There comes a time when you have learned enough
to decide whether the way of the Craft is for you. When that day
comes you will either consecrate yourself to the Powers or be
consecrated by a coven. If you join a group they will provide the
ceremony and all you need do is attend (plus the necessary
preparation). If, on the other hand, you chose the way of the
Solitary you will consecrate yourself.
Either way, you carry your membership card in your heart.
This, as all ceremonies and rites, you can do in any way that suits you. After all, this is your day (or night).
But to get you started I’ll outline a basic consecration ceremony that you can use or change as you will.
First you will need to prepare your sacred space. You can do this by following the examples on the Sacred Space page.
Next you will need to prepare your ritual--this is true of any ceremony you perform. Start with your purpose. In this case, you will be consecrating yourself to the Powers but your purpose could be anything from casting a spell to honoring a deity for granting your petition
Write out both the words you will use and the acts you will perform. (keeping in mind that we are using metaphor here and the acts you perform are physical metaphors). It doesn’t have to be fancy but I’ve kept my personal dedication ceremony with me for years and am glad I took the time to do a nice job on parchment paper. In fact, the outline below is from my original self consecration. I believe it originally came from Silver RavenWolf’s excellent book, To Ride a Silver Broomstick. These days I use my computer to write spells just as I am doing now but cursive script is also lovely if you have a talent. There are even those who contend that a spell must be written out in the witch's own hand; that's up to you.
You may also want to adopt a Wiccan name at this point, though this is not necessary. A good resource is Celtic Names of the British Isles. * but you can also make up a name that corresponds to you instincts alone. You may choose to take the name of your power animal. It's all up to you.
Also, I put each part of the ceremony on a different page so the words are big enough for me to read in candlelight. It also makes it easier to organize a particular ceremony into parts, generally it’s workings then reciting workings then reciting. Calling the Corners (or Quarters) is something you will always do so I put that on page one.
Start by choosing identities for the four cardinal points. In this example I will use the classic “Watch Tower” convention. It goes something like this:
(Workings are in normal font, recitations are quoted and in italics.)
Face the East
“Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, I do summon, stir and call you now to bless this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Air caress me, carry me, hold me safe, as I journey between the worlds.”
Face the South
“Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, I do summon, stir and call you now to bless this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Fire raise your flames within my Being until I burn with your divine passion as I journey between the worlds.”
Face the West.
“Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West, I do summon, stir and call you now to bless this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Water let your life blood flow within me and through me as I journey between the worlds.”
Face the North.
“Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North, I do summon, stir and call you now to bless this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Earth uphold my body as I journey between the worlds.”
What you are doing is precisely placing yourself on a Universal north/south, east/west Cartesian cross with you in the center. Each of the point represents a cardinal points of the compass. Some say the corners can be thought of as a pentacle with the leftover fifth point representing the direction of spirit. Some say the fifth point is up/down.
I'm not sure about that. It seems to me that the fifth dimension is inward/outward outward. Besides, wouldn't having a fifth point above or below the other four define a pyramid? (see Is Magyc Real)
Okay, enough theorizing, back to the
When you are ready, say:
“The circle is cast. I am between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time and space where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one.”
So that goes on page one. You can use it any time you want to Call the Corners until you have the words memorized, which I encourage because it’s traditional to ask the guest to help Call the Corners at group rituals. You’ll want to sound out in a loud confident voice.
But back to preparations. For now, let’s deal with some of the physical aspects of your consecration. As in the consecration of your tools and space you will need at least two illumination candles for your altar so you can read your rites and spells. In addition you will also need a dedication candle. This is either silver or gold depending on whether you are dedicating yourself to the Gods or Goddesses. Of course, you can do both--or neither--but most people start out with one or the other. Here's what else you'll need:
First, a way to mark your circle. This can be a rope, chalk, ribbon, or natron powder, anything that can be set in a continuous circle. Tradition has it that his circle should be nine feet across but that depends on how much space you have. It doesn’t mean that an eight foot or ten foot circle won’t do. Just make sure to close it carefully. Call it superstition but . . . I always double check.
Besides the makings of your circle you will need a chalice (a nice glass would do), a white cord or ribbon, and a bell.
A wand, athame (ceremonial dagger) or sword is excellent for gesturing but not strictly necessary.
It is also customary to have an offering of some kind. This can be anything from incense to milk and cookies. But I don’t think you should ever scrimp on your offering. Make sure it’s the best you have.
