Initiation Ritual

Clothing Colors:

  • Counsel and Staff: Black
  • Initiate: White

Private Opening
The circle is cast.

EbonyDoe: "Let there be none who suffer loneliness; none who are friendless and without brother or sister. For all may find love and peace within the Circle."

High Priest: "With open arms, the Lord and Lady welcome all."

Stag: "I/we bring news of one who has traveled far, seeking that which we enjoy. Long has been his/her journey, but now he/she feels an end is near."

High Priest: "Of whom do you speak?"

Mana: "Of he/she who, even now, waits outside our Temple, seeking entry."

EbonyDoe: "Who caused him/her to come here?"

Stag: "He/she came himself/herself, of his/her own free will."

High Priest: "What does he/she seek?"

Mana: "He/she seeks to become one with the Lord and the Lady. He/she seeks to join with us in our worship of Them."

EbonyDoe: "Who can vouch for this person?"

Tutor: "I can. As his/her teacher I have shown him/her the ways; pointed him/her in the right direction and set his/her feet upon the path. But he/she has chosen to take this step and now bids you give him/her entrance."

High Priest: "Can he/she be brought before us?"

Stag: "Indeed he/she can."

EbonyDoe: "Then let it be so."

(Initiate is invited into the chat)

High Priest: "Who knocks?"

Stag: "I return with one who would join our number."

EbonyDoe: "What is his/her name?"

Initiate: "My name is (Given Name) I beg entry."

EbonyDoe: "Enter this and join our Circle."

Quarter Call
Guardian of the East: “We greet the East, direction of Air:
gentle breezes and strong winds,
realm of the beauty of clouds and birds,
bearer of the weather which touches us all,
the breath of life we inhale and exhale.
We are a part of all around us.”

Guardian of the South: “We greet the South, direction of Fire:
candle flame, bonfire, starlight and sunlight,
the energy which warms us and gives life to the world we inhabit,
the energy which pulses along our nerves.
We are a part of all around us.”

Guardian of the West: “We greet the West, direction of Water:
rain, snow, rivers and lakes,
the great encircling ocean from which all life first came,
the blood which flows through our veins still bearing the saltiness
of that original home.
We are a part of all around us.”

Guardian of the North: “We greet the North, direction of Earth:
metal and stone, hill and valley,
Mother who bears and nourishes all life — root and leaf,
fur and feather and scale and skin,
muscle and bone and brain cell.
We are a part of all around us.”

EbonyDoe: “We call upon the Lord; we call upon the Lady; I call upon the Spirits of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water; we call upon the Hosts of the Mighty Dead; and we call every true Witch within this circle to witness that we are here to consecrate as Priest(ess) and Witch. The circle is cast!”

Opening Prayer
Mana: “'O Goddess Within,
'O God Within,

'O Goddess of the Moon, Waters, and Earth;
'O God of the Forest and Mountains;

Mother Goddess; be here with us.
Father God; be here with us.

Introductions
EbonyDoe: “Tonight I, EbonyDoe, am Artemis incarnate. On this night and in this hour I call upon the ancient power of Artemis and ask Her blessing for this initiation.”

High Priest: “Tonight I, (name), am ^^(High Priest's Patron) incarnate. On this night and in this hour I call upon the ancient power of Ares and ask His blessing for this initiation.”

Initiate: “I, (name), am properly prepared to take the rite of initiation. I have no fear. I am committed to this."

High Priest: "(Name), why do you come here?"

Initiate: "To worship the gods in whom I believe and to become one with Them and with my brothers and sisters of the Craft."

EbonyDoe: "What do you bring with you?"

Initiate: "I bring nothing but my True Self, naked and unadorned."

Mana: "Behold, in these two mortals do we see the gods. And in that know that we and they are the same. As we need the gods, so do the gods need us."

High Priest: "I am he who speaks for the God. Yet are you and I equal."

EbonyDoe: "I am she who speaks for the Goddess. Yet are you and I equal."

Initiate: "I salute the Lord and the Lady, as I salute those who represent Them. I pledge my love and support to them and to my brothers and sisters of the Craft."

Stag: "Know you the (chosen creed)?"

Initiate: "I do. (Basis of the creed)."

EbonyDoe: "And do you abide by that (creed)?"

Initiate: "I do."

High Priest: "Well said.”

EbonyDoe: "Then I bid you enter this our Circle of Worship and Magick."

