The Via Creativa Applied to Wedding Vows

Recently my young friends and co-workers with the Order of the Sacred Earth project, Jen Listug and Skylar Wilson, created a very original wedding ceremony for their wedding held outdoors on a cliff in California overlooking a particularly placid ocean. 

Built around the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, their statement of shared vows carries with it a particular depth and power.  Many people afterwards told me it was the most meaningful wedding they had ever attended.  I share their vows here.  Others may find inspiration in this model which they are happy to share.  Maybe in a later DM I will share the poem that I offered for the occasion as well. 

Matthew Fox reads the vows as Jen and Skylar respond. Photos: Kim Corbin and Cedar Levine. 

Sharing of the Vows

Matt Reads; Jen and Sky say “I Do” after each one.

Via Positiva

  • Do you vow to remind each other of the awe and magic of this world?
  • Do you vow to be witness to each other’s goodness and strength?
  • Recognizing that truth is the foundation of your relationship, do you vow to always be open and honest?
  • Do you vow to dance, sing and play with one another and to laugh at least as much as you cry?

Via Negativa

  • When your relationship is challenging, when you are feeling triggered, and when you fight, do you vow to ask yourselves “what is my part in this?”
  • When there is tension, frustration, and pain between you, do you vow to take a moment of remembrance that your souls chose this relationship long before your egos did?

Via Creativa

  • Do you vow to uplift each other’s creative gifts and work in the world?
  • Do you vow to be the arms for the other to fall into when you fail, to give each other strength so you can rise and try again?
  • Do you vow to respect your creative differences in your parenting styles, to find a middle ground, and to always come back together as an integral container of growth and love for your children?

Via Transformativa

  • Do you vow to give each other the space you need to know yourselves and bring oxygen into the growing fire of your love?
  • Do you vow to stay open to the mystery of your marriage, to all that you do not know, to the many ways you will continue to grow, to change and evolve individually and together, and to all the adventures ahead?

Statement of Intent

Returning from the ceremony. Kim Corbin and Cedar Levine. 

Matthew: “Skylar, knowing all of this, do you take Jen to be your wife?”

Sky: “I do”

Matthew: “Jennifer, knowing all of this, do you take Skylar to be your husband?”

Jen: “I do”

Matt: “Skylar and Jennifer, do you accept and revive the support of this community to hold and support you in your marriage?”

Jen and Sky: “We do”

A Ring ceremony followed.

See Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jen Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action.

Banner Image: Sunset over the Pacific Ocean on Skylar and Jen’s wedding day

Queries for Contemplation

What are your usual responses to the form and language of weddings you attend or are part of?  Do these vows strike you as useful and significant for partners to share?

One older man came up to me and said he had recently attended a wedding of a grandchild in a church and that he could barely stay awake during the ceremony.  But this wedding, taking place outdoors and fresh with its language, including the humor of my poem, was the “most meaningful,” of his life.  Are you busy putting life into sometimes frozen and fossil-like ceremonies for life’s passages?

Recommended Reading

By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.” 
~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope
“The creation of the Order of the Sacred Earth is a magnificent step forward for humanity.”  ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of Way of Passion and The Hope.

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