A word here about sacrifices: in ancient times animals were what was often sacrificed. This was not, I believe, because bloodshed was needed to petition the Gods, as some say. But because an animal to the ancients was food on the table. They wouldn’t have thought twice about the moral ramifications of beheading a chicken or slaughtering the fatted calf--nor would the average man or women 100 yrs. ago--but to take what little food they had and burn it or cast it down a well was a real sacrifice that usually meant they would go hungry for a while. The best sacrifices where made with the best a person could manage.
Whether this is strictly necessary or just a way of making your intentions strong I do not know. But you will get better results when you sacrifice something worthwhile. Your own will to have something, your powerful volition are the strongest forces you can command.
So, get everything ready and in place. Don’t forget the matches or a lighter.
But back to the recitations. If you are planning on invoking a particular God or Goddess or Drawing Down the Moon you will need that next. This is a simple statement of veracity. Something like:
“I align myself with ___________ (deity).” Or “_________come into me this night (day).” You get the picture.
Some witches start by saying they are one with a particular deity, that they are the deity. I consider this a bit presumptuous. You may not feel the full presence of a Higher Order Being for a long while. I suspect some never really do. So a little piety is welcome here—always with the sure and certain knowledge that you have a right to invoke our Gods and Goddesses. They, however, have the right to ignore you.
Next you will write a statement of purpose. In this case, your consecration. But it could be anything from passing a test to healing someone you care about. If you are invoking a particular deity make reference to them now.
“_______________ I am here tonight to consecrate myself in your name.”
Now close your eyes and stand perfectly still. If this is hard for you sit or lay in your circle. Don’t move until you feel the Power inside of you. If it doesn’t happen maybe this just isn’t your night. Pack it in and try again. But to proceed when you haven’t raised your consciousness to feel the living Universe all around you is a waste of time. I personally have never had a spell work from me if I couldn’t get above my mundane existence. If you just have to have what you have to have this day, start over from the top. You should avoid failure as often as possible because it weakens your confidence.
Tradition has it that you are to kneel at this point with your arms held up, palms pointing outward. I usually just stand, too much genuflection as a child, I guess.
Now extend your right arm, palm outstretched to the sky. If you’re outside look into the heavens. (This is where a wand or athame is good) You are extending the power you have just generated into the heavens, often called raising a Cone of Power. Now say in a loud voice:
“I am a witch. I am a witch. I am a witch. From this day forward I will honor the divine in myself, in others, and in the Universal Purpose.”
Now open your hands (or point your wand) to the ground before you and say:
“I vow to honor the Way of the Craft and walk the path of the witch in honor and courage”.
Place both hands over your heart saying:
“I dedicate my heart to peace, beauty and love for all people.”
Now place your fingertips to your lips:
“I vow to speak only truth, as I know it, and to hear the truth of others for who they are.”
Now place both hands on your lower belly above your womb (men cup your genitals).
“I vow to come together in love in whatever way that may be granted. I vow to teach and protect my children and the children of the world.”
Now place your fingertips on the middle of your forehead (third eye) and say:
“I dedicate my intellect to the search for truth and knowledge in this realm and the realm of the divine.”
Ring the bell seven times (traditionally). Now take the white cord or ribbon and wrap it around your wrists saying:
“I (your name) solemnly swear, and in the presence of the Universe, of my own free will, that I will abide by the law and spirit of the Craft, to harm none and help many. From this day forth, I shall be reborn as _______________(your new Wiccan name).
Ring the bell nine times. Take your offering. If it is incense light it and say:
“As this sweet fragrance ascends into the air I, ______ (new name) offer my life to Your Divine Purpose.”
If you have food and drink offer them now. Take up the chalice and hold it high. Bring it to your lips and drink half, saying:
“With this wine I take into my heart that of the Goddess to seal my oath forever.”
Place the remainder on the altar, or if outside pour into the earth. And say:
“Accept this wine in gratitude for my life that has led me to your radiant presence.”
Take the food and hold it up to the sky saying:
“I offer this sacrifice in the name of the Horned God, may His strength be with me always.”
Eat some of the food saying:
“I seal my oath completely by taking this ________into my body as the body of the Horned God.”
Now thank the deities that you have invoked for your consecration.
Finally, close the circle saying:
“So may it be. As it is above so it is below. The circle is open but never is it broken.”
Leave the offerings on the altar if possible and dispose of the remains the next day in a reverent manner.
Now see if you don’t feel completely different about yourself and the world at large in the next few days.
My most heartfelt congratulations. Welcome sister; welcome brother.
so may it be