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Author Topic: Religious Divorce  (Read 12673 times)
Sperran
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« Topic Start: May 10, 2009, 10:58:12 pm »

When Jews get a civil divorce, they may also get a religious divorce.  If you are Orthodox, you must have the religious divorce before you are allowed to marry again in the synagogue.  Traditionally, this consisted of the man giving a get (divorce contract to his wife).  Women could not initiate religious divorce.  (As usual, things are different in the Reform tradition.  Many Reform Jews don't bother religious divorce, and those that do make a ceremony that is right for them.  For example, in my synagogue, one divorcing couple brought their ketubah (wedding contract) to the rabbi's office and cut it into pieces.)

My question is this:  do any of your religions have rituals associated with divorce?  If so what are they?  What useful purpose (if any) do you think divorce rituals serve?

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« Reply #1: May 11, 2009, 12:58:23 am »

My question is this:  do any of your religions have rituals associated with divorce?  If so what are they?  What useful purpose (if any) do you think divorce rituals serve?

Properly speaking from a Kemetic perspective, marriage is not a religious ritual, so divorce is not either.  Though, as I've commented in the past, divorce is more religious in Kemetic thought than marriage is, given that most lawyers were trained by priests ....
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« Reply #2: May 11, 2009, 09:12:11 am »

When Jews get a civil divorce, they may also get a religious divorce.  If you are Orthodox, you must have the religious divorce before you are allowed to marry again in the synagogue.  Traditionally, this consisted of the man giving a get (divorce contract to his wife).  Women could not initiate religious divorce.  (As usual, things are different in the Reform tradition.  Many Reform Jews don't bother religious divorce, and those that do make a ceremony that is right for them.  For example, in my synagogue, one divorcing couple brought their ketubah (wedding contract) to the rabbi's office and cut it into pieces.)

My question is this:  do any of your religions have rituals associated with divorce?  If so what are they?  What useful purpose (if any) do you think divorce rituals serve?

Sperran
I'd love to hear more about this too.  In one of the books I read recently (and I've read so many I can't remember which one), I remember mention of a pagan divorce ritual.  It was like a reversal of an handfasting (I'll see if I can find it).  I remember thinking what a great idea it is to have a spiritual ending to a marriage.  My marriage was so easy to do, but the divorce took almost a year, lawyers and more money than I care to think about.  It left me feeling angry and bitter.  I did make up my own personal ritual on the one year divorceiversary which included writing down my feelings, burning them and reading a poem I'd written.  For me, it was very cleansing and I really have felt better since.  I wish I could have done it with my X or that he were able to do something similar so he too could let go and move forward.

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« Reply #3: May 11, 2009, 02:09:52 pm »

I'd love to hear more about this too.  In one of the books I read recently (and I've read so many I can't remember which one), I remember mention of a pagan divorce ritual.  It was like a reversal of an handfasting (I'll see if I can find it).  I remember thinking what a great idea it is to have a spiritual ending to a marriage.  My marriage was so easy to do, but the divorce took almost a year, lawyers and more money than I care to think about.  It left me feeling angry and bitter.  I did make up my own personal ritual on the one year divorceiversary which included writing down my feelings, burning them and reading a poem I'd written.  For me, it was very cleansing and I really have felt better since.  I wish I could have done it with my X or that he were able to do something similar so he too could let go and move forward.



I've read of a ritual like that as well. I just can't remember where it was that I read it! Both of my marriages were civil ceremonies, since my ex was an atheist and mh current husband is agnostic. He would not have minded a Pagan handfasting, but I have never been publically active in the Pagan community, so I didn't know anyone who could've performed the ceremony.

I like the idea of a personal ritual to end a marriage. I really could've used one to end my first marriage, but my ex had browbeat me so badly about my religion that I had packed away all my books and took down my altar in an effort to keep the peace. I thought that in the end I had abandoned my God/desses, but They had not abandoned me. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've been able to connect with Them again.
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« Reply #4: May 11, 2009, 02:28:51 pm »

My question is this:  do any of your religions have rituals associated with divorce?  If so what are they?  What useful purpose (if any) do you think divorce rituals serve?


