space with her and create your beautiful Bridal hoop. Sharlea can also take your ideas and create one for you if you would rather it was made especially for you. The hoop represents the divine feminine. Together the couple’s ring hands are bound with red & white ribbons to the hoop and wand (white for the father line and red for the mother line). The guests attending are then invited to come forward to tie their ribbons onto the hoop and wand and to offer their personal blessings and good wishes. The ribbons containing the energies and love of everyone attending!
In addition to your Wedding Ceremony, we now offer the following as part of your Wedding Experience. All included in the cost of the Wedding:
Sacred Incense Blending For Beloveds
During the rituals of Air, at the beginning of the Handfasting ceremony, hand-blended incense created by you both is used to symbolically to clear your past and your future path together, as a Sacred Married couple.
You are both invited to come into the Temple to blend your own ceremonial incense before your Wedding. All ingredients are provided, organic resins, herbs and woods. The Temple is privately reserved and prepared by your Priestesses for you both to mix your very own blend with loving intention. This is a deeply energetic connection to the rituals that will follow the next day, sensual, loving and creating together your own secret recipe.
The Cake and Mead Ceremony
After the traditional ‘jumping or stepping over the Besom Broom’, the Cake & Mead ceremony is prepared for you to honour the Elements, Ancestors, Goddesses and Gods.
All is made ready by your devoted team of Wedding Melissas in the Glastonbury Experience Courtyard, or if inclement weather the ceremony is easily held in the Temple. A table decorated with sumptuous cloth and tastefully adorned with ivy, flowers, crystals and candles, holds a Chalice of locally made West Country Mead and a platter of bite size pieces of scrumptious locally made cake. As the newly married Sacred Couple you will each offer the mead and the cake as a blessing for your wedding party. Each of your guests are invited to sip of the mead, with the words ‘’May you never go thirsty,” then offered the cake with the blessing,‘’May you never go hungry.’’ We also provide juices and spring Waters from the land of Avalon for children and those that do not imbibe alcohol. (Gluten free and vegan cakes provided on request.)
The Goddess Temple is open to the public seven days a week, from 12 noon to 4pm. Weddings are conducted after closing, at 6pm.