HANDFASTING -- A traditional trial marriage or engagement ceremony dating back to the ancient Celts. Some believe that it lasted a 'year and a day'. After the predetermined time, the couple could separate in a handparting, if they wished, or make the match permanent.
The couple's hands were tied by a cord to symbolize their unity. Many modern couples use the cord to signify what they wish from the relationship and to reflect their vows. Colors like red, pink, and green are used to represent passion, love, and fertility respectively in the cord.
Now, a handfasting is more akin to a wedding in truth.
Hawthorns legends have that fairy live within them and that to cut one down was bad luck.
Parts of the tree were used as medicinal and edible substances, including the leaves and berries.
Magically, the hawthorn is used as protection and banishing evil spirits. It's used to draw luck into your home at the new year.
Beltane and May Day are two of the prevalent celebrations where hawthorn is used.
The Greeks and Romans also used hawthorn in rites of marriage and as protection of virgin purity.
HECATE -- (Pronounced hek-uh-tee, also Hekate) Let's just say She is one powerful goddess and is associated with many, many different things. She is the 'Queen of Ghosts'; goddess of the cross roads, sorcery, childbirth, witchcraft, and others. She is associated with the dark of the moon.
Pre-Olympian, Hecate came from Thrace and maybe even Egypt. In the pantheon of Greek Gods, She was powerful in her own right. Zeus gave her unprecedented powers to give and take away from mankind as she saw fit. No other had that kind of power besides him. She also had access to all three realms, Heavens, Earth, and Underworld.
Hecate's appearance has changed as time and cultures adopted her. She went from young maiden (her associations to them) to the haggard crone (Medieval Church demonization). Her statues were sometimes depicted with three heads as to signify she was ever vigilant.
Her origins are all over the place, depending on which place it was associated. Some called her one of the last Titans, others had her as a Fury.
At three-way crossroads, travelers traveling at night would leave offerings to her shrines for safe passage. Hecate Trivia (Roman tri-via) was celebrated on November 30th.
|Herne the Hunter|
Cerunnos is one such version of this god; only he is antlered not horned. Many times depicted surrounded by animals, he is assumed to be the Lord of Forest and Wild Things.
Herne the Hunter is another and could be considered one version of Cerunnos. He may be a different god altogether. He is the leader of the Wild Hunt in some of the legends. Herne may have been heavily influenced by the Anglo-Saxon.
Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me. I found them on Google.