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Wiccian -- First Degree Initiation

Before the circle is cast, the Postulant is stood outside the Circle to the North-East, and blindfolded and bound by witches of the opposite sex. The binding is done with the three red cords - one nine feet long, the other pair four and half feet long. The wrists are tied together behind the back with the middle of the long cord, and the two ends are brought forward over the shoulders and tied in front of the neck, the ends left hanging to form a cable-tow by which the Postulant can be led. One short cord is tied round the right ankle, the other above the left knee - each with the ends tucked in so that they will not trip her up. As the ankle cord is being tied, the Initiator says:

'Feet neither bound nor free.'

The Circle is now cast, and the Opening Ritual proceeds as usual, except that the 'gateway' in the North-East is not closed yet, and the Charge is not spoken yet. After Drawing Down the Moon, the Initiator gives the Cabalistic Cross, as follows: 'Ateh' 'Malkuth' 'Ve-Geburah' 'Ve-Gedulah' 'Le-olam'.

After the Witches Rune, the Initiator fetches the sword, or her athame, from the altar. She and her Partner face the Postulant.

They then declaim the charge.
The Initiator then says:

'O thou who standest on the threshold between the pleasant world of men and the dread domains of the Lords of the Outer Spaces, hast thou the courage to make the assay?'

She places the point of the sword or athame against the Postulant's heart and continues:

'For I say verily, it were better to rush on my blade and perish, then make the attempt with fear in thy heart.'

The Postulant replies:

'I have two passwords. Perfect love, and perfect trust.'

The Initiator says:

'All who have such are doubly welcome. I give thee a third to pass thee through this dread door.'

She hands the sword or athame to her Partner, kisses the Postulant and goes round behind her. Embracing her from the back, she pushes her forward with her own body into the Circle. Her Partner ritually closes the 'gateway' with the sword or athame, which he then replaces at the altar.
The Initiator leads the Postulant to the cardinal points in turn and says:

'Take heed, ye Lords of the East [Sount, West, North] that _________ is properly prepared to be initiated a priestess and witch.'

The Initiator then leads the Postulant to the centre of the Circle. she and the coven circle round her deosil, chanting:

'Eko, Eko, Azarak,
Eko, Eko, Zomelak,
Eko, Eko, Cernunnos,
Eko, Eko, Aradia,' 

repeated over and over, while they push the Postulant back and forth between them, sometimes turning her a little to disorient her, until the Initiator calls a halt. The Partner rings the handbell three times, while the Initator turns the Postulant (who is still in the centre) to face the altar. She then says:

'In other religions the postulant kneels, while the priest towers above her. But in the Art Magical we are taught to be humble, and we kneel to welcome her and we say...'

The Initiator kneels and gives the Postulant the Fivefold Kiss, as follows:

The Partner now hands the length of twine to the Initiator, who says:

'Now we are going to take your measure.'

The Initiator, with the help of another witch of the same sex, stretches the twine from the ground at the Postulant's feet to the crown of her head, and cuts this length off with the white-handled knife (which your Partner brings you). You then measure her once round the forehead and tied a knot to mark the measurement; once (from the same end) round the heart, and ties a knot; and once round the hips across the genitals, and ties a knot. She winds up the measure and lays it on the altar.
The Initiator asks the Postulant:

'Before thou art sworn, art thou ready to pass the ordeal and be purified?'

The Postulant replies:

'I am.'

The Initiator and the other witch of the same sex help the Postulant to kneel, and bow her head and shoulders forward. They unwind the loose ends of her ankle and knee cords and bind her two ankles and her two knees together. The Initiator then fetches the scourge from the altar.
The Partner rings the handbell three times and says 'Three' 
The Initiator gives the Postulant three light strokes with the scourge.
The Partner says 'Seven.' (She does not ring the bell again.)
The Initiator gives the Postulant seven light strokes with the scourge.
The Partner says 'Twenty-one'
The Initiator gives the Postulant twenty-one light strokes with the scourge. (The twenty-first stroke may be more vigorous, as a reminder that the Initiator has been being deliberately restrained.)
The Initiator says:

'Thou hast bravely passed the test. Art thou ready to swear that thou will always be true to the Art?'

