A soulful practice and process of co-creating ceremony

I wanted to take a little time to share a part of my Celebrancy practice and some of my soulful ceremony crafting process. I hope this will help anyone exploring ways of working with celebrants in regard to marriage, civil partnership and commitment ceremonies. This is just one way of working but it works for me and the couples I work with offer very positive feedback.

Hello, I’m Andrea

When couples reach out to me with an enquiry and a request to connect, after checking I am available, I offer my congratulations and a no obligation video call. 

Many couples who are already aware of my Celebrant practice or been present at a ceremony I have conducted choose to book me right away without a video call

Many couples who reach out do so because they know they want, for any number of reasons, an agnostic celebrant and ceremony. 

For those who are looking for a ‘Celebrant’, and aren’t aware of the choice in Scotland, I always suggest exploring and learning about that choice so that they can find the right Celebrant for them.

In Scotland there is so much choice in regard to Celebrants. There are many Humanist Celebrants in the Humanist Society Scotland, also smaller Humanist bodies such as Independent Humanists and Spiritual Humanists so if you are Humanist there is a lot of choice.

There are also us of course, Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrants as well as Interfaith Ministers, Pagan Celebrants and Independent Celebrants amongst many more I’m sure.

For any new enquiry, that first connection, a no obligation video call is a great opportunity to meet, talk ceremony, celebrants and ask questions of each other. I also talk through the process I use to co-create and collaborate on a ceremony. 

However a couple find me, once they decide they want to book me for their marriage ceremony or civil partnership, I will send out an agreement form. Once I have the agreement form back along with a booking fee then I can confirm their date is secured. 

Yay …. They’ve got a Celebrant !! 

image by M Bryce

Around 5 months before the ceremony date I’ll reach out an arrange a meet up to revisit the process and begin to explore ideas, visions, plans, thoughts and inspiration in regard to content for the ceremony.  Many couples will have an idea of the vibe they’re looking for and most of them will certainly know what they don’t want. 

After that meeting the Love Modules begin. 

The first practical step in beginning to gather content for a ceremony is often done through questionnaires but I make it very clear that I can offer alternatives ways of gathering a love story. I am aware questionnaires, e-mails and tech are not accessible to everyone and we all have our preferred ways of communicating. There are always options and I want everyone to know that there are many ways to gather a story and would work on finding what was best for the individuals and the couple.

If folk are happy to give the questionnaires a go, I have Soulful Q1 that should be filled in by the couple and then Soulful Q2 which they can fill in independently and  privately, if they wish.  This is a really good way of digging a little bit deeper. With the tales of love in Q2 I’m learning about the individual that is sharing in the private questionnaire and also the individual they are composing thoughts and loving insights on.

With the questionnaires I send a document that explores co-creating the ceremony and a password protected blog which helps look at ways to get creative around gathering the story because as I mentioned above it’s not for everyone and it’s not the most romantically inspiring set up, sitting in front a laptop and filling in a word document.

We are not asked very often to record how we feel about our lover and it can be a challenge for many of us to speak, record or write the feelings, thoughts, reflections and insights that are in our hearts and minds. 

My aim is to gather a fresh and raw story. I don’t send anything else at this stage, no sample ceremonies or examples of this that and the next thing. 

Once we have gathered the story, however we have done that, we will then move onto the next stage, Love Module Two.

Here we will explore writing vows, considering words around ring exchange, if a couple are choosing to exchange rings, exploring thoughts on poetry, readings, songs, music, rituals and much more. This is when I can send examples for ideas and inspiration.

There is so much to get creative with.

Six weeks before the ceremony we will aim to have all the content chosen, we can then get together and create the structure, the flow of the ceremony.
I use a bell curve for this, the top of the bell curve is the threshold moment, this will be the vows in a legal marriage ceremony, in a civil partnership vows can be included if the couple wish but they could choose something else for their threshold moment. Consider that we have each side of the bell to fill with all the meaningful chosen content and a beautiful love story threaded through.

