Wiccan Rite of Self Dedication
Begin by removing your clothes and bathing yourself in a perfumed or herbal ritual bath (symbolic of the element water) to purify your body and spirit of negative vibrations. As you bathe, clear your mind completely of all mundane, negative and unpleasant thoughts, and meditate until your body is totally relaxed.
After bathing, create your magickal protection and cast on the floor a circle of about six feet in diameter, using white chalk or paint. Sprinkle a little salt (symbolic of the element earth) over the circle to consecrate it, and say:
With salt I consecrate and bless this circle in the divine name of the goddess and her consort, the horned god. Blessed Be!
Sit in the center of your circle, facing the rising sun/moon, with two white candles (symbolic of the element fire) and a censer of frankincense and myrrh incense (symbolic of the element air) before you. (it is best to perform this ritual alone and skyclad, or nude; however, if you feel uncomfortable working without clothing on, you may wear a white ceremonial robe instead.)
Light the incense, and the light the first candle, and say:
I invoke and call upon thee O mother Goddess, creatress of life and soul of the infinite universe.
By candle flame and incense smoke Do I evoke Thee to bless this rite. And to grant me admittance to the company of thy loving children. O beautiful Goddess of life and rebirth who is known as Cerridwen, Astarte, Athena, Brigit, Diana, Isis, Melusine, Aphrodite, and by many other divine names.
In this consecrated circle of candlelight I do pledge myself to honour thee, to love thee, and to serve thee well for as long as I shall live I promise to respect and obey the law of love unto all living things. I promise never to reveal craft secrets to any man or woman not the same path; and I swear to abide by the wiccan rede; "an it harm none, do what thou wilt." O goddess, queen of all witches, I do open my heart and soul to thee. So mote it be!
Light the second candle, and say:
I invoke and call upon thee O Great Horned god of Pagans, Lord of all the green woodlands and Father of all things wild and free. By candle flame and incense smoke Do I evoke Thee to bless this rite. O Great Horned God of Death And all that come after Who is known as Cernunnos, Attis, Pan, Daghda, Faunus, Frey, Odin, Lupercus,
and by many other names,
In this consecrated circle of candlelight I do pledge myself to honour thee, to love thee, and to serve thee well for as long as I shall live. O great horned God of Peace and Love I do open my heart and soul to thee. So mote it be!
Hold your open hands up to the heavens. Close your eyes and visualise two whitebeams of glowing light streaking down from the sky and flowing into your palms. A warm, tingling feeling will begin to spread throughout your body as the love power of the Goddess and the God purifies your soul.
Do not be afraid if you being to hear a voice (or voices) speaking inside your mind as if by telepathy. It is the Goddess and the God within you making their presence known. (Although no every Wiccan hears or perceives the actual spoken words of the Goddess and the Horned God - some merely feel their divine presence and live - it is not uncommon for the Pagan deities to speak directly to a newly self-initiated Witch, especially if he or she is psychic-sensitive to being with.)
Remain in the consecrated circle until both of the candles and the incense have burned themselves out. The Wiccan Rite of Self-Initiation is now ended.
What You Need:
By the very definition of the word, you can’t initiate yourself, because to initiate requires more than one person. But what you CAN do is dedicate yourself to your path and to the gods you have chosen to follow. For many people, doing this as part of a formal ritual helps to cement their relationship with the Divine. Some people choose to wait until they have studied for a year and a day before having a formal self-dedication rite. It’s entirely up to you.
You may want to wait until the time of the new moon to perform this self-dedication, because it is a time of new beginnings. Bear in mind that self-dedication is a commitment you are making; it should not be done at random or without significant thought beforehand.
This goal of this rite is to bring the dedicant closer to the Divine, as well as to declare your connection to your spiritual path.
You should perform this ritual skyclad, if at all possible. Find a place that is quiet, private, and free of distractions. Turn off your cell phone and send the kids out to play if you have to.
