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Australian Media on Paganism

Pagan Vows Work Magic

by Chris Griffith Sunday Mail, 12/10/97

"Then as the Goddess, the God, and the Old Ones
Are Witness to this Rite
I now proclaim you man and wife.
Thus are thy hands fasted
The two are one
The work of Joy is done
And yet begun"

The bride wore white, the groom his frock coat, and the high priest, a peaked witch's hat.

An altar was placed in the centre of a circle containing three candles, incense, salt and water, wine and cakes, and flowers.

About 25 people attended, along with many onlookers, to witness the summoning of ancient gods and goddesses; Osiris, Anubis, Nephtys, and Isis.

It was a most unusual wedding when Andrea Carpenter, 52, and Todd Lipman, 28, married last weekend. They chose a traditional pagan wedding called the Ritual Of Handfasting.

Andrea, a masseuse, prison counsellor and Independent Optu Tarot card reader, has been a pagan for 30 years.

She calls herself a Cabalistic magician whose special brand of paganism is based on ancient Jewish mysticism. Todd met Andrea in February after he saw her address on the Pagan Alliance Internet Home page while surfing the Net at Cafe Scene in Fortitude Valley.

Todd, a former superannuation fund administrator and one-time Catholic, said his interest in mythology, psychology and alternative religions led to his involvement in paganism. He had already been a pagan for two years when he met Andrea.

A high priest and high priestess officiated at their wedding on Sunday in Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba.

In pagan ritual, marriage can be a temporary affair - for as little as a year and a day, or for 10 years.

But Andrea and Todd, who believe in reincarnation, chose vows which committed them as lovers in their current lifetimes, and as friends or relatives in future ones.

Andrea, who has previously officiated at pagan weddings as a high priestess, said it was discriminatory that Australian law did not recognise pagan weddings. Despite their vows, the couple would be regarded legally as only in a de facto relationship.

The reception was a simple affair with just one speech and entertaininent by Welsh minstrel Russell Hibbs.

Sunday Mail, 12/10/97

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