Reading of the Creed
(Member’s chosen creed will go here)

Stag: “And now if you will join us in a guided meditation.”

Guided Meditation
I see before me the Tunnel of Time. I project myself toward this place and am drawn down and down, back and back, way, way back to before the dawn of Christendom in a land of emerald green and ageless beauty.

I am flying low over rolling hills and moorlands, circling freely over forests and small hamlets of country folk, over manor and mere heading toward an inevitable destiny.

I slow and close the distance between my world and this. The timelessness of a winter’s night is silent; not even the sounds of the hawk or the owl can be heard through the thickening pall. I descend.

Now I hear muffled sounds from the marshland below me. I come to ground level where the mist is not so thick, but moving, steadily shape shifting as it swirls around the mire.

There! Just ahead, on horseback, holding high a lantern to pick a path through this desolate place, is the horse and rider that I have been seeking.

I swoop slowly and land, as a mist, upon the horse’s rump.

We think of naught; we must not lose our thoughts upon any other theme than that of following the almost imperceptible path through this empty place.

No life here. The lights of a thousand lost souls glint through the mist to remind us of our peril, but we hesitate not and heed, not their warnings. My destiny burns within my soul and would destroy me were it not fulfilled.

I can see myself clearly by the light of the lantern; outlined with the ravages of many a sleepless night, I am gaunt. My jaw twitches with my effort, and my eyes are haunted by the dream. I am physically strong, cat-like. I clench the lantern, vice-like, in my hand. My clothing is simple: thronging crisscrossing the furs about my calves and woolen leggings as thick as mail about my thighs. My jerkin is the skin of a wolf snared in some past day and my cloak is russet and of heavy woven wool that hangs limply along the sides of my mount. I wear a hood of leather, but my hair lays in tangled rivulets down my back.

The length, thus far, of my journey lays heavily upon me, and my shoulders are bent forward with fatigue; but we may not stop until we are past this dreadful place.

Hour upon hour we move, well into the midnight, until at last the horse raises her head and snorts as she stumbles onto the grassland. We travel slowly still until the rider is certain of our bearings, then we roar with triumph and we are off, running like the wind, as the plain thunders beneath us!

We slow as dawn creeps above the horizon in a washed-out blur, and horse and rider, sweating at their efforts, breathe deeply at the sight. We come at length to a copse of trees into which we walk. We dismount and lead our beloved mare into the depths.

There, a stream, cool and deep, at which we drink before we lead the horse to graze beneath the oaks and peer around, cautiously, to guess that none come here often; that we might have peace for a few hours during which we will rest.

I know not why, but know it I do, that the rider wishes to be seen by no one, so we ride by night and hide by day so that none may know that we are abroad.

We unsaddle the mare, crooning to her as we do so, and rub her down with the blanket from beneath the saddle. A smile crosses the rider’s face, and a look that stirs my soul with its intensity and passion. Our task done, we proceed to prepare a small fire over which we roast potatoes and a strip of dried meat.

We draw a leather flask from our pouch from which we quaff deeply, the contents sweet and fiery. Having eaten of our simple meal, we stamp the fire and curl within the cloak to sleep away the daylight hours.

And so I watch…
…at one point I rise above the trees and seek to ascertain our safety, for although the rider is furtive and a feared of noticed, I ache for the quest, knowing it is also my own, and my compassion reaches out to the strength within our sleeping form who would do no harm without good cause. I know not how I would rouse us should danger approach, but there is no farm or village within distance, so I fear not for us.

I return to find us turning about restlessly in our sleep, the dream causing much mumbling and sighing; and so it is for a few hours more until I am woken by my own shouts. Sweat beads upon my face, I stand and remove my hood and cloak, and walk to the stream to wash myself, and so lose the dreaming. I again light the fire and draw from my pouch a large cup that I fill from the stream. I brew a draught of strong herbs to help me to wakefulness for the long night ahead.

My journey will be done, thus far, on this night at least where riding is concerned. The journey of the rest of my life is just beginning, the end of which is assured in my mind. There is no turning back from what I so earnestly seek but what I so earnestly dread, for it is unclear to me what ventures will befall me between the present moment and some eventful death.

I stamp the fire and cover its remains with dirt and brambles so that none may know that any had passed this way. I call to my horse and she comes from her grazing by the stream. I saddle her and attach my pouch to my belt. I don hood and cloak, and mount. We move slowly through the trees in the direction of the setting sun. We reach the edge of the woods and wait.

