The Magickal Universe

Where Magick is a way of life!

Dedication

Dedication: An inner commitment to a specific spiritual or religious path. Within Paganism dedication is often followed by a period of study in preparation of becoming an initiate of a chosen tradition.

In order to understand what Dedication is you need to understand what it is not.....It is not an Initiation!

Initiation means several things - it means you'll be a part of a Coven and subject to that Coven's Traditions and manner of doing things. You will probably have some kind of formal teacher to which you will be bound (sort of like an apprenticeship). It means you will go through the formal study processes towards Clergy Status. 

Dedication means that you're probably a Solitary or a Seeker, who has accepted that you wish to work within Life and Nature, with the 'Wheel of life' as your most important teacher. It's making a promise to live in harmony with yourself, humans and animals, the Deities, and the Universe. It means you choose to follow a Pagan Path but not a specific set of Teachings, nor have a specific teacher to guide you (you can seek assistance from experienced practitioners but you wont be bound to a particular teacher or set of teachings).'

Dedication is a totally valid form of acknowledging your entry into the path.

Many Wytches also choose to Dedicate themselves before taking formal initiation into a Coven, In fact I recommend that you do a Dedication before you even start looking. All Pagans can benefit from a period of time to study as a Solitary. 

A Dedication WONT give you the same experiences as a Wytche in a Coven will experience via Initiation, but Dedication is still a very powerful and moving experience.

Are You Ready for Dedication?

Seriously this is no time to be jumping the gun!

You are essentially making a LIFELONG commitment to your own personal development, sureyou can thinkofit asif you are just 'checking it out' and you can stop at any time. However this wont be percieved well by other Pagans. Pagans generally consider that you should be pretty sure about your decision before taking on Dedication. After all dedicate mean to commit oneself (all of you) to something.....

So before embarking on this life changing experience,you need to seriously think about what Dedication means to you and to others within the Pagan Path, before you decide to Dedicate.

Ask yourself these important questions.....

  • How will taking a pledge of Dedication change your life?
  • How will you taking this pledge affect those you love and interact with outside of the Pagan Community?, How will this affect you?
  • Do you feel you have a good enough understanding of what you are commiting to before your become oathbound?
  • Do you want to choose a God/dess to be your patron - or has one already chosen you?
  • Have you chosen a Magickal Name, by which to declare you begin a new journey, have set foot upon a new path?
  • Have you prepared a sacred place in which you can perform your rites away from prying eyes, disturbances and in love and trust?
For those who wish to seek Dedication into Terra Sphere Coven, you also need to consider....
  • Do you understand that Primordial Wytchecraft is but one of the Priesthoods of the Old Ones and Old Ways of Nature, and that every Initiated Wytche is a Priestess or Priest and must act in a manner that reflects this?
  • Do you understand that future Initiation into that Priesthood will change your life forever, in ways that you can not now foresee? Are you willing to accept the change, no matter how it may present itself?
  • Do you truely understand what Priesthood requires? that, if you become a Wytche, you serve the Lady and the Lord by serving Their People, Their Community, Thier Ways to the fullest of your ability?
  • Knowing these things, do you wish to continue to study Primordial Wytchecraft and its related arts until you know enough to decide whether this is truly your Path? Do you already feel strongly called to this Way?
  • Do you understand that Primordial Wytchecraft is one of many means to serve the Old Gods and awaken the Old Ways, and that even if this is not your way after all, you may learn and grow while you are here?

Having done a lot of reading and/or had discussions with the teacher/mentor. At the proper time (being when the Dedicant feels him/herself to be ready and if part of a Coven - the Elders agree) a Dedication ceremony is crafted and prepared to be performed.

Creating a Dedication Ritual.

Dedication can be as simple as sitting on the ground outside under the moon and declaring that you are a Wytche.

Yes, That's really all it takes! However Pagans are generally creative and expressive types and therefore usually want some kind of exotic ritual to declare our Path. A Dedication should be a very personal Ritual designed for you to pledge your decision to walk the Path of Paganism, or (if you have already chosen your path and are sure of it), the Path of a Specific Tradition and/or Coven with whom you are applying to Study to Initiation.

Different Covens have different proceedures for marking Dedication, for Terra Sphere Coven we consider this an opportunity for each Dedicant to create a Ritual which will inspire them to continue on their path, but also contains depth and symbolism to resonate within the soul. To do this an Elder acts as Mentor the the Prospective Dedicant aiding them to compile their ideas into a workable Ritual. You may wish to take a look at Ritual Construction as a guide if you are attempting to write your own Dedication. There are also some examples of Dedication Rituals on the Dedication Examples page.