When I got married my wife was Jane and I was atheist.  We had a Hindu ceremony and a civil one (where we actually got married).  When we got divorced I was Asatru and she was still Jane.  For the divorce, I challenged her to a Holmgang (a type of duel) but she turned it down...  So only a civil divorce.  I guess in her religion oaths aren't as serious as they are in mine.

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« Reply #5: May 11, 2009, 02:36:29 pm »

I've read of a ritual like that as well. I just can't remember where it was that I read it! Both of my marriages were civil ceremonies, since my ex was an atheist and mh current husband is agnostic. He would not have minded a Pagan handfasting, but I have never been publically active in the Pagan community, so I didn't know anyone who could've performed the ceremony.

I like the idea of a personal ritual to end a marriage. I really could've used one to end my first marriage, but my ex had browbeat me so badly about my religion that I had packed away all my books and took down my altar in an effort to keep the peace. I thought that in the end I had abandoned my God/desses, but They had not abandoned me. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've been able to connect with Them again.
You may want to consider doing something like what I did, just writing down your feelings and burning them - that's always been a powerful way for me to let go of things in my life.  I've tied a letter onto a balloon and let it in the past.  Unfortunately, I'm still tied to My X by our children, but letting go of my anger had really helped me put things behind and deal with him when I have too.  I'm the one who initiated the divorce and I've been very happy ever since, but I did have anger and resentment that I needed to let go of in order to move forward.

I found it!  It's called a Handparting and it's in one of my least favorite books Paganism an introduction to earth-centered religions by Joyce & River Higginbotham.  That was actually what gave me the idea to do a letting go ritual.  The book isn't bad, I just find that they state a lot of their opinions as fact and it was very confusing to me when I first started learning about Paganism.
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« Reply #6: May 11, 2009, 02:54:42 pm »

For the divorce, I challenged her to a Holmgang (a type of duel) but she turned it down...  So only a civil divorce.  I guess in her religion oaths aren't as serious as they are in mine.

I don't understand what you mean here.  Is a Holmgang something she took an oath to perform as a Jane, or is it something in your oaths that is supposed to bind her as well as you, whether she took it herself or it was part of the marriage contract or not?

Or is this a joke that has just completely gone over my head?  (entirely possible - I'm not feeling too swift today)

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« Reply #7: May 11, 2009, 03:08:07 pm »

Or is this a joke that has just completely gone over my head?  (entirely possible - I'm not feeling too swift today)

I took it as a joke--there are some divorces I've witnessed/heard about that were acrimonious enough to merit a few jokes about just dueling and getting it over with--but I'm not feeling too swift today either, so I may be wrong.  Cheesy
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« Reply #8: May 11, 2009, 03:12:05 pm »

I don't understand what you mean here.  Is a Holmgang something she took an oath to perform as a Jane, or is it something in your oaths that is supposed to bind her as well as you, whether she took it herself or it was part of the marriage contract or not?

Or is this a joke that has just completely gone over my head?  (entirely possible - I'm not feeling too swift today)

Absent

A bit of a joke... the Holmgang is a duel when insulted or for honour.  Kind of a trial by combat.  In the Holmgang, if she wins, she would regain her honour.  While it might have been fun, I didn't think she would really want to fight it out (she didn't even like sparring with me in martial arts, even though she had a higher belt).

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« Reply #9: May 11, 2009, 03:15:53 pm »

I took it as a joke--there are some divorces I've witnessed/heard about that were acrimonious enough to merit a few jokes about just dueling and getting it over with--but I'm not feeling too swift today either, so I may be wrong.  Cheesy

I just wanted to add, inspite of my my offer for the duel, the divorce was very amicable.  We didn't even get lawyers involved.  What was mine was mine, what was hers was hers, and what was shared was split 50/50.  And no support.
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« Reply #10: May 11, 2009, 04:05:22 pm »

I just wanted to add, inspite of my my offer for the duel, the divorce was very amicable.  We didn't even get lawyers involved.  What was mine was mine, what was hers was hers, and what was shared was split 50/50.  And no support.
You're so lucky.  My X and I actually could have worked it out that way, but in MI if you have kids, you have to have at least one lawyer. 