When the night is black, I ride; hour upon hour do I ride. This night is clear and I watch the stars for a bearing. Sometimes I walk the horse, sometimes it almost seems that she flies. Rising behind me the Moon glows full and high, lighting the way.

Ahead I see monolithic rocks rising to the night sky and the mist of ocean reaches all about us. The tang of salt is in the rider’s nose and I see my nostrils flare and my eyes widen with that same unseeing passion. We approach the cliffs and I hear the roaring of waves thrashing upon the rocks below as if relentlessly drawing all within themselves. A wild place is this! I see a vast expanse of inky blackness within each rock’s shadow, which is also the sea over which the Moon glows, causing a pathway between herself and the things beneath the waters.

I stop to light the lantern for the path is rough and the mare troubles with each step. I sigh and lay my head upon my arm before raising myself straight within the saddle. “It is now,” I whisper, “We wait and seek no more! As known, I have arrived!” I look ahead to a rocky outcrop like a finger upon the sea.

I ride hard then, sparks flying from the horse’s hooves upon the granite way. As we approach the peninsula, I see a faint glow, as if from another lantern. I slow down now, and throw my own light over the cliff. I am wary and seek to approach unseen. I dismount and walk toward the glow. I see a small cottage almost buried, so deeply was it built within the overhang of the cliffs, like a tiny fortress against the wild winds and sea. A lonelier spot I have never known.

The rider’s face is set like stone and I cannot perceive what thoughts are veiled within. We walk with dignity, as if to our death.

I come at length to the door, of massive proportion compared to the size of the cottage. I hesitate not but bang a fist upon it, a sigh upon cold lips. There is a wait, the a woman’s voice calls from beyond the door, “Who comes?”

“I am called (Name),” I shout. There is a laugh from within and the door is swung wide. There stands a small woman dressed in male attire, with wild copper hair cascading down her back.

“You are doubly welcome, (Name), and thrice! We have waited long for you!”

“I knew it to be true!” I reply, although I smile not. “Was it you who called me here?”

“It was your own dream, (Name), and not of our doing. Enter. I shall tether the mount and see her well.”

“What name have you?” I ask, without moving; but she just smiles and shakes her head and again bids me enter.

The room is dark save for the lantern in the window and the fire in the hearth. I see that only the first of the cottage is man-hewn and that the rest is of solid rock formed from the depths of the cliff. A hooded figure stands from a chair beside the fire. Straight of frame and as tall as an elm, but with the whiteness of hair to tell of great age, that falls to shoulders that show no stoop, hallowed with fire glow. He wears a robe of heavy dove-gray wool, and as he moves toward me he smiles. I see great love in the smile, but as I look into his eyes I flinch at their blackness and depths. There is unfathomable power within them as though they had seen the passing of time from its very conception and had learned from the travel all that had been there to learn.

“I’ve missed you, (Name)! Blessed be!” he says, as though he knows me well. He takes my arm and leads me to stand before the fire. “We have known that you would come.” He laughs with obvious glee.

“Who is the woman? By all the Gods, who are you?” I demand, as, although this whole thing excites me, I fear it also and am tired of the mystery that has haunted me waking and sleeping.

“She is who I am, and who you are to become!” he replies.

“Her name?”

“Call Her (Goddess of their choice), and She will answer you!”

“And you, Sir, what be your name?” I ask again.

(Same Goddess) is one of the names that I am known to be, child.”

“And why am I here?” I ask, hoping for confirmation of my yearning.

“To learn, (Name), the secrets of life and fire! To be at one with Her and mold tomorrow with all of my yesterdays!” he says.

“What must I do?” I ask.

“Show me the way!”

Chant
All: “It's the blood of the Ancients
That runs through our veins
And the forms pass,
But the Circle of life remains.”

Warning
Mana: "You stand at the edge of a place that is between the worlds, in the presence of the Gods and under the watchful eye of the Mighty Dead. If you go any further, you embark on a path that cannot be safely turned aside before your death. Feel the sharpness of my gaze, and know this in your heart — it would be better for you to turn back and leave than to enter this circle with fear or falseness in your heart."

Initiate: "I come with perfect love and perfect trust."

EbonyDoe: "Thus are all first brought into the Circle."

Oaths
EbonyDoe: "I speak now for the Lady. Why are you here?"

Initiate: "I am here to become one with the Lord and the Lady; to join in worship of Them."