The Pledge

The most important aspect of your Dedication Ritual is your oath, vow or pledge, you should begin constructing your Dedication Ritual by first writing your pledge. The dedication Pledge is the vow or oath by which you will be bound in regards to your Craft. You should take time to consider exactly what you wish to include in it, to whom you will address it (which Deity/ies, Pantheon etc), and how it might fit into the Dedication Ritual.

The following are two examples of a Pledge which may be used within a Coven Ritual: (from Coven Risingstar) 

Example 1:

And the need cannot be denied,
for I am the Mother's child
And have come back to the forsaken ways

Teach me, Priest/ess,
Child of our Mother,
The words of respect She would have us know,
The rituals by which we worship
She Who birthed us of Herself.
Guide me in the Way
That nurtures all and harms none
As I seek to regain that
which was lost so long ago.

And, finally,
walk beside me as Sister, (or Brother)
for we are both children of the Mother

Example 2:
And the need cannot be denied'
for I am the Mother's child,
and have come back to the Ways of Old

Teach me, Priest/ess,
Child of our Mother,
The words of respect She would have us know
The rituals by which we worship
She who birthed us out of Herself
Guide me as I seek what no other can teach me,
that which is mine but so long denied.

And, finally, walk beside me as Sister (or Brother)
We are both children of our Mother.

This third example is probably more what I would expect from a Soliatary or a Dedicant within our Coven - this was one of the 'original' Wiccan pledges and was written in the 1960s.

Example 3:  (Selena Fox - Circle Sanctuary)

I am a Pagan and I dedicate Myself to channeling the Spiritual Energy of my Inner Self to help and to heal myself and others.

  • I know that I am a part of the Whole of Nature. May I grow in understanding of the Unity of all Nature. May I always walk in Balance.
  • May I always be mindful of the diversity of Nature as well as its Unity and may I always be tolerant of those whose race, appearance, sex, sexual preference, culture, and other ways differ from my own.
  • May I use the Force (psychic power) wisely and never use it for aggression nor for malevolent purposes. May I never direct it to curtail the free will of another.
  • May I always be mindful that I create my own reality and that I have the power within me to create positivity in my life.
  • May I always act in honorable ways: being honest with myself and others, keeping my word whenever I have given it, fulfilling all responsibilities and commitments I have taken on to the best of my ability.
  • May I always remember that whatever is sent out always returns magnified to the sender. May the Forces of Karma move swiftly to remind me of these spiritual commitments when I have begin to falter from them, and may I use this Karmic feedback to help myself grow and be more attuned to my Inner Pagan Spirit.
  • May I always remain strong and committed to my Spiritual ideals in the face of adversity and negativity. May the Force of my Inner Spirit ground out all malevolence directed my way and transform it into positivity. May my Inner Light shine so strongly that malevolent forces can not even approach my sphere of existence.
  • May I always grow in Inner Wisdom & Understanding. May I see every problem that I face as an opportunity to develop myself spiritually in solving it.
  • May I always act out of Love to all other beings on this Planet - to other humans, to plants, to animals, to minerals, to elementals, to spirits, and to other entities.
  • May I always be mindful that the Goddess and God in all their forms dwell within me and that this divinity is reflected through my own Inner Self, my Pagan Spirit.
  • May I always channel Love and Light from my being. May my Inner Spirit, rather than my ego self, guide all my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Copyright © 1960 Selena Fox Circle Sanctuary P.O. Box 219 Mt. Horeb, WI 53572 USA.

Copies of the Pledge to Pagan Spirituality by Selena Fox may be downloaded, photocopied, and placed on websites for personal and group use as long as it includes the credit and copyright info noted above. Advance written permission must be obtained for reprinting in publications

Marking your Dedication

Many Solitaries also like to create something special to mark the occasion, within a Coven you are usually gifted with an item such as a necklace or armband, which has been charged by the Coveners and hold a small piece of everyone's energy, you can look at it and wear it as a reminder of your faith.

The pentacle has become a traditional symbol of Pagan faith, and so is the Triple Goddess symbol. Something as simple as a sun or moon is totally appropriate, too. If you are part of a Coven you will be given a symbol of your faith, or told what symbol you may wear as a Dedicant, however as a Solitary you have the choice to wear whatever you like that symbolises your faith to YOU...