A Journey to the Heart
of a Soul Mate Relationship
by Elly van Veen & Roderic Knowles
A Celtic Marriage
for a Year and a Day
‘A Celtic Marriage for a Year and a Day, Renewable Annually’ is an alternative to the choice of either ‘a traditional marriage with a commitment for life’ or ‘an open-ended relationship with no commitment’. In rapidly changing times, the promise of a life-long commitment seems unrealistic to many. Besides, the soul being essentially free, it cannot nor should not be bound in perpetuity by any form of agreement which limits it. The moment it feels trapped, it rebels and seeks its freedom. Cosmic Lovers proposes and demonstrates a format for couples which balances the paradoxical needs of both freedom and commitment: a Celtic Marriage ‘for a year and a day’, renewable annually. It has many advantages and can be just as sacred.
After learning about a Celtic Marriage, some readers tried it out for themselves. Here's what they said:
“Having both experienced traditional marriage, we decided to have a Celtic Marriage after Elly and Roderic had introduced us to the concept. We both think it is a wonderful way of relating to each other. The concept of a Celtic Marriage allows for enhanced personal freedom, self-development and expression. The onus is on both parties to keep the relationship working well. If not, it dissolves the next year. For us it has resulted in a fantastic relationship that is based on equality, honesty, trust and respect; and has allowed more intimacy than anything we have experienced before. A Celtic marriage is a brilliant recipe for a successful marriage in the 21st Century! Everyone should know about it.
Thank you Elly and Roderic for introducing us to a wonderful way of sharing our lives together.
Anke & Stewart, Australia
“Could this be the idea that your heart and soul have been awaiting? Roderic and Elly bravely reveal through their own lives and creative spiritual endeavour a revival of the ancient Celtic Marriage tradition, balancing near-perfectly the individual needs of freedom, commitment, permanence and flexibility … A thrilling and uplifting example and alternative for us all.”
Roger Foxall, Spain.
A Celtic Marriage with its annual optional renewal emphasizes that a commitment between partners is never taken for granted; but is a dynamic process. The ritual of renewal after ‘a year and a day’ increases our awareness of the ‘here and now’ and at the same time invites us to evaluate our relationship.
Prior to the upcoming renewal date we look for a stone in Nature, one that symbolizes our relationship in this moment in time. We put the stone somewhere where it can function as a receiver, an antenna, to collect and bring to our attention aspects we wish to develop in our relationship.
On the day of renewal and celebration, we paint the stone in a colour that resonates with the feelings at that moment and decorate it with symbols or images which express our desires. And we commit ourselves for another year and a day.
This form of relationship allows us much more breathing space than the traditional one with its daunting promise, “Till death do us part.”
Maria & Yvo, Holland
For me, a Celtic Marriage is closely related to the rhythms of Nature. During the time the Earth moves around the Sun, you and your beloved go through all the natural cycles withdrawing inwardly, emerging, blossoming and releasing, followed once more by renewal. For me, the symbolic day of looking back and looking forward is a beautiful ritualistic framework.
Pieter van Leeuwen, Holland
The idea of a commitment for life, as in a traditional marriage, made me panic, while no commitment led me to hopping from one relationship to another and an endless repetition of complicated patterns. When Elly told me, ten years ago, about the possibility of a Celtic Marriage, I had the immediate feeling, “Yes, this must be it!”
Now, after eight years of sharing the sweets and bitters of life with Pieter and being a mother of our two sons, seven and three years old, I can say from my own experience, “Yes, a commitment for a year and a day is the ideal arrangement that allows love and awakening to dance hand in hand.”
This weekend we renewed our Celtic Marriage once again. We both felt clearly that, in spite of various obstacles, along with occasional thorns and lack of roses, we wanted to prolong our partnership for another year and a day realizing that there was also work to be done!
Evaluating the year that has passed, we asked ourselves:
- What promises and intentions had we made?
- What had inspired us and nourished us?
- What had been fruitless, frustrating and stagnating?
- Where had our path, our mission lead us?
Out of this came a list of resolutions or “working-items” which would prevent the same frustrations from happening, unblock the stagnations, and support the love and nourishment we have for each other and our shared mission, while remaining true to ourselves and our personal paths.
We concluded with a ritual of confirmation and celebration, and a ‘YES’ spoken with more conviction than ever for the “year and a day” to come.
Joyce de Rozario, Holland