Ceremony Bellcurve

I will then write the ceremony and two weeks before the wedding date I will have a first draft ready. We will meet and I will present the ceremony to you, a redacted version of course, not sharing any personal vows or other precious words that are peppered through the ceremony. Reading the ceremony to you is a wonderful way for you both to get a sense of the feel of it, a sense of all the ebbs and flows of the different emotions.
This is a great time to do fresh edits so we will edit right there and then and we’ll go through some choreography, a bit of planning for the day and that’s us ready to go.

After the wedding day I will send a copy of the complete ceremony via email with details of the native sapling I will have planted for you with Trees For Life.

I’m planting a trees in a bid to help rewild the Scottish Highland. I’m always trying to reduce carbon emissions and be more sustainable within my life and my practice.

So that’s a few highlights of my process but of course everyone is individual, everyone has different needs and we all work in different ways, time scales etc but I’m there to listen, support, give choices, guide, advocate, discuss options, explore meaning, nudge gently and not so gently.

As a midwife I often joke that that is what I am doing ‘midwifing’ couple’s through the process, the gestation and birth of their very own ceremony.

I am always happy to talk ceremony so please reach out of you want to find out more via e-mail


or Instagram

or SoulfulSpace


Wed on the Bedrock

At the end of June this year a couple reached out to Agnostic Scotland in the hope that one of us was free to officiate at a hush hush ceremony planned to take place out of hours at Jupiter Artland, 12 miles outside of Edinburgh.

A Forest by Jim Lambie

Jupiter Artland is a land of art, 120 acres of woodland and meadow covered in art. It is currently closed for it’s winter rest but when it reawakens in spring next year go visit, you never know you may be inspired to hold your ceremony, memorial or ritual there.

I was free on their chosen date so we met online to see if we connected. We did and I was thrilled they had chosen Anya Gallaccio’s amethyst coated contemporary grotto ‘The Light Pours Out of Me’ for their ceremony spot. The artist herself describes this artwork, which is in a public space, as private so it was a perfect choice for a private marriage ceremony couple. An intimate, private moment, in an intimate, private space.

The Light Pours Out of Me by Anya Gallaccio

Down inside the incredibly beautiful sculpture, amongst mature trees with the dappled light and wind in the leaves we created a little sanctum of our very own for the ceremony. Every word, ritual, vow and pause felt, even signing the marriage schedule, felt amplified, empowering and sealed in.

Our summer ceremony began with a meditation on Scotland, imagining and envisioning the landmass, all 31, 000 square miles, the landscape and the familiar form of Scotland, the quality of the light, the space, the edges of the land, the seas that envelope the land. This conjured up the sense of what Scotland meant to the couple and their love of the natural world.

The Light Pours Out of Me by Anya Gallaccio

Their journey together, their love story, told as we travelled across Scotland was threaded through the visualisation and their ceremony and finally brought them right to the moment they stood before me absorbing the smells, the light and the sounds on the very bedrock of Scotland surrounded by amethyst and obsidian with the sky above sealing everything in.

It was powerful, beautiful stuff that brought us all to a moment of recognition and gratitude that we were standing on the very bedrock of Scotland, in the earth, beneath layers of soil and gravel, moss and grass surrounded by the natural wonder and beauty of the shimmering amethyst with it’s reported properties of promoting peace and calm, hope and joy.

Myself, Catriona, the Wedding Coordinator, from Jupiter Artland, Solen from SolenPhotography and the couple with their two dogs had a rather awesome evening roaming around the site and wallowing in spending such a special time in an incredible work of art.

Celebrant Q&A with Raini Rowell

At the end of last year Elopement photographer Raini Rowell reached out to me with an idea of putting together a blog that she could share with the couples she works with. Raini is keen for couples to know all their options when it comes to marriage ceremonies and Celebrants in Scotland.
Some questions and prompts were kindly sent to me to ponder and I thought I’d share the answers here with you. Think of it was a way to get to know me, and my practice as an Agnsotic Scotland Celebrant, a little bit better.
Raini’s blog will be coming soon
Thank you Raini 🌙

What made you want to become an Agnostic Celebrant?

