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- a part of the Guild of Pagans Guild Book of Shadows


*This rite was found on the internet, somewhere. If you know of the writer or the source please let me know so I can include the appropriate credits.*

This is the first step in learning the Craft. Self-Dedication opens up the earth energies of air, fire, water and earth to you so you may use them as your own. Each energy that you use is a tool, and the more tools you can use, the stronger your magick.

Self-Dedication and Initiation differ in that Initiation focuses the deity and astral energies to you, while Self-Dedication allows you the ability to reach out and draw the energies on your own.

Three white candles
One red candle
Matches or lighter
Sweet smelling incense, such as rose (stick or cone is fine)
A cup with water
A quiet place

This must be done on the night of the full moon.
Place the three white candles in the form of a triangle.
Place the red candle in the middle.
Place the water to the left side of the triangle of candles.
Place the incense to the right side of the triangle of candles.

Self-Dedication Ceremony Meditation
Light the white tip candle and envision white light shooting up from the earth into the candle.

Light the remaining white candles while saying your name. Light the incense and walk around the candles while saying:

"On this night, I come before the elements asking for the guardians to arise. Open the path, open the gates, open the way, I am here."

Light the red candle. Say why you have chosen Witchcraft or the way of Magick.
Stand in the form of the pentagram and say:

"Earth Mother I invoke you."

Stay in this position for a few moments. Kneel before the candles and take the water. Pass it through the incense and over the candles while saying:

"Bless me Earth Mother, with this water charge your energies inside."

Put the cup of water down and place your palms over it while envisioning a white light coming from the earth, filling the water. Say:

"As to earth, as to me, may this water purify me."

Hold the cup high over your head and say:

"Open the path, open the gates, open the way, I am here."

Drink the charged water. Put out the red candle and say:

"Great Earth Mother Blessed Be, I am charged, so mote it be."

Let the white candles burn themselves out.

Self Dedication - a Ritual for You
by David Rankine

Self Dedication Explained
Initiation is a process of "death and rebirth" - the old self dies, and the new and magickal self is born. A rite of self-dedication marks a serious commitment and dedication to the path, and should not be taken lightly.

Having followed your path this far, you will have noticed subtle (or not so subtle) changes in your self, and you may wish to mark this, and affirm your commitment to the path with a self-dedication ritual. Initiation is a process which happens over time, and the rite itself will benefit from being preceded by a daily practice, building up in intensity as you approach the day of the rite, with the dedication rite being the culmination of this ritual practice.

As the rite marks a rebirth, into your witch self or magickal self, you may wish to obtain a new magickal item or items for it. This could be a piece of ritual jewellery, such as a pentagram pendant, or amber and jet necklace (the traditional witches necklace), or a cord you wear around your waist. Some people choose to mark their dedications by having a tattoo in a magickal design, personal to themselves.

It is also good to have a magickal weapon which you will consecrate at the end of the dedication rite. A ritual dagger, or athame is the general tool chosen. Self-dedication can be very empowering, and can produce a feeling of "walking on clouds", and it is very important to earth oneself afterwards, and then to have a rest from magickal work for a period of between a week and a month.

Simple daily meditation may be practised during this period, but avoid intense magickal work. Time is needed to assimilate the experience, and the dedication process should be undertaken at a time when you do not have too much outside stress, and are able to take time for yourself.

It should be stressed that self-dedication is not the same as initiation into a coven, and should you wish to join a coven at a later date, you would still have to go through a probationary period and coven initiation, if accepted.

When you decide that you want to do a self-dedication, plan the date of the ritual at least a month in advance, choosing a suitable time, perhaps consulting astrological tables, or at least the phases of the moon. It is best done on a waxing or full moon.

Start your preparation at the new moon. Make sure that you have a day off work for the initiation itself. You may already have decided on a magickal or witch name. If you haven't yet decided on your witch name, find one through meditation and pathworking in the daily ritual leading up to the rite of self-initiation.

Begin preparing for the self-initiation by performing a daily ritual. Start by creating a sacred space. Purify the area with incense and sprinkling salt water. Visualize a sphere around yourself, and call on the powers of the four quarters, visualizing the elemental landscapes. ( casting)

Call on the Goddess and the God, by whatever names you prefer to call them. Declare to the Elements, the Goddess and the God that you are embarking on the path of dedication, and ask for their help in preparing you.

