A wiccaning is a ritual to present a child before the Goddess. You might say that it is an initiation into life, much like an initiation into witchcraft. The child is presented before divinity, blessed with the four elements and introduced to the powers that be; that these powers may recognize this child, acknowledge the child’s humanity and connection to the ancestors, and protect this child on his/her journey through life.
- White pillar wiccaning candle
- Elemental candles for the quarters-- green, yellow, red, & blue... I know these items fall under the title of "general ritual tools" and would be included as a matter of course, but these candles have a special significance for this ritual and so I’ve listed them.
- Small bowl of salt, placed at the north gate
- Incense, placed at the east gate
- Small bowl of water, placed at the west gate
The altar for a wiccaning can be decorated uniquely for each child and his/her family. This may include vintage photos of great-grandparents; family photos; flowers or herbs that have special familial associations; perhaps a stuffed animal or special doll or other toy passed down through the generations; a glass bowl filled with small strips of paper on which have been written special blessings and well-wishes for the child by friends and relatives. The ideas are endless.
The one item you want to have especially for the altar is a candle that you’ve chosen for this child. It should be white, and a nice pillar candle is recommended. Carve the child’s name into this candle. A ribbon could be tied around the candle and other decorations added to it; a sticker can be placed on the bottom with the date of the wiccaning and other pertinent facts recorded here. The candle will become a keepsake.
As a preparation for this ritual, the parents should give the child a spiritually cleansing bath, which means ‘bathing the child with intent’.
- 1. Cast the circle and call the quarters, but don’t light the elemental candles yet.
- 2. Light your incense and the altar candle, ‘The Mother Candle’.
- 3. Have the parents bring the child to the altar. Hold your hands over the child, saying:
“Upon this day we stand with this child, (name), before the Goddess, our ancestors, friends and family. We welcome this individual into the world and into this circle.”
- 4. Prepare to present the child to the Watchtowers at the four quarters. The Priestess and the parents, with the child, will stand before the north gate, the gate of Earth. Light the green elemental candle, and with your hand/wand/athame draw an invoking pentagram of Earth above it, saying:
“Watchtowers of the gate of Earth, we stand before you now to present to you this child, (name). By the power of Earth, bless (name) with physical health and material prosperity.”
Place a tiny pinch of salt upon the child’s tongue.
Move to the east gate, the gate of Air. Light the yellow elemental candle, and with your hand/wand/athame draw an invoking pentagram of Air above it, saying:
“Watchtowers of the gate of Air, we stand before you now to present to you this child, (name). By the power of Air, bless (name) with wisdom, the agility of clear communication, and mental fortitude.”
Smudge the child with incense that is waiting at this gate and lit with the elemental candle.
Move to the south gate, the gate of Fire. Light the red elemental candle, and with your hand/wand/athame draw an invoking pentagram of Fire above it, saying:
“Watchtowers of the gate of Fire, we stand before you now to present to you this child, (name). By the power of Fire, bless (name) with a passion for justice and a lust for life.”
Carefully circle the child with the elemental candle.
Move to the west gate, the gate of Water. Light the blue elemental candle, and with your hand/wand/athame draw an invoking pentagram of Water above it, saying:
“Watchtowers of the gate of Water, we stand before you now to present to you this child, (name). By the power of Water, bless this child with intuition and an abundance of love in this life."
Dip your fingers into the small bowl of water waiting for you at this gate and lightly sprinkle the child.
- 5. The Priestess and the parents, with the child, will move back before the altar.
The Priestess shall turn to the parents, saying:
“Who brings this child before the altar of the Goddess?”
The parents respond:
The parents will move forward to the altar and light the Wiccaning candle, saying:
“It is our wish to bring (name) before the altar of the Goddess, that he/she may learn the Old Ways and walk the ancient Path.”
At this time, each parent, one after the other, may lay a token upon the altar that they’ve brought especially for this child-- a pendent, a ring, a stone, an item that resonates with them, the child, and their family’s energy. And while doing so, they may state-- in their own words-- a special blessing or wish for their child.
This is the perfect time to allow other family members present to become actively involved in the ritual by contributing a blessing, placing a token upon the altar, anointing the child’s forehead with oil, or performing some other gesture of recognition and welcome. This could include grandparents, the child’s siblings, aunts and uncles, etc.
- 6. The Priestess will step back before the altar. Raising her arms, she’ll say:
“This child, (name), has been acknowledged and blessed by the elements. We stand before the Goddess now and rejoice in the birth of this individual and the long journey of life to come. Goddess touch this child with your loving light. The ritual is done. So mote it be.”
- 7. Dismiss the quarters and dismantle the circle.
- 8. Celebrate this child’s first footfall on life’s journey.