I didn’t set out to become an Agnostic Celebrant. I set out to become a Celebrant and actually I really feel the role, and title, of Agnostic Celebrant found me.

I am not religious but I would say that I have always had a level of, what you might call “modern spirituality”, and I feel that is still true today.

When I decided to train as a Celebrant I began to explore my own spirituality and norms, beliefs and values, a little further. This exploration confirmed to me that my way of thinking about individual belief was strongly agnostic and that our own thoughts, feelings and observations about god and spirituality, indeed about everything, are subjective and I really respect and value that.

A priority for me is to consider others and do no harm, so I feel it’s how I behave and how I treat others that’s important not what I believe or don’t believe. 

I chose to train as an Independent Celebrant offering what I would call an ‘agnostic’ choice to couples and families. 

Choice is the key word here for me. It became clear very quickly that there was a demand for this type of practice and ceremony.  There were many people who were looking for more nuanced ceremonies that were unique to them, their beliefs and values yet may embrace elements of faith, spirituality and ritual. 

Couples should be able to decide how they choose to mark the commitment they are making to each other through their marriage ceremony whether that’s religious or secular, mixed faith, traditional or unconventional. 

It wasn’t long before I came across two other Independent Celebrants who were working with a similar philosophy and practice so we began to  collaborate and created Agnostic Scotland. 

Now there is a additional option in Scotland for couples and families and a growing community of like minded Celebrants, individuals and families.

How would you describe an Agnostic ceremony for couples who have never heard of it?

It’s all about you. 

Both of you – as individuals and as a couple.

It’s not about what I believe or what the organisation believes. It’s non-dogmatic, open-minded and collaborative. 

Every element of the ceremony is woven with your own unique blend of hopes, beliefs and values, whether these include elements of faith-based, spiritual or non-religious ethos. All the words, rituals, music and maybe much loved traditions included are entirely your choice. 

My role is to hold space, inspire and guide as we co create your ceremony and then to hold space for you both on your wedding day, to not for you to just say and hear your chosen words, but to feel them in every part of your heart and body from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes.

Some of the couples I work with do wish to include or recognise an element of faith or faiths in their ceremony often this is in a bid to offer a beautiful embrace to their family, their upbringing or culture. Or all three!

What do you wish couples knew before choosing a celebrant? (any tips/pitfalls to avoid)

First of all, Humanist is not synonymous with Celebrant. This will help widen your search if you are looking for a Celebrant rather than a Humanist Celebrant specifically.

Secondly, and it links to number one, there is such a lot of choice for non religious legal marriage here in Scotland. 

It’s so important to me that couples are aware they have a choice. I would encourage couples to do their research, talk to people, search on the internet, social media, educate themselves and try to get an understanding of what the different choices and belief bodies are in Scotland. A Celebrant that was right for your sister may not be right for you.

In regard to legal marriage there are Civil Ceremonies with Registrars, there are different branches of Humanist Celebrants, are also Interfaith Ministers, Pagan Celebrants and since last year, Agnostic Scotland Celebrants.

There are also Independent Celebrants – many couples choose to have a wee ceremony and register their marriage with the Registrar, just as you would a birth, then have a non legal Ceremony led by an Independent Celebrant at another date.

It’s fantastic that there are so many options.

It is so important to choose the Celebrant and the practice that is right for you both.

My practice as a Celebrant is underpinned by developing relationships, supporting choice, collaboration and having fun.

What can a couple expect from an agnostic ceremony?  

No dogma, we don’t stand up for 5 minutes sharing our views on Agnosticism before your ceremony starts. It’s your ceremony. You’re free to create the ceremony you want for your marriage.

The only stipulations are is that it is safe, respectful and does no harm

What makes having an Agnostic Celebrant different to other types of celebrants?

All of the above and I would add our awareness of inclusion, equity and our responsibility to couples and families as well as our creativity, our love of community and our attention to detail.

Are there any requirements/restrictions to be aware of? 

Lots of restrictions at the moment but we won’t go there….

As Officiants, when conducting a marriage ceremony there are some short sentences of legal declarations and pronouncements that must be included but they are beautiful and exciting. You’ll know them well.

