Engaged couples, magazines, corporations, professionals seeking headshots, and parents of newborns all rave about Connecticut photographer Carrie Patterson of Carrie Draghi Photography. I interviewed Carrie on a recent episode of Weddings with Zita. You can watch it on Youtube.com/ZitaTVNetwork. It's episode 27. Here are a few take-aways.
There's a certain intimacy that is created when you work with your wedding photographer. He or she will spend a lot of time with you in various stages of undress and, equally important, various expressions of emotion. You need to trust your photographer. Continue reading
Navigating the world of bridal gown alterations can be mysterious, not to mention expensive. In episode 28 of Weddings with Zita, Connecticut bridal seamstress Mollie Frish shares stories, photos, advice, and inspiration. Watch it on Youtube.com/ZitaTVNetwork.
Do you have a bridal alteration story to share? Let me know. I'm putting together questions for another interview with Mollie. Thanks.
Movies about climbing Mount Everest always show prayer flags – five pieces of solid colored fabric strung together, blowing in the wind. The meaning behind them is ancient and honors the individual, the family, the community, and the earth. Continue reading
Did you know that unicorns like ash trees? That the locust tree represents strength and the will to live? That planting a juniper by the front door is said to protect the home from thieves? What magical gifts do the trees in your neighborhood offer?
Gifts from the Trees is a ritual I created from myths, legends, and facts surrounding trees. It’s a good ritual for fairy– or woodland-themed weddings, milestone birthdays, retirement celebrations, or croning ceremonies.
Have you listened to Episode 6 of Ritual Recipes – a podcast full of practical magic to nourish your inner life? This little video enhances the message and offers a simple ritual to attract love, deepen love, or celebrate self-love. The power comes from your intent and an apple!
Do you need protection? Eat basil.
Do you seek abundance? Have some mint.
Do you want to help your family find peace? Serve coriander.
Herbs and spices are full of magical properties and lend themselves to rituals.
I believe food tastes best when the chef works while holding loving thoughts for those who will eat the food. That’s the idea behind spirit spoons. The spoon itself can be made of any material. The spirit is added by the cook. Continue reading
Layered, piled, buried, jutting up from the ground, stones weave the tapestry of the earth. They symbolize the old, the everlasting…the ancestors. What does it mean to make a oath on a stone connected to the realm of the departed? A lot!
Hearken back now to a time long ago when the land was always viewed as the home of the ancestors. Everyone knew that the spirits of loved ones who had died now guided and protected those still walking the earth. Everyone understood that physical survival in this world depended on spiritual connections to the Other World.
A stone that came from the land bridged the worlds of here and beyond. To swear an oath with your hand on a sacred stone forged an invisible link to your ancestors. Break your oath and you break your connection. You risk survival in this world and the next. If your clan knew you’d broken your vow, their support would also be in jeopardy. At best, you’d be shunned. At worst, you’d be driven from the village. If you didn’t honor a commitment to your ancestors, how could you be trusted? Continue reading
Have you seen Walt Disney’s The Lion King? One of my favorite scenes is when the witch, Rafiki, presents the newborn cub, Simba, to the gods while Simba’s parents beam with pride. That scene is what inspired a baby blessing I created.
In my work as a ritualist, I create rituals to help individuals, couples, families, and communities navigate rites of passage – weddings, new home blessings, baby blessings, as well as funerals, memorial services, and other milestones along the way. Most of the people who work with me are not members of a church. That no longer presents an obstacle for couples getting married since there are several legal alternatives for someone to perform the ceremony. Couples might choose a justice of the peace, a generic officiant, or a specialist in family and community rituals – a Life-Cycle Celebrant. That’s what I am.
Baby Blessing Ritual for the Unchurched
Not being a member of a church or other organized spiritual community can present a challenge when the couple has a baby. Continue reading
What do root vegetables, horseshoes, the groundhog and the Celtic Goddess Brigid have in common? They’re the ingredients of two mid-winter rituals I want to share with you.
I live in Connecticut. Winters are long and cold. In early February, folks look to the groundhog to predict the coming of spring. Early on February 2, he pops up from his underground den. If he sees his shadow, it’s because the sun is weak. It hasn’t risen high enough to warm the land. We can expect six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, the sun is strong and has already risen high enough to begin warming the land. Spring will come early. Instead of consulting the groundhog, my Celtic ancestors looked to the Goddess Brigid for signs of spring. Continue reading