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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Self-Initiation for the Solitary Witch ~ because you can



Note: Read the entire initiation ritual through and become familiar with it before you perform it. Make sure you have gathered all of the required items; the oil, and candles, and such, and that you feel prepared to step across the threshold of this mundane world.

Items needed:

  • 1. Loose fitting robe
  • 2. Silver pendent, usually a pentacle
  • 3. White pillar initiation candle
  • 4. Witches’ oil
  • 5. Incense

The time has come, the day is here, to cement your devotion and commitment to the path of witch. You will have prepared the area of your sacred space for this ritual the day before, not only cleansing it mundanely, but reiving it of negative energy. You will decorate the altar and this space with those flowers, herbs, stones, statuary, and articles that ring with your vibrations and your personal inspirations.

The morning of your special day you will bathe with intent, cleansing not only your body, but your mind and your spirit as well; paving the way for purity of intent and application of personal power.

You will wear a long loose robe, one that can be easily shifted aside to expose those areas of the body to be anointed; or you will perform this ritual skyclad (naked). You will have purchased a silver pendent necklace as a symbol of your new position in life. This pendent may be a pentacle, or it may be a symbol that resonates more closely with your own energy.

When you have bathed and dressed yourself, and after you have taken some time to ground and center yourself, you will begin.

  • 1. Cast your circle.

  • 2. Call the Quarters.

  • 3. Light the tall white pillar candle upon your altar. This candle is representative of the Goddess, often called ‘The Mother Candle’. Light your incense as well, representing the God. Your initiation pendent will lay upon the altar until you’re ready for it.

  • 4. Light the special candle that you’ve chosen as your initiation candle, saying:

“I, (name), have entered this circle in perfect love and perfect trust. I am ready to commit myself to the way of witch. I place myself now before the altar of the Goddess and the God, before the altar of the Ancient Ones, before the altar of the Powers that Be.”

  • 5. Stand before the altar now and prepare to anoint yourself. Taking the bottle of oil from the altar, put some oil on your fingers and touch them to the tops of your feet, saying:

“Bless these feet,
created to walk the way of witch.”

Apply the oil to your knees, saying:

“Bless these knees,
created to kneel before the altar of the Goddess.”

Apply the oil to your genitals, saying:

“Bless this womb, the gateway to life.”

(Note: If the initiate is a male, say: “Bless this phallus, Creator of life.”)

Apply the oil to your breasts, saying:

“Bless these breasts and the heart beneath,
that my motives be pure
and my will be strong.”

Touch the oil to your forehead, tracing a pentagram upon it, and set the bottle of oil back upon your altar.

  • 6. Take up your initiation pendent, holding it aloft, stand before the altar, saying:

“I, (name), do solemnly swear upon the blood of my ancestors to devote the rest of my days to living the way of witch.

I swear loyalty to the Ancient Ones, the gods and goddesses who always were, are now, and shall forever be.

I swear loyalty to my fellow witches; my sister-witches of the past, as well as those who touch my life today, and those I have yet to meet. I vow to keep their secrets, to learn from them as well as teach, to respect our differences, and to celebrate our journey together upon this sacred path.

I freely take upon myself the life of witch. As I turn the corner to live my destiny, I declare to the Powers present here that my magical name is (craft name).”

  • 7. With your pendent in your hands, go now and stand before the gate of Earth. Raise your pendent aloft, saying:

“By the powers of Earth,
May I flourish in the physical realm.
Guardians of the Gateway of Earth,
know me,
I am (craft name)!”

Go now and stand before the gate of Air. Raise your pendent aloft, saying:

“By the powers of Air,
May I grow in knowledge and wisdom.

Guardians of the Gateway of Air,
know me,
I am (craft name)!”

Go now and stand before the gate of Fire. Raise your pendent aloft, saying:

“By the powers of Fire,
May I grow in passion and strength of will.

Guardians of the Gateway of Fire,
know me,
I am (craft name)!”

Go now and stand before the gate of Water. Raise your pendent aloft, saying:

“By the powers of Water,
May I grow in intuition and second sight.

Guardians of the Gateway of Water,
know me,
I am (craft name)!”

  • 8. Return now to the altar. Hold aloft your pendent, saying:

”By Earth and Air, Fire and Water,
Upon this day, a witch is born--
(craft name)!
So Mote It Be.”

  • 9. Put on your pendent necklace.

  • 10. The ritual is finished. Take your time within the circle to ground and center, to reflect, to absorb the experience. When you are ready, dismiss the quarters, dismantle the circle. Go and eat something to replenish your energy. And celebrate.

There's been a lot of hoop-lah over the decades with the great debate of whether a solitary witch can initiate herself.  On one side of the fence are the die-hard traditionalists, usually from established covens, who claim "it takes a witch to make a witch"... Hmmm, so where did the first witch come from?  Kind of like the conundrum of "the chicken, or the egg".  And then there are the Free Spirits.

There is certainly no disrespect meant to the pagans who belong to a traditionalist path, perhaps a coven created by the neo-pagans in the 20th century who set off this revivalist movement of modern witchcraft.  If you're comfortable belonging to a group with set rules, timelines for milestones within the group, and a structure to your practice (devised by someone else), that's all well and good.  And if it works for you, go for it, sez I.

However, not all of us are comfortable with the idea of someone else, whether lauded and idealized as knowledgeable and all that or not, to tell us how to practice our spirituality.  Quite frankly, I had enough of this mindset with the mundane patriarchal path I came from, and I suspect so have other free-spirited pagans and witches.

I guess you can clearly see my viewpoint on all this.  Also, there's just no place on my spiritual path for hoity-toity ego driven personalities.  Pagans are only human, after all, and you'll find your share of "High Priestess Syndrome" out there.

How do I describe myself?  I am a third-degree self-initiated witch.

Yes, you can do this.  

I took it upon myself to devote three years of my life to a deep-seated study of the craft, and every "year and a day", I would self-initiate myself to the next level.

I believe that when someone embraces a spiritual path, it will be a very personal journey.  This ritual, and my books, are meant to help you upon your path, not build it for you.  With that said, go forward Witchlings, and embrace the being you are, connect with Spirit in your own way, and always... enjoy the process.

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