Or a favourite part of the ceremony?

I always love ritual, any ritual. Hand fasting, sharing the Quaich or loving cup, bringing in the natural elements through ritual, anything the couple want to include. When couples choose to come to Scotland from overseas it’s so good to learn about, and include, marriage rituals from their culture too. 

At the moment I also love surprises. For example a couple may choose to include ‘5 things I love about you’. Here, the couple share 5 things, it can be more, that they love about their partner with me, only with me, and we may need to edit, tweak a little, but I find these usually align beautifully. During their ceremony they share these with each other.

Words of love spoken to, and heard by, each other for the first time during their wedding ceremony – oh my heart!

I really find it rather moving, and also fun, when the couple invite someone to read or recite poetry and that person writes the piece themselves. At a recent ceremony, of a couple who had been together for over 37 years, a very close friend who had travelled on the journey of their relationship and planning the secret wedding, wrote a poem and recited it beautifully. It was funny and fantastic and one of a kind.

What type of couples do you normally marry? Is there anything they have in common? 

Interesting question.

When I first thought about this I didn’t think there was a ‘type’ but now on reflection I feel is the couples I work with have considered an element of faith or spirituality for their ceremony, even if they are of no faith. They don’t want their officiant to have a dogma but they may want to give a nod to a faith or a spiritual element that they are aligned with through family, culture or their life’s journey.

Also I notice that many of the couples I work with are acutely aware of the carbon footprint of a wedding, sustainability, supporting small business and what is going on in the wider world in regard to cultural appropriation, equity and diversity.

As well as the above I find that couples I work with are very creative, they are keen on outdoor ceremonies, small, intimate ceremonies (not just due to restrictions) and they are very motivated to co-create their ceremony.

How do you treat elopements differently to bigger wedding ceremonies? (if at all)

I wouldn’t treat the process, co-creation and collaboration any differently but what I do find is, if the ceremony is really intimate, so just includes the couple and two witnesses, it doesn’t have to be quite as performative in the way a ceremony may tend to be when there is a larger group of guests. At a larger gathering some guests won’t know the nuances of the couples story or indeed only know one half of the couple. I feel intimate ceremonies have potential to be a more personal but fundamentally, it is about what the couple want. So whether it’s an elopement or a large gathering, ‘the love homework’ which is what I call the couples part of the work, the collaboration and the relationship I build with the couple guides us to creating the ceremony that is right for them.

Do you have any additional advice for couples eloping to Scotland from overseas?

First of all, though we’d love to see you, please wait until this pandemic is over and while you are waiting have a good look through the National Records Scotland website. It tells you everything you need to know and don’t hesitate to telephone them if you need clarification.  Take your time to find a local Elopement photographer/videographer or even an Elopement Planner. Look at instagram, it’s a rich resource, as well as websites. You want to find someone who knows Scotland, the lay of the land, the elements, the sunrises, sunsets, light levels and beasties.  Also consider using local florists, dressmakers, as well as intimate unique accommodation too. When you embrace Scotland and all it has to offer it will embrace you and your love forever

Do you have a favourite place you’ve married someone?

I don’t have a favourite place but I must say I love outdoor ceremonies amongst mountains, woodland and on the fantastic beaches (and again, not just because of Covid-19). As for indoor ceremonies I’m really excited when couples go for different spaces and places for ceremony such as a vintage double decker bus, a micro brewery, or places that are meaningful to them like a bookshop, their granny’s back garden or their allotment.

Loch Katrine

What do you think makes Scotland such a special place to marry? 

Oh my…. I am totally biased here because I am Scottish, it’s my home and I so love everything about the place, but I’d say:

the rich history 

and the mystery, 

the gloom, Scotland is a mood

the diverse landscape ….

oh my, the beaches … 

I have travelled a lot and compare beaches all the time

Scottish beaches are just stunning, 

the people, 

the nostalgia, 

the architecture,

the quality of the light, 

the dreich, 

the humour

the clear bright blue skies, 

the cities

and our passion

for companionship 

and LOVE

‘Like so many in 2020 our wedding plans were usurped, reshaped and moulded into something brand new.’

