Hand Parting

A formal handparting, for which the original handfasting cords are untied, cut, and burned. Since the couple has to both agree to be in this ritual, it could be difficult to coordinate during periods of confrontation.

This is a ceremony not to be taken lightly.
For love is forever bond,
Whether as one or not.

Handparting Ritual
A.The Altar should be draped in blue, the color of healing. Set it up using whatever tools you are most comfortable with, including the cords from the handfasting. If these cords are not available, substitute a red cord to symbolize the original ones.
B. Cleanse the area and cast the circle in whatever tradition you are most comfortable in. When you invoke quarters, call the East as the wisdom which blows through us and changes our reality; the South as the passions from which decisions come; the West as clarity of emotion; and the North as the centeredness that brings us to wholeness.
C. Invoke the Goddess and God in whatever tradition you are comfortable with, focusing on the aspect of Goddess as she who teaches both easy and hard lessons through love; and the aspect of the God as the Lord of the Underworld, in whose embrace we recover, and from whose embrace we are reborn.
D. Give the couple their handfasting cords. If these are unavailable, re-tie them together in red cord, saying something about "These were the cords of your handfasting that join you spiritually as one."

"You had been joined for as long as love should last. Has the time come that love is ended?"

Both of them should reply "yes."

"The Goddess teaches us through pain as well as through pleasure. What were the lessons She taught you with this relationship?"
Let them stumble through their answers as best they can.

"In this life, no one is your friend and no one is your enemy; all alike are your teachers. Turn to your teacher and give thanks for what they have taught you."
Let them stumble through their thanks as best they can.

The priest or priestess should say something along the lines of, "Lady, the time has come for these two to be sundered. Assist me in cutting them free of each other.", while s/he unties the cords and cuts them. The cords are then handed to the couple.

Say to them, "To part your spirits, you must burn these cords which tied you to each other."

The couple places the cords in a cauldron and lights them from the working candle. When they have completely burned, cleanse them with incense and anoint them with oil.

"Be cleaned of anger, hatred, and desire."
"Be reborn to the sweetness of life."

Let them say their good-byes and have them walk to opposite quarters of the circle.

Be at Peace with one another.

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