Spend some time in meditation on the meaning of dedication, and opening yourself up for any messages from the Goddess and God. Thank and say farewell to the Goddess, God, and Elements, and close the circle.

Closer to the time
Try and spend time every day in the week leading up to the self-dedication rite working out your vows and meditating. Make sure that the vows you make are realistic! It is better to make less demanding vows than to make highly demanding vows and not live up to them.

The Ritual
Spend the day in quiet meditation and fasting. Drink only pure water, or if you really cannot do this, allow yourself a small quantity of apple or grape juice. Do not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs! If you are on prescribed medication, consult your doctor. If the medication is short term, wait until you have finished the course of medication before doing the ritual.

If possible, go to a sacred site or wild place and attune yourself with nature. Communicate with the nature spirits, and ask for their blessings.

Think about the vows that you wish to make in your initiation. Think of a vow to yourself, one to the Goddess and God, and one to the Earth.

Before you start the ritual, have a purification bath. You may put essential oils, herbs or sea salt in the bath. Whilst in the bath, meditate on purifying your aura. See your aura as grey and dirty, but gradually becoming lighter and cleaner, until it is brilliant.

When you emerge from the bath, allow yourself to dry naturally. Do not use a hair dryer, or rub yourself with towels. Rub your entire body with oil. This may be olive oil, grapeseed oil, or other vegetable oil, scented with pure essential oils of your choice. Perform the ritual skyclad if possible.

Have an altar set up, with an altar cloth on it, with a chalice of wine, a piece of bread or cake on a platter, a censer, two altar candles, some anointing oil, your athame or other tool, any ritual jewellery which will be put on at the end of the ritual to mark your dedication, and two small dishes containing sea salt and water (from a spring or sacred well if possible). You may also wish to have images or statues of the Goddess and God on the altar.

Light the candles and the incense, and purify your ritual space. Hold your hands over the water dish and say: "I purify you, Oh water, in the blessed and mighty names of the Goddess and God", visualizing it glowing with white light. Do likewise with the salt, then tip some of the salt into the water, and mix it in with your forefinger.

Sprinkle the salt water around your ritual space. Visualize a circle around you. (or cast a circle in your usual way) Call on the elements, then on the Goddess and God.

Declare your intent, saying something like: "I (ordinary name) am prepared for dedication. I have followed the path and fulfilled my vows, and I now call upon the Goddess and the God to confer on me wisdom and integrity. I ask for the blessings of air, fire, water and earth".

Spend some time in meditation, and controlled breathing to gather energy and achieve an altered state of consciousness. You may also wish to use a mantra or chant.

Meditate for a while on finding the stillness inside yourself. When you are ready, stand before the altar, and anoint yourself first with oil, then with salt water and lastly wine, saying: "I am reborn into my true and magickal self, and I take on the name of (Witch name). I ask for the blessings of the Goddess and God on my endeavours, and I vow (make your vows)".

When anointing yourself you may wish to anoint your chakras, or anoint yourself with a circle, pentagram, or personal symbol. It is good to write down your vows in your magickal diary, and sign the entry with your witch name.

Present yourself to the quarters, stating that you are now dedicated to the solitary path. Consecrate your ritual jewellery with the four elements (incense, water, salt and candle flame), and anoint it with oil for spirit before putting it on.

Consecrate your athame or other tool in the same manner, then hold it to your heart, feeling a link with it, and filling it with your energy. Say "I am a child of earth and starry heaven."

Hold it up to the moon and stars, and ask for the blessings of the cosmos on it, then touch it to the ground, and ask for the blessings of mother earth.

Lastly, consecrate the wine and cake by touching your athame to them, and channelling energy through it. Drink and eat, earthing yourself, then thank the Goddess, God and Elements, and close the circle.

Remember: Write up your experiences in your magickal diary. Refrain from ritual for at least the next week, whilst you integrate the work.


Article by David Rankine
Copyright © David Rankine 1999 - This article can be distributed freely for non commercial use, subject to the name of the author and this copyright notice being displayed with the article.

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