Big Sur Ceremonies - Soaring Starkey

Philosophy

Ceremony by Soaring Starkey - photo by Sandra SpinesI have presided as a non-denominational wedding officiant since 1994. I was brought up in the Christian tradition and have studied world religions for over thirty years. Inspired by Buddhism, Sufism and indigenous cultures, I have never joined a religious group and believe my neutrality enhances a sense of acceptance when performing ceremonies.

I began leading rituals and ceremonies in 1981 when, as a student teacher, I introduced the first class on Women's Spirituality at Sonoma State University. I believe rituals of the world religions were created originally for particular occasions, and we have the same authority to fashion individual and unique rites of our own. It seems to me we are in a time when many people are defining themselves as spiritual but not religious, with a desire for ceremony with a meaning that is authentic and specific to their situation.

Sometimes there is a wish to incorporate into the ceremony a symbol or ritual from a religion or culture, as a way to honor and pay tribute to the heritage. I have enjoyed officiating at bilingual Spanish/English ceremonies and weddings incorporating the rituals, symbols, or sacred words of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Native American and earth based cultures.

Currently I am the resident wedding celebrant and event planner for Post Ranch Inn, a small luxury hotel in Big Sur. I also perform ceremonies at other hotels, private wedding sites, parks and beaches in Big Sur and the Monterey area. I have great respect for the energy that motivates people to have a ceremony. I find the time spent creating, leading and sharing these genuinely meaningful occasions to be inspiring and deeply satisfying.

I ask that it be for the highest good of all concerned