“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”~ Mark Twain.
A friend of mine had this quote posted on Facebook and it struck me as rather appropriate for the topic at hand.
I’ve mentioned the word initiation before in my articles on Basic Wiccan Beginnings and Basic Wicca Origins. What exactly does it mean though? How does it apply to choosing to follow a traditional Wicca path?
Three Degrees of Wiccan Initiation
In the sense of the traditional covens there will be three degrees of initiatory structure. These are:
* First Degree — which is where you become initiated as a Priestess or Priest
* Second Degree — which is where you become initiated as a High Priestess or Priest
* Third Degree — which is where the High Priestess/Priest becomes Queen/Magus
Most who follow the path do not refer to themselves this way. They are simply just Wiccan. I wanted to explain this though so those of you who are wanting to learn more would understand the levels of development.
Steps to Initiation
As you make the decision to follow the path, you will take certain steps on your journey. If you choose to work with a coven, you will most likely join as a neophyte until you have learned enough to go through the initiation to Priestess or Priest. All this means is that you have pledged before the Goddess and God plus your coven that you are dedicated to learning the path. The typical period for which you will stay a neophyte is a year and a day.
During that time, you will learn all about the Wiccan path and be able to decide at the end of your training if it is right for you. It will give you plenty of time to make up your mind if this is something you wish to follow and to get to know the other members of the coven.
For those that are unable to locate a coven, you can dedicate yourself for the year and a day in a private ceremony to the Goddess and God. Commit yourself to learning all you can by reading and researching during that time. Anything you can get your hands on to further your understanding will help. If you get stumped, there are plenty of online resources and forums to answer your questions.
The Purpose of Initiation
This is your entrance into the tradition of Wicca. Initiation is also the commitment to learn and keep learning all there is to know about Wicca.
Your commitment is a way in which the Wiccan community expresses the mysticism surrounding the culture. You know as you join that others have had the same experiences as you. Without the sharing of the experience, you cannot align yourself with the current. In other words, you just won’t get the energy behind it all.
Take out your special notebook and ponder over whether you want to make a full commitment for a year and a day to learn all about this tradition. Ask yourself, if this is something you want now and make notes about your thoughts in your book.
Does the idea of self-dedication without a coven appeal to you more than seeking out a coven? The biggest difference in the two are that the self-dedication while being more personal can be a bit hard to follow through on at times. Why does this appeal to you? Or does it not?
this is a path and not for everyone. Learning the basics of Wicca with writing your thoughts on each topic as we go along will help you sort out your feelings. It will help you to understand the basics and move you along in preparation for making a full commitment.
Until next time, Blessed be!