Monday 16 December 2019

Bride and the hearth

Related to this article about Serbian house hearth cult, here is an interesting old Serbian wedding custom, in which the bride severs her link to her mother's hearth and establishes her link to her mother in law's hearth.

Before she leaves her mother's house, the bride asks her mother's hearth for permission to leave it. Serbs believed that house hearth was the seat of the ancestral spirits, so the bride is rally requesting permission from all her ancestors to leave them...

If the house has a centrally built floor hearth, the bride is walked around it 3 times. 

If the fire place is built into a wall, she is spun around in front of it 3 times

She then throws money and food into the fire (sacrifice to the fire and the ancestral spirits), pokes the fire to make sparks fly, and kisses the hearth (fire place) stones, before leaving her mother's house to go to her mother in law's house

When the bride arrives to her mother in law's house, she is greeted by her mother in law who is sitting next to the hearth (fire place), her seat of power and the centre of the house cult that she officiates

There the bride has to repeat the same ritual of walking around the hearth (being spun in front of the fire place), gifting the fire, and the ancestors living under the hearth (fire place) and poking the fire to make sparks.

Bride is asking to be accepted into the new house fire cult, the new ancestral cult. Her mother in law, the mistress of the house, the priestess of the house cult, accepts her in the name of the family in front of the family altar, the hearth (fire place)...

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