I kind of like the idea of a dual myself, it may have lightened things up a bit.
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« Reply #11: May 11, 2009, 04:25:30 pm »



I got my divorce when I was living in TN and it is very easy to get one there, if you're not going to be fighting over custody and property. Since I didn't have any kids, all I had to do was file with a lawyer (which wasn't expensive), wait three months, then go before the judge and sign papers.

Getting married in TN is also very easy: no blood test and no waiting period. You can apply for a marriage license then turn right around and get married, which is what my present husband and I did.

The one bad thing about TN is that it is a community property state, so what was mine was also my ex's. We didn't fight over property in the divorce. He'd already pawned/sold my books, CDs, movies, jewelry, TV, stereo, etc. for his drug money. And he had every legal right to do so, even when things belonged to me years before we got married. I found that out when he pawned the heirloom ring that I'd received from my grandmother, who'd received it from her first husband who was killed in World War One. My main consulation with that was that when I went to the pawn shop to buy my ring back I saw that my ex had been gyped by the pawnshop. He olny got $100 for it, when I'd had it appraised at over $1000. Thank the Goddess I could afford to buy it back.
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« Reply #12: May 11, 2009, 05:03:04 pm »



It's not really a divorce, but a large number of wiccish Australians seem to use a series of handfasting rituals that have a noinated enddate from the beginning. A handfasting is initially for a year and a day, then three years and three days, seven and seven, and only then for life or lives. Most of them seem to manage to keep the commitment until the release date, even if they don't then want to re-up for another stint. It does seem to work for them though.
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« Reply #13: May 11, 2009, 05:29:47 pm »

I got my divorce when I was living in TN and it is very easy to get one there, if you're not going to be fighting over custody and property. Since I didn't have any kids, all I had to do was file with a lawyer (which wasn't expensive), wait three months, then go before the judge and sign papers.

Getting married in TN is also very easy: no blood test and no waiting period. You can apply for a marriage license then turn right around and get married, which is what my present husband and I did.

The one bad thing about TN is that it is a community property state, so what was mine was also my ex's. We didn't fight over property in the divorce. He'd already pawned/sold my books, CDs, movies, jewelry, TV, stereo, etc. for his drug money. And he had every legal right to do so, even when things belonged to me years before we got married. I found that out when he pawned the heirloom ring that I'd received from my grandmother, who'd received it from her first husband who was killed in World War One. My main consulation with that was that when I went to the pawn shop to buy my ring back I saw that my ex had been gyped by the pawnshop. He olny got $100 for it, when I'd had it appraised at over $1000. Thank the Goddess I could afford to buy it back.
Same here in MI, I am the proud owner of credit card debt that I never signed up for  Roll Eyes.  Luckily the property was pretty easy, we didn't own much and neither of us squabbled about property.  In MI it takes six months for a divorce to be final if you have children. Ours took a year because of some other snags and disasters.  It left me never wanting to get married again. I may consider a non-legal handfasting one day, but I'm pretty much done with legal marriage.

Sorry you went through all that, it sounds really rough and I'm so happy you got the ring back.
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« Reply #14: May 11, 2009, 05:32:18 pm »

It's not really a divorce, but a large number of wiccish Australians seem to use a series of handfasting rituals that have a noinated enddate from the beginning. A handfasting is initially for a year and a day, then three years and three days, seven and seven, and only then for life or lives. Most of them seem to manage to keep the commitment until the release date, even if they don't then want to re-up for another stint. It does seem to work for them though.
I've read about that as well in the book above (and a few other resources).  I think a one year 'trial' is a fabulous idea.
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