It’s in the Stars

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Can astrology affect your relationship? We speak to Jenny Ashton, marriage celebrant, about how astrology can give an insight into your relationship. 

A celebrant is not the run-of-the-mill profession. Why did you choose this career path?

I considered the idea of being a celebrant for years. Always the romantic and having a love of ceremony, I felt that being a celebrant would be a wonderful way to connect a couple and to tell their love story. It was a comment by my now daughter-in-law after my grandson’s baby naming 11 years ago; she suggested that I should become a celebrant. 

I began thinking more seriously about idea. I have an inherent interest in people and the power of the spoken word. As a humanist, I am passionate about ceremony and the impact ceremony has had on our lives throughout the ages. 

It takes a special person to be part of couples’ intimate moments. What personal qualities are essential to perform this vocation?

Marriage Celebrants were first appointed in 1973, by the then Attorney General Lionel Murphy. When it came to the selection of Celebrants, “He looked for disciplined professionals who were aware of punctuality and who were efficient in record keeping and legal procedures. They were also to have sufficient poise and capacity in public speaking and delivery skills and needed to be conscious of people’s needs. They should be well presented at all times as befits the dignity of the profession”.

It’s necessary to be genuine and authentic, warm, open and friendly, to actively listen to the couples, giving them a safe space to share their dreams and expectations and have the ability to guide them, to ensure the ceremony you create together allows their individuality to shine. 

Other essential qualities are to develop a deep understanding of the needs and requirements of the couple. This enables a personalised ceremony to be written for them, where they are the stars and love takes centre stage. 

What qualifications, training and preparation are required to become a celebrant?

Prior to becoming a celebrant, the Certificate IV in Celebrancy must be successfully completed. Once completed, an application for registration is sent to the Commonwealth Attorney-General. 

To maintain registration, there is an annual requirement for celebrants to complete five hours of additional professional development. 

Marriage is one, if not the biggest, commitment a person will ever make. How do you prepare a couple for marriage?

You are correct; it is a serious commitment. When the couple say their wedding vows to each other, it is always a very emotional part of the ceremony. This is where I assist them to craft their words of love and commitment for each other. 

 Preparing a couple for marriage is outside my qualifications. I can recommend a brilliant book written by Dr. Karen Phillip titled, OMG We’re Getting Married, or couples can have relationship counselling.   

Every couple is different; how do you customise each ceremony to make it unique and fitting?

Every relationship is unique, so I encourage couples to share their personal love story.  

When they share the personality of their relationship, it gives me the opportunity to weave their character and style through the ceremony. Some couples are happy to share the journey of their relationship, others are more private. 

I have worked with couples who are very talented at writing poetry and verse, always with humour that reflects their personality. These heartfelt words give their ceremony an amazing energy and a unique quality. 

Encouraging the involvement of family and friends is a wonderful way to bring a unique quality to the ceremony. Often, couples are fortunate to have a vocalist or musicians within their close circle, who are happy to add their talents to enhance the ceremony; this is always beautiful and from the heart. 

My role in assisting to design and prepare a ceremony that complements the individual style of the couple can be delightful, uplifting and at times emotional and challenging. I appreciate that I have a position of privilege to tell a couple’s personal story with the utmost respect. My aim is to create a space that is calm, fun and where everyone feels relaxed – where love shines. 

You also love the study of astrology. How did you become interested in this?

I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd. The cycles of the moon and planets have long held a fascination. It was approximately 25 years ago that I took a serious interest in astrology, studying with a teacher in Sydney. I love human nature and what makes us different and unique: why and how we relate; who we form relationships with; why we do what we do and the dynamics of all our relationships.

  Heart Connected Astrology developed from my curiosity about people and relationships, how they communicate, how they express love and the range of human emotions, how a couple supports each other’s need for security and personal space. 

What kind of insights or impact can an astrology reading have on a relationship or an individual? 

 Professional reading is far more than just an explanation of your sun sign. It is determined by your date, time and location of birth, based on the position of all the planets at the time you were born. Astrology can provide insights into: your personal characteristics; your attitudes to money and finances; occupation; health; and relationships.

  My astrology sessions can also highlight personal traits, to allow people to understand their relationship dynamics on a deeper level. It can be a conversation starter for issues that may arise.   

On a personal note, can you give us some insight on how to achieve a long and happy marriage?

Communication that is honest and respectful. Honouring each other’s dreams, goals and beliefs is very important. Understand that within your relationship having personal interests and activities keeps you interesting and helps to keep the relationship exciting and interesting.   

Where can we find out more information?

My preference is a conversation; I can be contacted on 0409 605 414 or email jenny@lovebirdsweddingceremonies.com.au 

Thanks Jenny.

Interview: Bronwyn Davis.

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