Saturday, April 28, 2007

Intermediates: Self-Dedication Ritual

Once you have answered some of the major questions of your Path - like which tradition you dedicate yourself to, etc - you perform a second ceremony dedicating yourself to further explore these aspects of your faith. This does not set your faith in stone, much of Paganism is about expanding your beliefs. This ceremony just helps you define your beliefs and direct your power. This ceremny is usually performed 1 year and 1 day after the seeker ceremony. This just hones in on a little more specifics - not necissarily on a specific God/dess, but morethat you understand the differences in the traditions and which ones you believe work better for you. Essentially you wish to integrate the art, science and religion of the Path into you daily's the deal - if you find this ceremony confusing or you don't understand the reasoning behind certain parts than you are not ready to move on from the seeker. The year and a day is jus a guideline, some peolpe need a little more to feel comfortable with what they are doing. That being said - I don't believe we ever become experts there's always room for growth, so you don't have to have the casting adn grounding and such memorized - just be a little more comfortable with everything.

For 9 weeks prior to your ceremony, you should burn a white candle every Sunday (or the day that matches the day you were born). Say the following incantation when lighting the candle:
"Guardian of the Gates, I welcome you. Protect me on my path toward dedication and initiation and by your will, open the gates between the worlds so that my request may be heard and acted upon without harm to myself. Guardian, come to me, come to me. I need you. I invite you. Protect and guide me along my path toward dedication and initiation. Whatever I need for the ceremony, provide the way for me. So mote it be."

Use this time to set up your secred space. Collect your magickal tools, try to find ones that connect to you - you feel they were ment for you. Otherwise don't worry about them. As nothing is necessary. But you must light the candle each week, chose your powr name, Try to spend at least 15 minutes a day in meditation. Dedicate you Book of Shadows and start filling it with important spells, or information. The closer you get to the day of your ceremony you should feel a quickening - almost a pressure or flutters that allert you the energies are aligning.

*Take a spiritual bath. Towel dry with a fresh towel. Dress in your ritual atire - usually a robe. No jewlery.

*Immediately before the ceremony - clense consecrate and empower all supplies. Pass the representative of the 4 elements over the altar saying:
"I cleanse and consecrate these items in preparation for my dedication ceremony. May no evil or negativity abide here. May the blessings of the Lord and Lady descend upon this altar and these tools. So mote it be."

*Sweep your sacred area with a new empowered broom (clockwise) et up your space - candle at the quarters - altar set-up, communion, lighter, everything you need should be here so you don't have to disrupt the cermony. Place an additional votive or tea light at each of the quarters.

RITUAL: - Ground and Center
1) Cast the circle.

2) Call for dedication: Return to the center of your circle, in front of your altar. Tap your foot or your staff on the ground 3 times and repeat the incatation used above when lighting your Guardians candle.

3) Call the Quarters using the following incantation: "Guardians of (direction), element of (element), and all ye in the realm of faery, I, (state your name), do summon, stir, and call you forth to witness thisrite and protectthis sacred space. Welcome to my dedication ceremony. Powers of (element), lend your strength and stability to this ritual, gift me with your special abilities. Enter here and welcome to this momentous occasion." Start at the East and work your way around. As you recite the incantation visualize the energies and power from the element filling your body, helping you prepare for the ceremony.

4) Invoke Deity. Standing in front of the altar start in the God position. Visualize the power of God entering your body. Now assume the Goddess position and isualize the powers of the Goddess filling you. Say: "Holy Mother, Divine Father, I (state your full name, followed by your Power Name), welcome You into this circle for my dedication ritual. Come to me and bless me with Your divine presence. Please gift me with Your special powers. I have come this day (eve) to proclaim my desire to dedicate myself to the Path of the Wise. I desire to learn and study to be a practicing witch in the tradition of (state tradition: ie Celtic Witchcraft, Eclectic Wicca, etc). Help me in this year and a day to understand what it means to be a spiritual person. Please give me the strength I need to continue on this sacred path, for I know and understand I still have much to learn."

5) Ask quarters for assistance: Starting in the North walk each quarter and say, : "Hail, guardians of the (direction), I, (state your real and Power name), come to you seeking dedication into the Craft of the Wise. I invoke the powers of the (element) to teach me what I must know. Please give me strength and patience to learn what is required to be a witch in the tradition of (name tradition)." Light the additional candle at each of the quarters after reciting incantation. Visualize the energies filling your body helping youprepare for your sacred journey.

6) Blessing: Walk back to the altar. Dab Holy Water on each of the 8 points of your body. Saying: "Blessed be my feet that walk the path of spiritual service. Blessed be my knees that kneel at the sacred altar. Blessed be my womb that gives forth life. Blessed be my heart formed in beauty and strength. Blessed be my lips that speak only the truth and wisdom of the Lord & Lady. Blessed be my eyes so that I may see the abundance of the earth. May I be cleansed, consecreated, and regenerated in the service of the Craft of the Wise. So mote it be!"

7) Vows: Kneel in front ofyour altar. Take 3 deep breathes and visualize yourself filled with a holy, divine light - all that elemental adn divine energy bursting under your skin. Place your Witch's Blade on the center of your altar. Place your hands over the blade and repeat the oath: "I, (full name), do solemnly swear by my Mother's lineage and by all that I hold sacred and holy that I will honor and respect the Lord and Lady and my brothers and sisters in the Craft. I will work hard to serve the Lord and Lady in every way, and I will try to learn all aspects of the (name tradition) in preparation for my initiation. I will not use my knowledge to purposefully cause harm, nor will I require payment of money, goods or services, when I pray for people or work magick for them beyond a fair exchange of energy. When I have learned sufficiently, I may choose to seek initiation into a Coven or Group, I may choose to seek a solitary Priestess intiation or I may walk awayand follow another spiritual path. I will do my best to work in harmony for myself and for others, always. I will respect other religions as I respect my own. I will not disrespect the work of those that have gone before me, and I honor each individuals' contribution to my faith and learning. I will not reveal those brothers & sisters who are forced to practice in secret and , should I break this oath, I shall with full knowledge suffer the consequences. I will reach for the perfection in the universe and I shall obtain it. Thus said, I give myself to the religion of Witchcraft, in the Tradition of (name tradition). Spirit has now witnessed my oath. On this day (name day) I, (power name) claim my power! So mote it be!!"

8) Bless your token. Take it to each of the quarters to have it blessed. Return to the altar and hold out token again saying: "This object represents my testement to this day and my oath. I will wear it in honor of the Lord and Lady. So mote it be."

9) Take Communion.

10) Spend some time in meditiation.

11) Thank deity.

12) Release the quarters saying: "Guardians of the (direction), element of (element) and all ye in the realm of faery! Thank you for your participation in my dedication ritual. Peace be with you and harm none on your way. Powers of (element), thank you for your special gifts. Go if you must, stay if you like. Hail and Fairwell!"

13) Open the circle.

This ritual is based on the one in Solitary Witch from Silver Ravenwolf.

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