Modern Egyptian Ritual Magick

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Wedding Ceremony

Under a clear night sky, an altar is prepared, fine black cloth over dark stone. White flowers are strewn about, barely visible in the moonlight. On the altar lie two knives: one, the triangular dagger sacred to Djhewty, and the other a knife prepared for ceremonial use. A silver goblet half-full with red wine rests on the altar as well, beside a large white candle waiting to be lit.

The witnesses stand in a circle, unlit candles in hand. The altar is placed at the head of the circle, on the west side. The bride and groom approach with their own candles lit, and share the flame with those standing on either side of the altar. The groom places his candle in a holder on the ground before the altar, and takes up the Djhewty dagger.

He begins to perform the Opening of the Mouth, intoning the names of the gods of the four winds while his wife-to-be recites the verses of the ritual, one for each turn he makes. When they are finished, the bride places her candle in the holder next to the groom's, and the groom returns the dagger to the altar.

The priest, heretofore silent, reads a selection from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet:

"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

"Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

The bride takes up the second knife, and turning to her husband-to-be gives him her vow. This said, she pricks her finger and lets the blood fall into the silver goblet. The groom takes the knife next, gives his vow, and lets his blood as well. The priest takes up the goblet and swirls it around three times, before handing it to the bride and groom in turn to drink from.

The two take their candles back in hand, and together light the large white candle set on the altar. Their breath extinguishes their own candles.

The priest recites these words to proclaim the union:

"There come the waters of life which are in the sky. There come the waters of life which are in the earth. The sky burns for you, the earth trembles for you, before the birth of the god. By the power entrusted to me, in the names of all that are just and holy, and in the presence of the company of gods and their children, I proclaim this bond between you immortal and eternal."

The bride and groom exchange rings, perform the Opening of the Mouth ritual in reverse, and embrace. The circle of witnesses disbands as together they walk into the night.

This ceremony was performed on the night of February 10, 1996 for the wedding of Rev. Bantik and his wife Lisa.

All materials copyright 2003, Rev. Dr. Corey Bantik