Are You Where You Want To Be?
Dedication to the Craft is a huge choice. It is very important that you are serious about it, know what you are getting into, and are ready to completely convert. It is an oath that you fully accept this as your faith. The matter that I worry about with "newbies" to Wicca is that they have inhibitions that make dedication inappropriate and premature. For example, many wish to dedicate themselves but at the same time regret to leave behind the religion they were raised in, i.e., Christianity. They also might feel that they are betraying God and their family. Do not dedicate yourself if you feel this way! Your intent must also be pure and honest. Dedication is a means of coming to the Goddess and the God. It is spiritually significant and a rite of passage for the dedicant. If you want to dedicate because you feel that you "have to", or because you believe that it will grant you instant nirvana, great magical powers, and the wisdom of a thousand years, you are mistaken. Dedication is only the beginning.
Before taking the oath to devote yourself to the living the Wiccan way, you should know just what you are devoting yourself to.
· Committing to your new path.
· Doing your best to adhere to the ethical guidelines of the Wiccan Rede.
· Loving and respecting your fellow human beings, animals, nature, and the earth.
· Having faith in the Divine, by whatever name you choose to call it, whether it's the God and the Goddess or something else.
· Maintaining the privacy and secrecy of any other witches you involve yourself with, especially within a coven.
With all this in mind, it should be fairly apparent to you whether or not you are ready for dedication. If you feel you are not, don't feel disappointed or dejected. Give yourself time, study more, and gain a deeper understanding of the beliefs. When you feel more comfortable, you can always come back to dedication. If after careful consideration you are sure that you are prepared to dedicate I can only wish you lots of luck... may the God and the Goddess receive you with open arms. Blessed be!
1. Set up your temporary altar and quarter points. The quarters can be stones or candles but stones have the advantage of not blowing out if there is a breeze.
2. Cast your circle of protection.
3. Undress - remove all jewelry, watches etc and put into a bag. with your purse and other items that are easily lost.
4. Consecrate the circle.
5. Summon the guardians with these words, and don't forget to pause to visualize the element concerned and to think upon the significance of that element for your self dedication:
"Guardians of the North, sacred spirit of Earth. Into the stillness of your cold dark womb shall you accept my death, the death of my former self. I bid you hail and welcome."
"Guardians of the East, sacred spirit of air. As the sun rises in the east so shall you guide my rebirth into my new life as a Witch. I bid you hail and welcome."
"Guardians of the South, sacred spirit of Fire. You shall be my protector as I go forth from here along my new path. I bid you hail and welcome."
"Guardians of the West, sacred spirit of Water. Cleanse my spirit and keep it ever pure from now and into the future."
6. Now for your symbolic death:
Lie on the floor on your back. You can lie with your head to the altar (North) if you wish to be close to the Goddess or to the East if the principle of rebirth is more important to you.
Recite again those same words:
"I am entering the stillness before creation"
"I am entering the ground of the Goddess"
"May my body be still"
"May my mind be peaceful"
"May my heart be ready"
7. Now be at peace; feel the peace of the Goddess flow into you. Feel yourself merge with the cold Earth beneath you.
Chant this slowly and quietly:
"Dark Mother take me in"
"Let me be reborn."
Keep chanting until you feel yourself melting into the Goddess.
8. When you feel the time is right get up slowly and begin to walk round the circle chanting to the Goddess
"We all come from the Goddess,"
"And to Her we shall return,"
"Like a drop of rain,"
"Flowing to the ocean."
Walk gradually faster and chant faster round and round the circle. Faster and faster until you get dizzy. Don't stop even then. After a while you'll get tired but you must not stop. Go on the same time again until you drop exhausted on the floor. Why? because chanting and dancing raise power.
9. Lay again on your back as you regain your breath. As soon as you have your breath back stand in front of the altar and annoint yourself thus: Dip a finger in the oil and mark a cross : 1. on the left breast (male or female), 2. on the right breast, 3. Just above the pubic hair. This is the sigil of the first degree, the downward pointing triangle. Say "I annoint myself priest/ess of the old religion, and I take the name (speak your magical name quietly)."
'I, (real name), in the presence of the forces of Universe and the Divine, do of my own free will and mind most solemnly swear that I will ever abide by the religion and science of the Craft of the Wise. 'I shall neither harm my fellow humans with the secrets that I learn nor shall I flaunt my beliefs or powers before them. 'From this day on I shall be reborn as (magickal name) and shall honor, respect and cherish this oath I have taken.'
10. Kneel up in front of the altar. Pour a little wine into the goblet and place it at the front of the altar. Now take your athame and holding it with both hands, pointing down and arms outstretched plunge the blade into the wine. Say:
"As the cup is to the female so the blade is to the male."
"And so conjoined bring blessedness"
11. Now say to yourself:
"I am reborn. I am a Witch. I am a Priest/ess."
Rise to your feet and and say as loud as is safe bearing in mind that sound carries: "I AM A WITCH!"
12. Now consecrate the wine and cakes as you have already learned. Take some wine and eat a cake. Close the circle and dismiss the quarters, remembering to thank them. Get dressed and eat and drink some more and remember to keep some back for the libation which you make on the very site of your self initiation before you leave.
The question that all of us come to when we feel comfortable enough with ourselves. Do we tell our families or loved ones? I have recently come to this roadblock in my life. I am finally at peace with myself and I finally feel 'whole', but only a few people know the 'real' me.
I have joked with my friends who happen to be gay that I finally understand how they feel. We as Wiccans/Pagans are closeted like them and can't come 'out' to celebrate what makes us happy and makes us feel whole!
I am at a point in my life where I have told a few people outside of my household. A few of these people are questionable about whether they can keep their mouths shut and I did that on purpose. I guess deep down inside I figured that it wouldn't be me that had to say anything to get it out in the open, so why not?!
People around you will take what you tell them and many of them will make fun of what you believe in. Some, who are close friends will support you but won't ask questions and won't want to know exactly what you do. The most extreme cases are where people will try and convert you and tell you that you are practicing 'devil worshipping.' In the most extreme cases parents have been known to 'save' their children by 'kidnapping' them and taking them to a 'safe place' to be 'saved' once again.
At any rate, when you do decide to 'come out' be prepared for any and all responses. I have gotten anything from "How cool! Tell me more about it!" to "Your kidding around again, huh?" Again, in most extreme cases, becareful, know your surroundings, and always be safe!
I believe that EVERYONE, including children, should explore and be able to choose their own religion at their own pace. I think parents ought to help their children and encourage them to explore all religions to find one that is right for them. I, myself, am Wiccan/Pagan but I have two boys that are christian and go to church regularly. I listen to what they learn in church with great fervor, this is what they have chosen and want to share. My 13 year old goes to a christian church but is beginning to explore the realms of what I practice and believe. He has read many books for his age level and also has conquered my books as well. He mixes his beliefs and is finding his 'own way' by himself with me only encouraging him to follow his own belief systems and what is in his heart.
I think that most children when they reach an age of gaining a little maturity that they can start to make up their own minds what paths to take or study what interests them. Too many people take religion lightly when it comes to their kids and just assume because they are of one denomination that their children should rightfully follow in the same path. This is not so, and I would encourage parents to let their children explore their own boundries within reason and with parents involvment.