Begin by grounding yourself. Find your inner peace, and become good and relaxed. Shut out all the things from your mundane life that distract you -- forget for a while about paying the bills, your son’s baseball practice, and whether or not you fed the cat. Focus only on yourself, and the tranquility you’re entitled to.
When you’re ready to proceed, sprinkle the salt on the floor or ground, and stand on it.
Light your white candle, and feel the warmth of the flame. Look into the glow of the fire and think about what goals you have for yourself on your spiritual journey. Think about your motivations for performing this self-dedication.
Stand before your altar, and say:
I am a child of the gods, and I ask them to bless me.
Dip your finger into the blessing oil, and with eyes closed, anoint your forehead. Some people do this by tracing a pentagram on the skin with the oil. Say:
May my mind be blessed, so that I can accept the wisdom of the gods. Anoint the eyelids (be careful here!) and say: May my eyes be blessed, so I can see my way clearly upon this path. Anoint the tip of your nose with the oil, and say: May my nose be blessed, so I can breathe in the essence of all that is Divine.
Anoint your lips, and say:
May my lips be blessed, so I may always speak with honor and respect.
Anoint your chest, and say:May my heart be blessed, so I may love and be loved.
Anoint the tops of your hands, and say:May my hands be blessed, so that I may use them to heal and help others.
Anoint your genital area, and say: May my womb be blessed, so that I may honor the creation of life.
Anoint the soles of your feet, and say: May my feet be blessed, so that I may walk side by side with the Divine.
If you have specific deities you follow, pledge your loyalty to them now. Otherwise, you can use simply “God and Goddess”, or “Mother and Father”. Say:
Tonight, I pledge my dedication to the God and Goddess. I will walk with them beside me, and ask them to guide me on this journey. I pledge to honor them, and ask that they allow me to grow closer to them. As I will, so it shall be.
Take some time to meditate. Feel the afterglow of the ritual, and feel the energy of the gods around you. You have brought yourself to the attention of the Divine, so they will be keeping an eye on you. Accept the gift of their wisdom.
Coven Dedication Ritual:
[in Circle, with all coven members present, and teaching elder at altar, candidate steps to center carrying athame or other working tool]
Candidate responds to each question asked by the Elder as s/he deems proper, unless otherwise noted.
Elder: (candidate's name), what do you seek?
Candidate: I seek to study Witchcraft. I ask you to teach me.
Elder: Do you understand that Witchcraft is the priesthood of the Old Gods and Old Ways of Nature, and that every Witch is a priestess or priest?
Do you understand that initiation into that priesthood will change your life forever, in ways that you cannot now foresee?
Do you understand what priesthood requires that, if you become a Witch, you serve the Lady and the Lord by serving Their People, to the fullest of your ability?
Knowing these things, do you want to study Witchcraft and its related arts until you know enough to decide whether this is truly your Path?
Do you understand that Witchcraft 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? Can you accept that the decision may be no?
Teaching what I love is a great joy. But I can only teach in joy if I know that what I love will be used and shared with care and honor. Before I am willing to teach you, there are three things and a fourth that you must promise to me:
Will you respect and protect the confidence of all who you meet in the Circle and all who seek our aid, revealing their identities to no one except by their explicit permission?
Will you practice and teach the Craft for love alone, using this knowledge or teaching it only as a free gift, as I give it now to you, never accepting payment for it in money or goods or labor?
Will you promise never to use what I teach you to affect another person, avoiding not only baneful magic but all well-intentioned meddling, unless you have that person's explicit permission?
And if time brings fullness, as all here hope and expect it will, when you teach new students of your own, will you require these three pledges of them, along with their pledge to similarly bind their own students, so that all that spring from this line may be so pledged?
