Our High Priestess, Lady Talitha, has graciously accepted my proposal that beside blogging here and there, those members of Raven Coven that are interested perform a series of interviews.  Of course, no one stepped forward first and well, here I am--little Ivy Ravenheart. 

For those of you who don't know me, I've been trying to set up the small website for Raven Coven.  Just something to do for the coven I call family because I think we have something that needs to be spotlighted here.  Even if no one reads this, I know that it's being done.  It's not to say that our high priestess or high priest can't do it (because they can)--it's just that they have so much on their plates most of the time that this is the best way for me to help the people that I've come to call family.  But bear with me--I'm just learning right now and yola is a good place to learn (yes, I'm giving them a much deserved plug).  They've been very helpful and patient with me, as well as my high priestess and high priest when I ask them those many, many, many, MANY questions that keep popping up in my head.

Lady Talitha officiated two handfastings last month, both were very beautiful and different in their own way, but both were very much a labour of love.  I asked our high priestess a few questions that most people ask...and a few that some don't but wish they did.  It was enlightening and fun, and I hope you find it that way, too.

Ivy:  Lady Talitha, when did you first perform your first handfasting?

Lady Talitha:  I officiated my very first unofficial (and very illegal) handfasting in 1987.  I wasn't "legal" until much later in life.

Ivy:  What is different about officiating rather than performing a handfasting? 

Lady Talitha:  Performing a handfasting infers that you are acting, officiating refers to the actual act of offering a service to others.

Ivy:  I noticed that a lot of High Priestesses and High Priests now charge for their services.  Why don't you?

Lady Talitha:  I was brought up to believe that when you are being of service to others that you should not charge a fee for what is free.  Love is free, it isn't bought.  I officiate weddings and handfasting because I enjoy it.  I believe in love in all of its forms, just as I believe in the unity of two into one.  I'll be honest,tho...I have thought about charging for what I offer when I have been financially strapped, but in the end I find I just can't bring myself to charge anyone.  But, for those who charge, they must do so for their own reasons.  Who am I to judge them?

Ivy:  But you accept love offerings or love donations, don't you?

Lady Talitha:  Yes, I do however the donation usually ends up as a donation to the charity of my choice, or is given to others in need.

Ivy:  What is the one thing that couples never ask you but you wish they would?

Lady Talitha:  [LAUGHING]  Oh my, there are quite a few things but actually, each handfasting and wedding are different so the questions vary at different times.

Ivy:  Has anyone ever asked you to wear something specific for their wedding or handfasting?

Lady Talitha:  Well, yes, they have and I always ask the couple if there is something specific they want me to wear, as well.  Not everyone wants to see a crazed High Priestess dressed in black officiating their handfasting or wedding.  Although I do try to honor requests, I do stop at the request for me to cut my hair based on someone's preference for short hair.

Ivy:  NO!

Lady Talitha:  Yes.  [SIGH]  Even in the pagan world there are bridezillas and groomzillas (and momzillas).

Ivy:  What are some of the weird things couples have asked you to do for them?  Oh wait, I don't want to know.  I know, how about...what are some of the basic things you want to know when a couple asks you to officiate for them?

Lady Talitha:  A few of the basic things I need to know is:
  1. Is it a legal handfasting (license, et al) or is it a handfasting (Year and a Day without a license)?
  2. Is it indoors or outdoors?
  3. Date and time (very important because I do NOT adhere to the "PST" (Pagan Standard Time) of whenever...
  4. What type of handfasting.  (Traditional universal, Celtic, Druid, Elemental Fae, etc.) or themed:  Renaissance, Medieval, etc.
  5. What kind of ceremony do you have in mind?  (You write the ritual or do I, you write the vows or do I, etc.)
  6. Do you have a wedding party and if so, how many in the party?
  7. What is the couple's colors and what color represents both of them?  This is important because this is for the handfasting cords.  Each person picks his/her own color and then the two pick one color that represents the color of where their love is strongest. 
  8. And, of course, I would need contact names, telephone numbers, and email addresses. 

Ivy:  Do you meet the couple first before you agree to handfast them?

Lady Talitha:  Sometimes.  I know that is strange, but sometimes I just have a "feeling" that a meeting between us can wait until we can go over the grounds of where the handfasting is to take place.  That's not a rehearsal, mind you, it's just to get the general feel of the area where the handfasting is to be held.  Remember that we're not always like Christians in that pre-wedding counseling is warranted, however there have been times when I have insisted on it.  It just depends on the couple.

Ivy:  Do you only handfast couples that you have known for a long time?

Lady Talitha:  Oh heck no!  I usually know when I agree to handfast a couple whether or not it will be a good, smooth handfasting, and if we will get along well during the ceremony. 

Ivy:  Why is that?

Lady Talitha:  I don't officiate as an automaton but rather put a lot of love and energy into each and every handfast.  It is usually just as much a part of my gift to them as the honor of joining them is a gift to me.  I get to share in the magick that each couple weaves between them.  Call me a bit of a voyeur in that respect, but it is a wonderful gift that each couple shares when they join each to the other.  It IS a pleasure to watch, witness, and help manifest.

Ivy:  Wow,  I never thought of it that way.

Lady Talitha:  Few ever really do, but if you know and understand magick, you'll know that Love is the greatest magick in the world and with love, wonderful things begin.

Ivy:  Thank you very much for your time and consideration, Lady Talitha.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Lady Talitha:  Just this:  The heart loves where it will, but with love we always journey the realm of magick!  Oh, and thank you, Ivy, for being such a great interviewer--I've enjoyed our time here.  You're doing a wonderful job with the website!

Okay, so I blushed a lot here.  She's a nice lady, our High Priestess.  She's tough at first, but such a softie.  I can say that here.  Actually, I say it a lot everywhere.  Next time I hope to interview our High Priest but someone else might take that one up.  Who knows, it might even be one of the other priestesses...

That said, I'm outta here.  I'm gonna be a voyeur this weekend--at a handfasting!

Blessings to All!