The current incarnation of the Sand Ceremony can trace its roots back to the Native American culture, either through Hawaii’s indigenous peoples or Native Americans from the mainland. Colored sand dyed with various natural elements (i.e. gypsum for blue, ochre for yellow, etc.) was used to create sand paintings part of spiritual healing ceremonies. In keeping with this tradition, in a “typical” sand ceremony, each member of the couple is asked to choose a color, one that resonates with a personality trait, is a “power color”, or simply their favorite color. A third color of sand (typically standard beach sand or plain white) is chosen to represent the friends and family of the couple, the “foundation” on which each individual stands. The officiant (or family member) begins the sand ceremony by pouring the “foundation” sand into a vessel the couple has chosen [I have seen vessels ranging from heart shapes to simple bowls to frames]. The couple then pours their colors of sand on top, creating a unique one-of-a-kind pattern, symbolizing the combining of two lives into one. Once the sand colors are poured into the Unity Container, the belief is that, as long as it should take for each grain of sand to be extracted from one another and brought back to their separate containers – that is how long you should be together. The couple, now in a physical representation of the vows they have just spoken, is forever joined and entwined like the grains of sand.
For some more in-depth information on the Unity Sand Ceremony, check out these links. They will help you begin to think about colors, vessels, ideas, and allow you to make this ancient ritual your own, either as a couple or a family.
SHARON VAZ – UNITY SAND CEREMONY
SANDSATIONAL SPARKLE – CHOOSING YOUR COLORED SAND
KENSINGTON CLASSICS PINTEREST PAGE (Ideas for vessels and colors)