I am keen to share this testimonial, kindly written by K and C, here on my blog as again it highlights my Celebrancy practice and how we can all pivot together to create a ceremony, a celebration that is right for you. It may be micro but it can be magical x

Our original plan  had been a 100 person ceremony with family and friends followed by a weekend of celebrations, however, that was not to be. What replaced this original plan was something more intimate and special, as Andrea likes to call it a Micro Wedding where the focus moved from the celebration to the ceremony. With barely a couple of week’s notice we had to put our plan in motion. Andrea took all of this in her stride and at short notice was able to adapt and create a ceremony that was unique and memorable for us. 

Before the dreaded COVID-19 came into all of our lives, we had already started the process of planning our ceremony with Andrea. The creative tasks that she gave us really helped us to tap into how we wanted our ceremony to look and feel. From exercises for us to complete both separately and together to ideas of rituals or additions to our ceremony that would never have crossed our minds – it was clear from the start that our ceremony was going to be something that truly represented us and our story. Nothing was off the table when it came to how we wanted our ceremony to look and this really made it feel like our own, this was not just an adaptation of a wedding ceremony but a personal ritual that between us had been created solely for us. 

When we decided that an intimate, ‘micro’ celebration was what we wanted to move forward with, Andrea adapted beautifully and made herself available for us at any time to ensure we felt prepared and comfortable with our new ceremony plan. One thing that sets Andrea apart in her work is her insistence on getting to spend time with and know you – both together as a couple but also individually. This truly came into focus when we had only two weeks to finish preparing our ceremony. 

Andrea’s work is not only about the words that represent your union on the day, but also how you want the physical space to feel. The symbolic thought behind so many of Andrea’s ideas and thoughts make your ceremony feel even more special as there is meaning behind things that no one else there will see. An intimacy to the day that is reserved just for you. 

There is no other word to use for our day apart from magical and so much of this is down to Andrea’s input. We truly couldn’t have envisioned anyone else marry us. Thank you Andrea for your thoughtfulness, wisdom and most of all for being a part of our day. 

Lots of love

K&C xxx

“Andrea’s ceremony was so beautiful, it really made our day!”

I received this wonderful testimonial recently that shares thoughts, not just about conducting a beautiful wedding ceremony but also about relationship, collaboration and friendship during strange times. I am so pleased I can share Robbie and Audrey’s words on my celebrancy practice with you here.

We cannot recommend Andrea enough. 

When we originally got in touch with Andrea we didn’t know too much about Agnostic Scotland. Andrea took the time to explain to us what Agnostic Scotland stood for, and more importantly openly discussed with us whether it was right for us as a couple. 

Once we had agreed to have Andrea as our celebrant we arranged an initial face-to-face meeting in Glasgow. (The distant days before lockdown!). From the very start Andrea made us feel both calm, relaxed and welcome. 

We shared some of our story about how we met and our expectations for the wedding. Andrea was engaged and interested to hear our story, listening attentively and intrigued to hear how we fell in love. 

As the plans for our wedding developed, we met up with Andrea a few more times and shared more of our story and opened up about what was important to us as a  couple and our expectations of married life. We always looked forward to our meetings with Andrea. 

Just before lockdown kicked in Andrea also came out to visit our wedding venue in Glasgow. This was a wonderfully personal touch and it showed us how invested Andrea was in creating the most special ceremony that she could for us on our special day. 

Then lockdown started…..

Our wedding plans, originally having over 100 guests in June 2020, was no longer possible. 

We kept an ongoing dialogue with Andrea during this time over video calls, discussing our options. More importantly though, Andrea was always on hand to remind of us that we have each other and we were already in such a privileged position. 

We decided that we didn’t want to wait to get married, so we agreed to have a small ceremony on the 25th July 2020, in line with the Scottish Government guidelines.

Sam Ezra McYoung

The ceremony was an intimate affair with both of our immediate families attending. 