Elder: This being so, I consent to teach you. This is how I value my labor - that I will plant only good seed in good soil, to become fruit both sound and sweet. I will teach you, I will learn from you, I will learn with you. So we begin by exchanging our pledges. Place your hand on this athame and repeat after me
I, (name), here and now pledge
To you (name), to the Gods,
to all in this Circle
And, most truly, to myself,
That I will explore the Path called Witchcraft
Its lore and its symbols;
its rituals and its deeper meanings
Sharing with you my joy in discovery
and all my doubts and qualms.
Exploring all questions with open mind and heart.
Until I know surely whether or not
I am for the priesthood
and Witchcraft is for me
In token of this pledge I swear
on this tool of my power
To devote myself, from this moment on,
to learning the ways of Witchcraft
Elder [cover candidate's hand on tool with own hand]
And I make this pledge to you in return
For the lesser knowledge, which can be taught,
I will be your teacher.
For the greater knowledge, which must be discovered,
I will be your guide and your friend.
For the questions and perplexities of the path,
I will be your companion.
To answer when I may; or simply
to be silent as you seek your own answers
And when the time comes to choose
whether you will enter the priesthood,
I will share with you
all I have observed and thought.
And may the Gods prosper through our work together.
Know that although I am your primary teacher, this Circle is not made of the two of us alone. All here are dedicated to the Old Ways and each has unique knowledge. All of us learn from and with each other. You, too, bring the learning of a lifetime and the fresh insight of a beginner's questions. Together we are more than the simple sum of each of us alone. Go around the Circle, now, and accept each person's greetings.
Coveners [embrace candidate in turn and say] I am _______. I am your friend. In time, I may be your sister (or brother).
Candidate [responds in kind]
Elder [bless the athame or other working tool that candidate brought into Circle] I return this working tool to you with my blessing. Accept it, as I have accepted your pledge. Use it now, in your first ritual act.
Candidate: [go to each quarter and salute in any way s/he knows] Powers of the East (South, West, North) I, ______, call on you to witness my pledge and ask you to bless my time of exploration. [silent salute in East].
Elder: -------, be welcome in the Circle! [embrace, almost certain to be followed by group hug].
All: SO MOTE IT BE!
OPENING: Put up circle as per usual, Principal witness is Priest or Priestess, whichever is opposite gender to the Candidate.
Candidate (with sponsors, stands facing Priest/ess) : "I, (full given name), have decided to dedicate myself to the keeping of the Gods, and I wish to so swear, with this Circle of the Craft of the Wise as witness."
Priest/ess (to sponsors): "Is (candidates full name) a proper person, of good report and standing in both communities, sacred and profane, who respects our ways and wishes to learn the path of Wisdom from the Lord and Lady?"
Sponsor: "I have found her/him to be so."
Priest/ess (to Candidate): "What is the Rede?"
Candidate: "An it harm none, do what ye will."
Priest/ess: "Truly an Ethical core. And art willing to make oath to the Gods?"
Candidate: "I am."
Priest/ess: "Art willing to ever keep secret what is unfolded before you, even though it should cost thee thy life?"
Candidate: "I am."
Priest/ess: "Art willing to swear so before the Gods, and before these here assembled?
Candidate: "I am."
Priest/ess (to Sponsor): "Has s/he the password to enter into the worlds where such a compact must needs be made?"
Sponsor: "S/he has it not. I give it for him/her, so she may enter into compact."
Priest/ess: "By what Right or Privilege do you ask admittance into our Rites and into the company of the Gods?"
Sponsor: "By the right of two passwords. Perfect Love and Perfect Trust!"
Priest/ess (to dedicant): "The door has been opened for you. But you must make the step alone. By what right do you enter?"
Dedicant: "By those very passwords. Perfect Love and Perfect Trust."
Priest/ess: "I give thee a third". (Kisses Candidate)
Priest/ess: "You may now proceed with your wish."
Candidate: Gives dedication oath. (this should be written by the candidate with the help of the sponsor(s), so that all the elements required are included, but should not follow a "canned" script.)
Priest/ess (to those assembled): "We have heard (Candidates name)'s intentions. Have you any questions or do you wish any clarification?"