High Priest: "I am he who speaks for the Lord. Who made you come here?"

Initiate: "None made me come, for I am here of my own choosing."

High Priest: "Do you wish an end to the life you have known so far?"

Initiate: "I do."

High Priest: "Then so be it."

EbonyDoe: "Blessed is your crown for you are aware of yourself, blessed is your brain for you can think with reason and logic, blessed are your eyes for you can see color and shape, blessed are your ears for you can hear words and melody, blessed is your mouth for you can kiss and talk and sing. Blessed is your throat for you can bridge between from within and without, blessed are your shoulders for you can bear burdens, blessed are your arms for you can reach out to your world, blessed are your hands for you can do and make and hold, blessed is your heart for you beat with the rhythm of the cosmos, blessed is your stomach for you can feed your needs, blessed is your navel for you am connected to your mother, blessed is your gut for you can feel what you do not want, blessed are your legs for you can move in any direction, blessed are your feet for you can stand firm on Earth. Blessed are your lips, which shall speak the Words of Truth. Are you prepared to take the oath?"

Initiate: "I am."

EbonyDoe: "Then Blessed are you for you are to become a child of the God and Goddess. Do you willingly pledge yourself to the God and the Goddess?"

Initiate places his or her left hand on the top of their heart: "All within here belongs to the Gods. So mote it be."

EbonyDoe: "Do you swear to keep silent all those things that must be kept silent, and to respect that which is taught to you?"

Initiate: "I willingly swear to keep silent all that must be kept silent, and to respect that which is taught to me. So mote it be."

EbonyDoe: "Do you swear to respect and protect the confidence of all who you meet in this Circle and all who seek our aid, revealing their identities to no one except by their explicit permission?"

Initiate: "I willingly swear to respect and protect the confidence of all who you meet in this Circle and all who seek our aid, revealing their identities to no one except by their explicit permission. So mote it be.”

EbonyDoe: “Then repeat after me: 'I, (Name), do of my own free will most solemnly swear to protect, help and defend my sisters and brothers of the Art and to keep the Coven's Charge. I always keep secret all that must not be revealed. This do I swear on my mother's womb and my hopes of future lives, mindful that my measure has been taken, and in the presence of the Mighty Ones.' All between my two hands belongs to the Goddess.”

Initiate: (Repeats)

High Priest: "And by what surety do you swear all of these things?"

Initiate: "All of these things I do swear, on the two perfect words, Love and Trust, by my mother's womb and my hope of future lives, knowing well that my heart has been read by the Mighty Ones. Should I fail utterly in my oaths, may my powers desert me, and may my own tools turn against me. With all these things, I will uphold my oath rightly. So mote it be.”

All: "So mote it be!"

EbonyDoe: "That you may start life afresh it is only meet and right that you start with a name of your own choosing. Have you such a name?"

Initiate: "I have. It is (Craft Name)."

High Priest: "Then shall you be known by that name henceforth, by your brothers and sisters of the Craft."

EbonyDoe: "From this day forth you shall be known as (Craft Name), within this Circle and without it, to all your Brothers and Sisters of the Craft. So Mote It Be."

All: "So mote it be!"

EbonyDoe: "Now you are truly one of us. As one of us will you share our knowledge of the gods and of the arts of healing, of divination, of magick and of all the mystic arts. These shall you learn as you progress."

High Priest: "But we caution you ever to remember the (chosen creed). (Summary of creed)."

EbonyDoe: "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt. Come now, (Craft Name), and meet your kindred."

Quarter Farewelling
Guardian of the East: “We thank you East!
We thank you, Spirits of Air
For your presence here tonight.
Walk with us always
As you dance the cycles of life.
Blessed Be!”

Guardian of the South: “We thank you South!
We thank you, Spirits of Fire
For your presence here tonight.
Walk with us always
As you dance the cycles of life.
Blessed Be!”

Guardian of the West: “We thank you West!
We thank you, Spirits of Water
For your presence here tonight.
Walk with us always
As you dance the cycles of life.
Blessed Be!”

Guardian of the North: “We thank you North!
We thank you, Spirits of Earth
For your presence here tonight.
Walk with us always
As you dance the cycles of life.
Blessed Be!”

Ending Prayer
EbonyDoe: “May the circle be open but unbroken
May the peace of the Goddess be ever in your heart
Merry meet, and merry part,
And merry meet again.”