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Handfasting Basket (Thirteen Blessings)

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Thirteen Blessings
WeddingBeach1500.jpg

Choose items to place in the basket that represents the couple's love, their hopes, and their dreams.

Image by Caroline von Tuempling/Iconica/Getty Images

Here's the really fun part. Think about the couple who is being handfast. Are they traditionalists? Are they silly, and willing to laugh at themselves? Consider what you know about them.

To fill the baskets, you'll need a variety of things, each symbolizing some aspect of the relationship. Try to find thirteen items that are meaningful to the couple. Small ornaments are perfect for this, so they can be hung up later, but use your imagination to find the symbols that are right for your couple. Use the following list to help get you started:

  • A sun, symbolizing the strength and sturdiness of the male partner
  • A moon, representing the woman, beautiful and mysterious*
  • A cat, to guard the hearth and home
  • A dog, to offer loyalty and protection
  • An owl, for wisdom
  • A star, for the dreams of the future
  • A clock, to remind them that time is valuable
  • An acorn, for strength and longevity
  • A butterfly, for all the summers they will be together
  • A car, for the journey they're about to embark on
  • A house, so they have a place to return
  • A pinecone, for prosperity and abundance
  • A heart, for the love that brought them together

* In the case of a same-sex couple, it would be appropriate to use two moons or two suns.

Make sure that while you're creating and filling your handfasting basket, that you're sending positive thoughts into it. If you like, turn this into a small ritual. You can charge the basket by focusing your intent into a simple couplet if you choose, such as:

This basket of gifts I give from the heart
with blessings for [name] and [name]'s handfasting.
With these treasures I offer you joy, and hope,
and happiness and love everlasting.

Include a note explaining to them what each item represents, so that they will always have these thirteen blessings with them in their relationship.

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