Andrea had listened carefully during all of our meetings, and had taken in all the aspects of our relationship from before we met to getting engaged and beyond. Not only that, she had taken time to speak to our family members to capture the nuances of our personalities. Her attention to detail was second to none and that came shining through in her ceremony. 

Sam Ezra McYoung

What Andrea delivered was truly special. Both Audrey and I felt that the ceremony truly captured who we are as a couple and she presented our story, our vows and future aspirations in the most truly beautiful way. 

Sam Ezra McYoung

As we embark on the next stages of our life as a married couple we will keep in touch with Andrea, as she was such a big part of the most special day of our lives. 

Robbie & Audrey Bowie Cameron, married 25th July 2020. 

Thank you to both of you for collaborating every step of the way, sharing your love story, and your love homework, with me – I will always feel so very privileged 🤍 Andrea

Mingling with Love

So grateful to be easing out of lockdown and easing back into wonderful teeny tiny weddings.


At the weekend, after a year or so of planning and creating, Kirstin and Chris were married in the calm oasis of Lanrick Estate.
Like many couples Kirstin and Chris had to change their original plans quite dramatically but during that process found that they were able to reconnect with what was important to them and also what their wedding day meant to them.
We all kept a very close eye on the Scottish Government Route Map and were able to move quickly once restrictions began to lift.

With physical distancing and current restrictions adhered to the staff at Lanrick Estate prepared a beautiful space, a circle, for the ceremony.
Before the ceremony started everyone stood outside the circle and we shared a few words on the symbolism. We recognised the huge changes going on in the world and the collective energy that that was creating. What we aimed to do was step into the circle and leave the rest of world outside just for a short time while we focussed on Kirstin and Chris and their love, their declarations and their vows. We stepped into their circle with reverence aware that when we stepped out we’d all be changed in some way.

Kirstin and Chris would be walking into the world as man and wife, into the next stage of life together, there would be deepening family connections and we’d all feel a little bit more love.

And so it was.

As celebrants I’m sure we all treat our work, and relationships with, families and couples with the reverence they deserve. My favourite definition 👇🏼

definition 1:an attitude or feeling of profound respect and awe mingled with love


It’s Pride month and today marks the 25th Anniversary of Pride in Scotland. 25 years of supporting progressive change for the LGBTQI+ community.

Frazao Studio

As part of the Pride Edinburgh 2020 celebrations, we Celebrants at Agnostic Scotland had been planning to join forces with The Original Red Bus/Sam and Clunie Phipps on one of their wonderful vintage Routemasters. Together, we were looking forward to taking their ‘love bus’ around the city and celebrating with fellow Pride Festival goers. It would have been a beautiful day full of love, connection, pride and colour. 

Ben & Neil got married in Edinburgh just before lockdown

Given all that is going on in the world, we feel that now especially, is a time for love. Now is the time for us to do the work, recognise and lay down our prejudices and let go of fear. Now is the time for us to (virtually) hug our fellow humans, to open our hearts and minds. Now is the time to let people be who they are, and to rejoice in the glorious diversity of all.

Natalie Holt Photos

So, please do join us on the virtual ‘love bus’ for now – we’d love to welcome you on board as soon as we can and we’ll see you all on the new date for Pride Edinburgh, yet to be announced, in 2021.

Say it out loud …..

light at the end of the willow tunnel

Though we are still in lockdown here in Scotland there is a tiny wee light at the end of the tunnel with the publication of the Scottish Governments Route Map. To get to that light, to the other side of the tunnel, it is going to take quite a bit of navigation, risk assessment, good communication, empathy and kindness. Safety is a priority and this will add to worries and anxieties in regard to decision making around wedding days, guest, celebrations, ceremony choices and, even, the rituals a couple may wish to include in a ceremony. Having anxieties and worries is very much part of the normal human condition, totally normal, but they can be repetitive, with the same rhythms, cycles and patterns and this can wear you down. Of course, at the moment, all our regular worries and anxieties are amplified by the current situation, with plenty of new concerns thrown in. The discomfort I spoke of in an earlier blog is still with us all and will remain for a long, long time. It’s something I’m learning to live with and I’m sure you are too.

