Scott Cunningham defines initiation as "a process whereby an individual is introduced
or admitted into a group, interest, skill, or religion. Initiations may be ritual occasions but can also occur spontaneously."*
One of the great things about Wicca is that, despite the grumblings of a few traditionalists,
there is no official mode of entry into the religion. Whether or not you ARE Wiccan is up to you, the Goddess, and the God.
Modern Wicca more than allows for a solitary practitioner to dedicate/initiate his or herself.
If you are solitary and would still like to follow some sort of traditional dedication
here's a few things you can do. They are only suggestions and may be modified to suit your needs.
It is traditional for a student to study at least one year and one day before
dedication. This allows you to experience one full turn of the Wheel of the Year, and plenty of time to study books and yourself.
I strongly recommend you find some sort of Pagan community that you mesh with
to converse with and get feedback. It can be a cyber-community, a local group or open coven, or if you're lucky a few friends
or even family members. Learning a new religion is a daunting task, especially when faced alone. Having a Pagan community
to interact with can ease your confusion and frustration considerably.
Read, read, read. Read as many websites and books that you can. Ask yourself if
what you are reading makes sense to you. If it does, why? If not, why not? Bounce what you learning off your chosen community
for feedback. Is this author credible? I've read four different ways to cast a circle, which way is the best?? I don't really
understand this "reincarnation" thing, what is the Summerland?? Is that what everyone believes?? For better or for worse much
of Wicca is open to personal interpretation. It will be up to you to decide what is ultimately right for you.
In addition to reading, spend time with yourself thinking about your beliefs and
what you are learning. You can meditate if you are comfortable with it. Otherwise meditation comes in many non-traditional
forms. Journal keeping is a good one. Keep track of your thoughts, questions, and forming beliefs in a journal. You can write
in it nightly, weekly, or whenever you sit down to read. Going for long walks and taking the time to notice nature is another
way to get in touch with your spirit. The bottom line is; Find out what it is YOU really believe. Not what some book is telling
you is true. Don't go from one religion that tells you what is true to another one that tells you what is true. Find out what
YOU think is true and find a religion that fits. Get to know yourself before deciding if Wicca, or any religion, is for you.
Experiment. Play around with some easy to obtain herbs, stones, and incense. Try
out different crafts and rituals. Keep what you like, what feels right to you, and discard the rest. Despite what New Age
shops would have you believe, Wicca is not about things. When it comes down to it, NO physical objects besides your own body
are required to practice Wicca. So don't feel you need to have all these things. Search your heart, see what you fall in love
with, what you click with, and stick with that. Don't buy an athame because you feel you are supposed to have one, when a
branch from your backyard makes a great wand that you love.
Lastly, you can do a dedication/initiation ritual. These are not necessary. In
fact I've never done one, never felt the need. BUT if you do feel the need than by all means, do one. Many solitaries feel
a special connection to their self-initiation day. They celebrate it every year with a re-dedication and it makes them feel
close to the Goddess and God, and to their faith. Some mark their dedication with a special necklace, ring, or other token.
Here is a sample ritual. As always feel free to write your own, or adjust this
one for your own use.**
~~Prepare yourself by drawing a bath of warm water, adding a little salt and oil/herb
of your choice. If you have no bath you can shower, just put a little salt on your washcloth when you wash. Of course a bath
in a river, stream, or the sea is always acceptable. As you bathe prepare yourself for your ritual. Imagine yourself washing
away any remnants of your old self, your spiritual confusion and loneliness. Cleanse your mind as well as your body.
~~After drying off dress in whatever feels right/comfortable for you. You could
wear a special robe just for the occasion, a comfortable dress, pants and shirt, pajamas, or nothing at all.
~~Go to a place where you are safe, and feel connected to the Goddess and God.
This can be in a park, a forest, the mountains, the beach, or your backyard.
~~Bring with you a scented oil of your choosing. This rite calls for nothing else,
but of course bring flowers, stones, shells, a food offering, or anything else you feel is appropriate. Be sure to take extra
caution when lighting a candle or incense, use your common sense to be certain your surroundings are safe.
~~When you arrive at your designated spot, close your eyes and take deep, cleansing
breaths. Remove your shoes and sit quietly for a few moments. Calm and center yourself, prepare for what you are about to
~~When you are calm, stand up and survey the area around you. Find the ideal spot
for the rite.
~~After finding it, sit, kneel, or lie down. Do not stand. Make contact with the
~~Continue deep breathing. Feel the energies around you. Call to the Goddess and
God, using any words you like, or the following invocation. If you use pre-written words, memorize them before the rite, so
they flow out without interruption.
"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 I am changed;
From henceforth I walk the Wiccan Path.
I dedicate myself to you, Mother Goddess and Father God."
~~Rest still for a moment, silent. Then continue.
"I breathe your energies into my body, commingling,
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."
~~After the invocation, lay still for as long as you feel like. Take in the energy,
the feeling of a new beginning, new connections. When you are ready, wet a finger in the oil you have brought and mark the
symbols of the Goddess and God (triple moon, and crowned moon) on your body. Where doesn't matter, forehead, chest, arms,
wherever you feel like it. Visualize the symbols sinking into your body, glowing then dispersing into millions of tiny points
~~The rite has ended. Thank the Goddess and God for their attention. Sit and meditate
for as long as you wish. When you are ready, gather up your things and leave. Feel free to mark the occasion in other ways
afterwards, at home.
* From "Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner", page 198
** Rite adapted from and invocation taken verbatim from Scott Cunningham's "Wicca,
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner", chapter 12, pgs 90-92.