The Postulant replies: 'I am.'
The Initiator asks:

'Art thou always ready to help, protect and defend thy brothers and sisters of the Art?'

The Postulant replies: 'I am.'
The Initiator says (phrase by phrase):

'Then say after me: "I, ________, in the presence of the Mighty Ones, do of my own free will and accord most solemnly swear that I will ever keep secret and never reveal the secrets of the Art, except it be to a proper person, properly prepared within a Circle such as I am now in; and that I will never deny the secrets to such a person if he or she be properly vouched for by a brother or sister of the Art. All this I swear by my hopes of a future life, mindful that my measure has been taken; and may my weapons turn against me if I break this my solemn oath."'

The Postulant repeats each phrase after me.
The Initiator and the other witch of the same sex now help the Postulant to rise to her feet.
The Initiator moistens his fingertip with the oil and says:

'I hereby sign thee with the Triple Sign. I consecrate thee with oil.'

The Initiator Touches the Postulant with the oil just above her pubic hair, on her right breast, on her left breast and above the pubic hair again, completing the inverted triangle of the First Degree.
Moisten my fingertip with wine, sayng:

'I anoint thee with wine'

and touch her in the same place with the wine.
The Initiator then says:
'I consecrate thee with my lips'

kiss her in the same places and continues:
'priestess and witch.'

The Initiator and the other witch of the same sex now remove the Postulant's blindfold and untie her cords.
The Postulant is now an initiated witch, and the ritual is interrupted for each member of the coven to welcome and congratulate her, kissing or shaking hands as appropriate. When this is done, the ritual continues with the presentation of the working tools. As each tool is named, the Initiator takes it from the altar and hands it to the Initiate with a kiss. Another witch of the same sex as the Initiator stands by, and as each tool is finished with takes it form the Initiate with a kiss and replaces it on the altar.

The Initiator explains the tools as follows:

'Now I present to thee the Working Tools, First, the Magic Sword. With this, as with the Athame, thou canst form all Magic Circles, dominate, subdue and punish all rebellious spirits and demons, and even persuade angels and good spirits. With this in thy hand, thou art the ruler of the Circle.

Next I present the Athame. This is the true witch's weapon, and has all the powers of the Magic Sword.

Next I present the White-hilted Knife. Ints use is to form all instruments used in the Art. It can only be used in a Magic Circle.

Next I present the Wand. Its use is to call up and control certain angels and genii to whom it would not be meet to use the Magic Sword.

Next I present the Cup. This is the vessel of the Goddess, the Cauldron of Cerridwen, the Holy Grail of Immortality. From this we drink in comradeship, and in honour of the Goddess.

Next I present the Pentacle. This is for the purpose of calling up appropriate spirits.

Next I present the Censer of Incense. This is used to encourage and welcome positive spirits and banish negitive spirits.

Next I present the Scourge. this is the sign of power and domination. It is also to cause purification and enlightenment. For it is written, "To learn you must suffer and be purified". Art thou willing to suffer to learn?'

The Initiate replies: 'I am.'
The Initator continues:

'Next and lastly I present the Cords. They are of use to bind the sigils in the Art; also the material basis; also they are necessary  in the Oath.'

The Initiator says:

'I now salute thee in the name of Aradia, newly made priestess and witch,' and kisses the Initiate.

Finally lead her to each of the cardinal points in turn, saying:

'Hear ye Mighty Ones of the East [South, West, North]; _________has been consecrated priestess, witch and hidden child of the Goddess.'

If the Initiate has brought her own new athame and/or cords, she may now, as her first magical work, consecrate them - either with the Initiator or with the person who is to be her working partner, if that is already known, or if they have been initiated on the same occasion.


This page last updated: 02/27/2018

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