Each covener does so, if they want a clarification. This continues until all are satisfied as to the meaning of the candidate's oath and are satisfied that the candidate has promised to live up the Rede, to the best of his/her ability while a student and to keep the Secrets, whether they stay in or not. (NOTE: Promising more than is outlined is grossly unfair - The candidate MUST be fully cognizant of what has been promised!)
Priest/ess: "We have heard your Oath and your meaning. Remember that you Oath binds you, for it has been made in the presence of the Gods and witnessed by the Craft of the Wise."
Priest/ess then introduces the new dedicant to each member of the group, then to the Quarters, and finally to the Gods:
Priest/ess: "Lord and Lady, here is your Child, (name) who has sworn his/her devotion to you. Treat him/her gently and with justice, for s/he is young in the ways of the Wise. Teach us to do the same."
Cakes and Wine, with the new Dedicant given the first drink in honor of his/her new status.
Dismiss the Circle.
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.
Source: © By: David Sands, 1997 http://www.braided-web.net/dedication.html
Self Dedication for the Solitary Practitioner
Prepare yourself by drawing a bath of warm water. Add a tablespoon or so of salt and a few drops of a scented oil such as Sandalwood. If you have no bath, use a shower. Fill a washcloth with salt, add a few drops of essential oil, and rub your body. If you're performing this ritual at the sea or river, bathe there if you so desire. As you bathe, prepare for the coming ritual. Open your consciousness to higher levels of awareness. Deep breathe. Cleanse your mind as well as your body.
After bathing, dry and dress for the journey. Go to a place in the wild where you feel safe. It should be a comfortable spot where you won't be disturbed by others, an area where the powers of the Earth and the elements are evident. It may be a mountain top, a desert , a cave, perhaps a dense forest, a rocky outcropping over the sea, a quiet island in the center of a lake. Even a lonely part of a park or garden can be used. Draw your imagination to find the place.
You need take nothing with you but a vial of richly scented oil – Sandalwood, Frankincense, Cinnamon or any other scent is fine and your ritual. When you arrive at the place of dedication, remove your shoes and sit quietly for a few moments. Calm your heart if you've exerted yourself during your travel. Breathe deeply to return to normal, and keep your mind free of cluttered thoughts. Open yourself to the natural energies around you. When you're calm, rise and pivot slowly on one foot, surveying the land around you. You're seeking the ideal spot. Don't try to find it; open your awareness to the place. When you've discovered it (you'll know when), sit, kneel or lie flat on your back. Place the oil on the Earth beside you. Don't stand – contact the Earth.
Continue deep breathing. Feel the energies around you. Call the Goddess and God in any words you like, or use the following invocation. Memorize these words before the ritual so that they'll spill effortlessly from you, or improvise:
O Mother Goddess,
O Father God,
Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered;
In this place of power I open myself to Your Essence.
In this place and in this time Pagan path.
I dedicate myself to you, Mother Goddess and Father God.
(Rest for a moment, silent, still. Then continue.)
I breathe your energies into my body, co-mingling, blending,
Mixing them with mine,
That I may see the divine in nature,
Nature in the divine,
And divinity within myself and all else.
O Great Goddess,
O Great God,
Make me one with your essence
Make me one with your essence
Make me one with your essence.
You may feel bursting with power and energy, or calm and at peace. Your mind might be in a whirl. The Earth beneath you may throb and undulate with energy. Wild animals, attracted by the psychic occurrence, might grace you with their presence.
Whatever occurs, know that you have opened yourself and that the Goddess and God have heard you. You should feel different inside, at peace or simply powerful.
After the evocation, wet a finger with the oil and mark the pentagram symbol somewhere on your body. It doesn't matter where; you can do this on your chest, forehead, arms, legs, anywhere. As you anoint, visualise this symbol sinking into millions of tiny points of light.
The formal dedication is ended. Thank the Goddess and God for their attention. Sit and meditate before leaving the place of dedication. Once home, celebrate in a special way.