When Mark and Helen got married at the Ring of Brodgar, Stenness, Orkney in April 2008, they were a bit worried about the weather because it had snowed whilst they drove up through Inverness and some of the ferries to Orkney had been cancelled. Indeed, their honeymoon week was thoroughly damp, but the day of their wedding was (as can be seen from the photographs) gorgeous!
Their Celebrant was Louise Park (Presiding Officer of the Scottish Pagan Federation) who came up to Orkney from Perth. Louise reassured them about the weather by telling them that the evening before their wedding, she would travel to the site and pour out a libation of Skull Splitter.
Skull Splitter is a rather excellent and very strong dark ale, brewed here in Orkney. If you drink enough of it, it does exactly what it says on the bottle - usually the following morning!
Pouring libations is an ancient Pagan tradition. It comes from the idea that by breaking or losing something, it passes over into the Otherworld, as an appeasement or offering.
Orkney Pagan Weddings keep to this tradition for the couples whom we marry by also pouring a libation out to the Gods and the spirits of the place before the wedding. They seem to like Skull Splitter, so that is what we offer. Mark and Helen ask for the best possible weather for a particular time and day - they don't stipulate that sunshine is a requirement, they let the Gods choose, because firstly you get what you ask for and secondly you never know quite what you are asking for with respect to repercussions with regards to weather magick (think butterflies flapping wings and causing hurricanes elsewhere).
The Skull Splitter is only the "down payment", on the day of the wedding a further offering of honey cake with mead is provided.
To date, and this is not a guarantee, all couples have had excellent weather - often miraculous! Often Mark and Helen draw their curtains back on the day of a wedding, see the weather and think "oh no" but, by the time they get to the site, the sky has cleared.
Only once did Mark and Helen have to perform a wedding in rain but, just as they finished, the couple had the most magnificent double rainbow appear ... Helen and Mark think that was a sign that their "Skull Splitter Magick" had still been successful.
Helen and Mark remain incredibly grateful to Louise Park for sharing this ritual / spell with them - thank you!