My son and his lovely partner got married on October 1, 2022.
We do not have many rituals from childhood into adulthood in our collective culture in the United States of America. The Jewish religious tradition has bat and bar mitzvahs when their children reach age 13. A religious and ceremonial rite of passage relieves parents of responsibility for their child’s actions, which is transferred to those adolescents. Aboriginal males have, or had, a ritual of going into the wilderness on their own during their adolescence to transition from childhood into adulthood, to name two examples built into ones’ culture. The closest we have in the United States is getting a driver’s license – and then being able to go to war at age 18. Being legally able to drink alcohol is another dubious distinction of entering adulthood between age 18 to 21, depending on what state you live in.
But marriage seems like a larger ritual because the betrothed enters into an agreement of commitment to another person. The divorce rate belies the seriousness of that commitment, but the institution of marriage is still a serious one that you have to legally separate from if that time comes.
I remember hearing that marriage is for the other person in the relationship, not for yourself. It took me a while to understand what that meant, but now I see that if you’re not fully in it for your partner’s well-being, why are you getting married?
An unexpected passage happened to me. I have been aware of my entrance into older adulthood, but their marriage somehow cemented my position as “elder”. I know I already have been, but I don’t feel “old”. I feel like I’m still in my 20’s or 30’s most of the time, but this is different. This seems like a spiritual journey rather than physical. I have entered a new phase, just as they have. While they welcomed it, and rejoiced, it’s going to take more settling into this aspect for me. Maybe if I had a ritual for myself it would be easier to take?
My son and his partner did a handfasting ritual which was beautiful to see, and did this Wiccan’s heart proud.
I wished them enough of all that they need and want throughout their journey together, and I look forward to becoming a “Glamma” in the near future (a mom can dream).
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh), Making A Way Blog, 2010 – current
“I look back on my life like a good day’s work; it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented. I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been – always will be.”
Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses) 1860 – 1961