Worry Dolls

I was reflecting recently on what I find helpful when I am faced with increased worries or anxieties and I began to remember all the ways I used to, and still, support my daughters when they experienced stress or anxieties. One of the things I did when they were primary school age was give them Worry Dolls. The Guatemalan or Mexican dolls are confidantes of sorts. Thought to be based on a Mayan legend about a princess who received a special gift from a sun god that allowed her to solve any problem a human could worry about. The tiny dolls represent the princess. At the end of the day before bed you share your worry with the doll and then pop it under your pillow. The doll worries about your problem instead of you so you can get a good nights sleep. Perfect!
It’s actually a really tender and beautiful tradition or ritual that can be deeply soothing. It’s basically a chance to say your worries out loud – to the dolls – and in turn they, to an extent, give you the wisdom to acknowledge, and the power to eliminate, your worries.

It could be interpreted as a powerful ritual that gives you a choice. You can choose to transfer your worries, hand them over, share them. This ritual can help you realise that you have the power and choice to do that.
Externalising the problem makes it seem less intimidating and much more manageable as a result. If you share it with the doll you may then feel you can share it with your loved one, family or friends. A problem shared is a problem halved as the old proverb goes.

Guatemalan Wedding Worry Dolls

I came across a Worry Doll App recently which is so sweet. I also found some wedding worry dolls in Edinburgh recently, perfect for couples preparing and planning to get married, especially in the time of corona. I love this gang of couples. If I’m your celebrant watch out for a wee wedding worry doll couple winging their way to you soon to help voice your anxieties, share your worries and maybe even get a good nights sleep.

All things seem possible in May

We have spent the whole of April in lockdown. In the scheme of our lives it’s a teeny, tiny fraction but the impact on everything in our lives, about our lives, and our future, is huge. While we may feel in limbo, stuck and fed up waiting for life to begin, the Earth keeps turning and the wheel of the year keeps revolving.

So as we say farewell to April and move into May we are half way between the spring equinox and summer solstice. This is a time where we can, instinctively, feel more energetic, outgoing, creative and active. We have more daylight and warmer weather but in reality, at the moment, we probably feel exhausted by the lack of activity, the stress and the emotional labour of getting through every day. This is also normally a time where we get out and about more, enjoy feeling more relaxed due to connections with the natural world and other people but due to the pandemic and restrictions in place we may feel in constant low level survival mode. Life in lockdown does seem to have heightened many peoples awareness of the wonders of spring blossom, sunrises and sunsets at the moment though which is wonderful. Does the sky seem bluer to you? There is a vibrancy and an energy in nature just now that seems in direct contrast with what we are experiencing on the ground. Or are we just seeing everything with fresh eyes due to our situation? In Edinburgh spring, and the weather, in lockdown has been amazing!

This week I’ve been beginning to put ceremonies together for the couples I am working with based on the stories and conversations that we have gathered so far but it’s hard to connect with anything right now in any meaningful way due to anxieties and distractions. For me, when I create ceremony, my head and my heart has got to be in the right space. Just as when a couple gather together to share their story for their ceremony they have to be in the right headspace. Stress can kill the mood, and creativity.

So as we move into May tomorrow we find Beltane, a celebration of the forces of nature. This festival basically celebrates moving into Summer and the growing season but it also celebrates union. It is a time for recognising love and friendship but also for firing up energy while staying grounded.
I want to use this wee festival to get me off the corona coaster and try to create some positive energy and fire up some creativity even if it’s just for a few hours or a few minutes.
Tonight we are having a garden getaway, the tent is up, we’ll light a fire just after 7pm and at sunrise tomorrow I’ll go for a swim then teach a 7.30am May Day inspired yoga class.

“May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive”

Fennel Hudson

The Beltane Fire Society have put together BOnfire – Beltane At Home and it’s a lovely programme of suggestions of activities and ideas inspired by the fire festival and you can do as much or as little as you like, online or offline.

WanderWomenScotland is also inviting people to get up at sunrise (5.28am BST) and welcome May their way.

Stay safe and well x