Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Wiccan Wedding & the Strangeness of Memory

My wedding to M. was conducted by the HP and HPS of our coven at a Forest Service group campground near Colorado Springs. The campground reservation cost $10 or $15 back then, and the wedding finished with a potluck feast. I think we paid for some cheese and champagne. My sister baked a cake. Invitations were photocopied.

M. worked then as a state parole department investigator. The agents from her office brought us some gift or other—and also presented her with a homemade necklace of chicken bones. Cop humor.

My mother, who had been invited (I couldn’t keep her away) brought a bunch of her relatives, who had not been invited. One Southern Baptist cousin pronounced the ceremony “an abomination.” (He manages to be friendly enough, however, on the rare occasions that we see him.)

The attendants passed a tray of (hippie whole-wheat) moon cakes for the guests. Everyone took one except my mother. “Come on, Mother,” my sister said, “When in Rome . . . “

“No,” Mother said, stiffening her Anglican spine, “I’m not Dru-ish.” I guess being outdoors in a grove of pines made her think of Druids.

We had not bothered to explain that this was a Wiccan wedding, wrists tied, blood drops in the chalice, the whole bit. We figured we would just go ahead and do it.

For M.’s Irish-American stepmother, there was no problem: We just said it was “Celtic,” and she was happy. And her father was satisfied simply to see that the wedding license was genuine.

M.’s brother-in-law played his guitar, and her younger brother shot a video. Her family, although nominally Catholic, was never terribly judgmental—except for one odd thing that M. learned only earlier this month.

For thirty years, her sister-in-law has been thinking that Witchcraft involves sacrificing small animals, yet she knows that M. is all for protecting animals. So she has lived with this contradiction for decades. On M.’s recent visit to their home, she said that she had seen some ferrets in our house at the time of the wedding, and she had always assumed that they were the intended sacrificial victims.

But we never had ferrets! We never had any caged animals, just cats (then) and dogs (now).

Memory is a very strange thing. Hopefully all has been made clear now.



Blogger Yvonne said...

That's a great story! Maybe she was seeing ghost-ferrets? Or hallucinatory ferrets - what did you put in those moon-cakes?

4:44 AM  
Blogger wordwitch said...

Hey Chas,

My hubby and I got married at dawn 8 years ago today (the 26th) in Slide Rock State Park just north of Sedona, AZ. We had sent out elaborate (yet inexpensive) invites (my hubby is a graphic designer) that detailed the ceremony....and thus we only had a total of 18 people - including the Priest, Priestess, hubby, and me! Two of my own brothers wouldn't come, and my hubby's parents also declined to come. But we're still incredibly happily married, and celebrate each day together.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Steve Bodio said...

That is funnier than my first (very early, hippie) wedding-- not your ceremony but the reactions.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Sravana said...

Perhaps she saw some (uncaged) rats?

Ick. Sorry.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

Sravana must think that we were very poor housekeepers.

With two or three cats always on patrol, I can assure readers that our little house in Manitou Springs was always rodent-free.

4:01 PM  

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