K & Z were wed on a warm spring day in Scottsdale at the Fairmont Resort. There's was an intimate, loving, spiritual wedding ceremony. Emotions were running high and the Native American ritual enabled the couple to become more centered and grounded. White sage was lit and a feather was used to "smudge" the couple, meaning that the couple was fanned with the smoke. The act of smudging is done to clear the space and provide a healing, sacred space for the ceremony. The smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as it clears it takes that negative energy with it, releasing it into another space to be regenerated. White sage is very sweet smelling. Incorporated with the smudging ritual was a marriage blessing. We began by facing the East, element of air, and honoring their new beginning, followed by the South, element of fire, and honoring their love and passion, then the West, element of water to honor their emotions, and finally the North, element of earth, honoring their solid foundation. Z and K had been together 7 years when they wed. The groom chose this quote by Chief Dan George which was incorporated into their ceremony, “My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.” From their first date, it was clear this bride and groom were deeply connected. Both are sensitive souls who have each other's back and are always there to lift one another up. Another quote that speaks to their relationship was incoporated by Thich Nhat Hanh, “Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.” Just before they were pronounced as husband and wife and kissed, this Native American Blessing was read: May the sun bring you new energy by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries
And the breeze blow new strength into your being,
And all the days of your life may you walk
Gently through the world and know its beauty.
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling to enter into the days of your life together,
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Jen Paul, Life Cycle Celebrant, Ordained Minister, Wedding Officiant, Life Coach, Death Doula