How to officially be a Wiccan?
Now that you have read up on the history, core beliefs, and traditions of Wicca, then you might be curious about how to officially be a Wicca. You might ask, what is the process involved? Is there a ceremony like Baptism? Who would be the one to initiate you?
The word initiation often has a negative connotation especially in what we typically see in movies or on television. Usually, in fraternities or sororities where aspiring members undergo hazing or sometimes forced to undertake out of this world tasks that can be physically or psychologically damaging. On the other hand, in Christian practices, we see the rite where babies are sprinkled with water that symbolizes their admission to the church.
For you to be more familiar with the process of Wicca initiation, let us discuss something closer to it – the initiation of witch covens. Note that although some practices of witchcraft are similar to Wicca, it does not mean it is entirely Wiccan.
According to Wicca Living, initiation for covens is a secret ceremony that involves passing down of specific traditions from one witch to another. Witches who conduct the initiation should have a solid knowledge about the craft and have enough experience. Since it is a secret ceremony, witches take a secrecy vow. But there is general knowledge that is available for us to understand more about it. Initiation is a process, and not just the actual ceremony. Here is the usual process of a coven initiation:
1. Learn the history and traditions
Understand the craft! For someone to be officially part of a coven, one must learn about the history and its traditions. In a Christian church, babies are still not in the capacity to learn about its teachings so their parents pass on the tradition. In a witch coven, an aspiring member should have the understanding and the genuine commitment to be part of it. Although, there are times that it can be hereditary or passed on as well, understanding of the history and teachings is still mandatory.
2. Immerse yourself in the beliefs and practices
Now that you have prior understanding about the backbone of their ideology, it is time to immerse yourself in the beliefs and practices – live the way they live. This is to make sure that you are a good fit in the group. From the coven’s perspective, this shows your capacity to fully commit to the group on a very consistent basis.
3. Engage in the craft of magic
During your immersion in the witch coven, more experienced members of the coven will mentor you. Here, you are also free to explore your own crafts as well. Joining a coven means entering a strong emotional and spiritual bond so this step is very important for you and the members of the coven. This step is for the members to assess if you are really dedicated and fit in the group. This engagement with the craft will be the formal step of your initiation.
4. Honor vows of secrecy & show up for rituals and meetings
Congratulations! You are officially part of the coven. Now that you are part of the coven, you are responsible to show your commitment to the group. This is done by consistently attending the rituals and meetings of your coven. Also part of your initiation is an oath that requires you to keep the deep details of the coven a secret. Another act of showing commitment aside from the continuous practice of the craft is to be a reliable member as you are now part of a support system.
How to be officially a Wiccan
Is there initiation in Wicca? The answer is mixed. Gardenian or Alexandrian Wicca requires initiation similar to coven initiation discussed earlier as they have a lineage of witchcraft. However, the majority of Wiccans are solitary which means that they do not practice with a group – they practice self-dedication. This also means that Solitary Wiccans do not have to follow a strict process of initiation ceremony
Similar to the initiation of the witch covens, you can start thinking about the rituals and traditions you want to practice after you gained a deep understanding about Wicca’s core principles and beliefs to be officially Wiccan. This approach will allow you to be more creative in tweaking the rituals according to your preference. Remember that Wiccans do not have a set of rigid rules to follow – you are your own boss.
Initiation of solitary Wiccans is about dedicating your time and life to explore the craft. It is about self-learning and knowing what you believe in. Essentially, you have the power to create your own craft and practices. But being a solitary Wiccan should not limit you from growing your network and interacting with other Wiccans. You just have to define what does initiation mean for you, with that – you are officially a Wiccan.
According to Patti Wigington, Wiccan initiation can just be a milestone of learning the history and the essence of witchcraft, or it can be practicing and applying the craft in your daily life. Just remember that initiation and self-dedication is a personal decision that should not be forced upon you. You may like Wicca for its magick and core principles, but if you cannot fully commit to the craft then you may skip the initiation.
Be honest with yourself. However, if you are still in need of a guide that could help you in practicing, you can follow a more structured approach by following the process of coven initiation and their practices while still incorporating Wiccan values. There are a number of online communities and books available that can help you understand the craft of Wicca. To help you practice it in real life, check out the tools available on Wicca Online Shop.