Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 2497
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 7,132
Times Read: 15,302
Author: Arwen Lynch
Posted: September 13th. 1999
Times Viewed: 15,302
So, you want to be initiated, do you? Why? Can you give me a good reason? Can you tell me what you have studied? Can you tell me what work you have done so far? Initiation is not membership in a club. It is not joining a sorority or fraternity. It is a point in your magical life where you realize that your call to the Gods is that strong. So, before you can be initiated by a human or by Themselves, you must have reached that point.
In my Tradition, there are actually five degrees. There is the Dedicant level, which is when you dedicate yourself to The Old Ones and the Old Ways. Then there are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degrees, and, finally, Eldering. My training has led me to the understanding that degrees are merely bookmarks in your travel diary. I know that someone who is in the same Tradition as I am, Keltic Wicca, will have a similar knowledge base if they are at the same level I am.
For instance, to be elevated to First, the applicant will know our basic Circle form by heart, have helped to write at least three Circles, know basic forms of protection and will have their four basic tools. Elevation to Second builds upon that and requires more in-depth learning. This includes being able to Draw Down the Moon, know the Charge of the Goddess by heart, read a basic astrology chart, know advanced protection work and be able to craft spells using specific bases of knowledge such as knot work or candle magic.
So, it is about what grade you are in school in a way. And this is the main reason that I have no use for others using my title of Lady. Lady means that I have achieved 2nd degree in my Tradition. Unfortunately in today's world of naming ourselves, we have far too many Lady and Lord types who have been studying all of two weeks. So, the title is meaningless unless the person using it knows the work involved. And it is the reason I choose to not address someone as Lady or Lord unless I know them within the Craft as people who have earned that title.
Perhaps if you change the word initiate to apprentice, you can have a clearer concept of what an initiate is in my Tradition. You have dedicated yourself to learning a Way. And the Way is the Old Ways as we know them today. And, no, Arwen doesn't think anyone's great great granny passed down her Tradition via her handwritten grimoire. I know my Tradition was begun in this century. Having a clear idea of where you are coming from helps you know where you are going.
So, you still want to be initiated? Why? What is your reason? What if initiation is something more than learning something?
I believe that initiation can best be described as a moment that marks a change. That change may or may not have happened yet. For whatever reason, initiation is a BIG bunch of hoodoo for many. Why is that? Do we all crave validation so much? I have to wonder if we are seeking validation when we seek initiation and if we are, then Whom are we seeking the validation from -- The Gods or our peers? To seek validation from our peers is probably one of the most normal things in the world. And I honestly don't think it is a bad thing unless everything you do is for that validation from others. At some point, we must learn that the most valuable validation comes from hearing our Gods through ourselves. When you are validated in that manner, it really is a very small thing to have received that recognition from your peers, isn't it?
I was coven initiated and hold a 2nd degree in the Tradition. However, my High Priestess, Lady Lhianna Sidhe, told me at my 2nd that it would be a roller coaster ride afterwards. She made sure that I understood that 2nd degree initiation from her was a celebration of something I might not have fully attained yet, but was ready to. I didn't quite understand her meaning and perhaps the only way for me to "get it" was to experience it. She also told me that the Gods would show me the way. So I had a full fledged 2nd degree initiation as I had had a full-fledged dedication and 1st degree initiation.
But what were the changes that happened? I can tell you now what they were, but at that time I was unable to recognize them happening. Much like I wouldn't be able to describe a tornado hitting my house with me in it, but would be able to recall things afterwards. And that is very much what my 2nd was about...a tornadic change in my life. Nothing could have prepared me for it, but change I did! And I mean fundamental life changes similar to a Saturn Return.
When someone else initiates you, that initiation may mark somewhere that you got with or without them! You have to recognize that moment. Sometimes you can be years down the road and think "oh...that was my first degree" or whatever you want to call it. I think that there are many solitaries out there who are 3rds and beyond, but they question themselves because no one in a black robe held a scourge over them and pronounced them "all grown up". There is something in us that wants someone else we respect to say, "Yes, you are as you think you are". But, at some point we have to learn to recognize that moment of change.
And that recognition is something that is unteachable, but not unlearnable. When you absolutely positively know your inner voice from all those other old tapes in your head, then you are a step closer to that recognition of your own process.
So my final word would be; stop doubting yourself. Look back on your magical life and see where your changes occurred. And, if you have just begun, then blessings on you! For I envy you in many ways...you are at the beginning of a very satisfying journey. Remember that the journey is the important thing and stop pushing the river. The end is merely another beginning.
Location: Clovis, New Mexico
Author's Profile: To learn more about Arwen Lynch - Click HERE
Bio: Arwen Nightstar lives in Griffin, GA with 1 husband, 2 dogs, 5 cats, and 1 cockatoo. She has been on this journey since 1981. She has been previously published in Circle Network News. She was dedicated to the Old Ways in 1985 in Toledo, Ohio where she was a loving member ofChildren of the Laughing Greenwood. Arwen maintains that networking is the key and is teasingly called the netwitch queen among her friends.She maintains Stir the Cauldron and Arwen'sStone Gallery as well as designs sites for a hobby. You can find her on several email lists including the two she runs which are Magic, Lust and Mirth and the Pagan Table. Both of these can be located at Onelist. She has hosted Member Chats for Sixdegrees also. She is outspoken for a Pisces, but her Scorpio moon and Aquarius Rising with Aquarius Mercury make up for that fishy quiet.
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