Coven Initiation



Candidates for initiation should be in good mental and
physical health. They should also be of legal age and sought
out the Craft of their own free will. [Modify or tone this
down as your coven sees fit.]

Before being accepted into the Coven (s)he should spend
sometime learning about the Craft and magic and such.
(S)he should know about practices that most people get
uptight about. She should be told that initiations are
perfectly safe and voluntary. Also, if at any time prior to
taking the oath she wants to back out, she can do so with
out fear or other recriminations.

The candidate must chose a Craft name. This name should
not be a common American name and must have personal
meaning to the candidate.

Traditionally the apprenticeship lasted for a year and a
day. This is a good idea if it can be done. Before (s)he can
be initiated, the Coven must vote. A single no is sufficient
to not allow the candidate to be initiated into that
particular Coven.

This ritual is written for use in the woods. There has to be
a path leading from the staging area to a clearing where
afire can be lit. To save time, the fire should be setup but
not lighted.

The bathtub should be set up along the path and filled with
warm water and the other ingredients. The water will also
have to be consecrated.

The candidate should be brought to the staging area by
their sponsor. She should be wearing clothing that can be
cutaway easily by a sword without undoing buttons or
stepping out of pants legs. The candidate should be lead
down the path by the sponsor. After a little ways a
member of the Coven, the Challenger, should step onto the
path. They might want to wear a mask. They take the sword
that they carry and say:

"Who comes to the gate?"

The candidate, coached before hand, answers:

"It is I, (new Craft name), child of earth and
starry heaven."

Challenger:

"Who speaks for you?"

Sponsor:

"It is I, name , who vouches for her."

The Challenger holds the point of the sword up to the
candidates heart, and says:

"You are about to enter a vortex of power, a
place beyond imagining, where birth and death,
dark and light, joy and pain, meet and make one.
You are about to step between the worlds,
beyond time, outside the realm of your human
life. You who stands on the threshold of the
dread Mighty Ones, have you the courage to
make the essay? For know it is better to fall on
my blade and perish than to make the attempt
with fear in thy heart!"

The apprentice answers:

"I tread the path with perfect love and perfect
trust."

The Challenger replies:

"Prepare for death and rebirth."

And the Challenger takes the sword and cuts off the
apprentices clothing till she is standing naked. The
Challenger grounds their sword to the Earth. The
Challenger should then blindfold the candidate and tie a
cord around their wrists and one ankle while saying:

"And She was bound as all living things must be,
who would enter the Kingdom of Death. And Her
feet were neither bound nor free."

The candidate is led to the tub and bathed, while still
blindfolded, by the rest of the Coven. While being bathed,
she must remain quiet. She is helped from the tub and
dried off. The candidate is then carried to the Circle.
Everyone in the Coven, starting with the High Priest
(Priestess in the case of a man), kisses her and says:

"Thus are all first brought into the world, and
thus are all first brought into the Coven."

The High Priest (Priestess in case of a man) now leads the
candidate to each of the four corners and introduces her
to the Guardians, of course going deosil.

"Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East
and all the Mighty Ones of the Craft. Behold new
name, who will now be made Priestess and Witch."

The candidate is brought back to the altar. The High Priest
kneels and gives her the Five Fold Kiss; that is, he kisses
her on both feet, both knees, womb, both breasts, and the
lips, starting with the right of each pair. He says, as he
does this:

"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in
these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the
sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not
be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred
Names."

For the kiss on the lips, they embrace, length-to-length,
with their feet touching each others. When he reaches the
womb, she spreads her arms wide, and the same after the
kiss on the lips. The candidate is then measured with the
other piece of cord, from head to toe. The cord is cut. She
is then measured around the head and chest and knots are
tied to mark these lengths. The High Priestess rolls up the
cord, and asks the candidate:

"Are you willing to swear the oath?"

The candidate answers:

"I am."

The High Priestess asks:

"Are you willing to suffer to learn?"

The candidate answers:

"Yes."

The High Priestess takes the apprentice's hand, and with a
needle properly purified by fire and water, pricks her
finger,squeezing a few drops out onto the measure. The
candidate then kneels, and places one hand on her head and
the other beneath her heel and she repeats what is read to
her. The High Priest says:

"This is the Charge of the Coven:

That I will keep secret what I am asked to keep
secret, and never divulge the names or dwelling
places of our people unless by their consent.

That I will learn and try to master the Art
Magical; but ever remember the rune: "What
good be the tools without the inner light? What
good be magic without wisdom sight?"

That in due course I will strive to find a worthy
pupil in magic, to whom in future years I can hand
down the knowledge I acquire.

That I will never use the Art Magical merely to
impress foolish persons, nor for any wrongful
end.

That I will help the Craft of the Wise, and hold
it's honor as I would my own.

That I consider these vows taken before the
Elder Gods; and that if I betray this Charge I
accept as my just reward that retribution of
destiny which overtakes those who basely betray
the trust and confidence that others have placed
in them. Know that none can escape the fate, be it
curse or blessing, which they make for
themselves, either in this life or in another life.

The High Priestess says:

"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."

The candidate repeats the oath. The Coven shouts:

"So mote it be!"

The High Priest says:

"Arise and be anointed"

The High Priest then makes an X mark on the initiates
forehead, breast and genitals while saying:

"May your mind be free. May your heart be free.
May your body be free. I give you the Craft
name of new name"

The rest of the Coven members grab her suddenly, lift her
if possible and carry her three times around the Circle,
laughing and shrieking. They then lay her face down before
the altar and press her into the ground. Gradually the
pressure changes to stroking. They chant her new name,
raising a Cone of Power over her. The blind fold is removed
and she is told:

"Know that the hands that have touched you are
the hands of love. Thus are all first brought into
the world, and thus are all first brought into the
Coven."

The Charge of the Goddess is spoken and any other myths,
mysteries, and secrets are revealed. She is also told the
Coven names of all the members. The High Priestess
returns the measure, saying:

"In the Burning Times, when each member of the
Coven held the lives of the others in their hands,
this would have been kept and be used against
you should you endanger the others. But in these
more fortunate times, love and trust prevail, so
take this, keep it or burn it, and be free to go or
to stay as your heart leads you."

The service goes on as usual, be it New or Full Moon or
Sabbat. Before the Circle is opened, the new initiate is
taken to the four corners again and introduced to the
Guardians again.