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.