Weeks 13 - 15
Dreamweaver's Page Wicca 101 Wk 1 Site contents
Week 13 Getting Started
If you have not done so yet - it is time to self dedicate yourself to the God and Goddess. This is your first rite of passage as a Witch. You will note in the books several ways of doing this. All you really need to do in this first rite of passage is to talk to the Lord and Lady and dedicate yourself to Witchcraft. (Note: this is not the same as self-initiation) When you are being taught by a Coven this can be a public event, which in truth may be your second rite of passage if you have already done a Self-Dedication in private. Sometimes the public dedication can also be in conjunction with an Oath to the Coven.
Other Rites OF Passage
Initiation: Done after your year and a day. (Can also be called first degree initiation) If you are not part of a group - this can be done as a Self Initiation - declaring yourself a Witch - that you have studied your year and a day - and you are ready to take on the responsibilities of being a Witch.
2nd and 3rd Degree Initiation: Done when you reach the levels of second and third degree.
Wiccaning: This is the true first rite of Passage - this is when the parents declare they will raise their child and protect it and teach it. The God/Goddess parents are named and they to swear that they will help in the raising of the child. It is also noted at this time the child will have the right to choose what path they want to lead.
Crossing Over: This is the Wiccan funeral. It is more for the living as a way of saying Merry Part till we meet again to the dead. It can take many forms from the person closest meditating and talking to the departed to a wake.
Handfasting: The pagan wedding - two forms 1. A Year and A Day - a trail marriage of sorts. 2. As Long As Love Shall Last. If the HP and/or HPS doing the ritual are ordained this can be a legal wedding - if they are not a civil ceremony will also have to be done if you want it legal. You will note that it is As Long As Love Shall Last and not Till Death Do We Part. The Wiccan belief is if the love is gone, the Handfasting should end.
Handparting: The Love is gone, And because you are a Witch you still like and respect your partner - you return if possible to the HP/HPS that did the Handfasting and have a Handparting done. (If you can't get to the person who did the Handfasting any HP? HPS will do.) At this time you will tell how you are going to do the break up - if you have children you tell what is each of your responsibly towards them. And you state that you will remain friends. (Now there can be Hand parting not as agreeable as this when on party leaves another or cause's harm to the other) Again if you were legally married you will have to go the legal route with this also.
Coming of Age: With a girl this is her first period. It should be a time of celebration. She now knows the female mysteries that men can never learn. Her powers are at there greatest... For a boy it is around the same time, but it is not as noticeable. A very important Rite...
Croning: This is when a woman has gone through the change of life. It is a new period and new magick for a woman. Men can go through a similar rite and become Sages.
Each Rite of Passage is important - and is a celebration - some can be done alone - all can be done with a group.
NOTE: Even though we have hand partings each Wiccan as they are Handfasted hopes that "As Long As Love Last" will be through out this lifetime and through many more.
Questions week 13
Wicca 101 Week 14 Casting Circle
Find a place to cast circle - outside if at all possible. If you already have a way to cast circle, do so. If not you can use the following very simple casting. If you are going to use the circle here, read over it first so you know what you need.
NOTE: Some Trads start in the North and there are many names that the Guardian or Elementals can be called.
Essay Questions for week 14
Next week read: Pages 53-55 in Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft and pages 180-192 Witches Bible part 2.
Wicca 101 - Week 15 Covens
Coven = a group of 13 Witches
Coven = family
What is a Coven? First it is a group of Witches - the size was at one time to be 13, but today it can be any group of Witches that have two or more people in it. And 13 is considered small by many.
One of the problems with Covens over 13 is that many become just observers, which is not Wicca. But to get around this is the use of the Inner and Outer circle or court system. The Coven proper is the Inner Circle and the Outer Circle is made up of students and Solitary that want to be connected with the Coven.
In some cases the members of the outer circle only become inner circle member long enough to be hived off into another new Coven. And some become members of the current inter circle. And still others just stay in the outer circle.
You should have seen the term "Perfect Love, Perfect Trust" - this is a Coven. You must have Perfect Love and Perfect Trust for the other members of your Coven. They are family - close family. Chances are nothing will be hid from them - so if there is anyone in the Coven you do not feel Perfect Love, Perfect Trust for - don't join it. (I am talking about the Inner Circle) Because of this many Covens have taken on an Outer Circle...
The people in the outer circle are not part of the true Coven. They are allowed after taking an oath to the Coven to attend most rituals (The ones they are not, they usually don't even know about). As I said above they can be students. They are working on their year and a day and they are learning from the Inner Circle. Being in ritual help them in doing some of the things they have read about. It helps bring them out. It also put them under protection of the Coven.
The other type of person you will find in the Outer Circle is the Solitary who wants to be part of a group, but has yet to find a Coven that fits just right. They like the people in the Coven, but they just don't have the perfect love, perfect trust needed with everyone in the Inner Circle. And sometimes they don't want to be part of a Coven, but like one to come to for the Sabbats and a full Moon from time to time, but do not want to become tied down to that Coven. These people must also take an Oath to the Coven, which will allow them to attend rituals that are closed.
There is a third type in the Outer Circle and this is the person who wants to become part of the Inner Circle, is already degreed from another Coven, and is working with the Coven to see if they will fit in with the perfect love, perfect trust.
The Inner Circle is the Coven. They run the Coven, create the laws, vote on what's going on. They are the teachers of the Outer Circle students.
These people will worship skyclad together whenever they feel its nessary without a second though. They will help one another with out a second though. They are always there for one another.
Are all Inner Circles like this, no. For one reason or another Covens will form without having perfect love perfect trust. And they are weaker for it.
The above is just one kind of Coven and much is based on Dragon Palm. Some Covens do not have an Outer Circle and when you become a student to the Coven you must join. Some are in traditions that give you the laws and rules and the only way you can form your own Coven within the Trad is to hive off another existing Coven. Some are more social clubs than religious organizations.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN LOOKING FOR A COVEN
When looking for a Coven, find out as much as you can of what they will expect from you. Be forward with what you are looking for in a Coven. See if you can attend a ritual before becoming a member. See if they have an outer circle you can be part of for a while to see if you can work with them. If you don't want to be skyclad - make sure you let them know. You may also let them know your views about sex. (Less and less Covens are doing the GREAT RITE - but it is still part of Wicca - and some Covens expect it of their third degrees). The more you find out at the beginning the better you are. Most Covens because you are seeking to join them do not give you a lot of information - you are the one who must give the information. Don't be upset when a Coven tells you, you wouldn't fit in. It means that from what you have told them they know that there would be conflict between you and the rest of the Coven. They may or may not tell you why. (More likely not).
Don't give up if you are rejected by several Covens - this has nothing to do with you as a Witch. It just means they don't feel that you would fit in their Coven. And if they feel that way - would you really want to be part of it.
PERFECT LOVE, PERFECT TRUST
This I can not talk enough about. It is the most important thing. And being part of a Coven like this is wonderful. Now this doesn't mean you don't fight - you will and like dogs and cats...but it always ends in a hug. And when you are fighting - the gods help anyone who is an outsider that tries to jump in and take a side. (They will find both of you on them).
How will you know if you find it - don't worry you will.
FORMING YOUR OWN COVEN
Sometimes you can not find a Coven. This may be the time to form your own. Some things to think about are:
Some of the questions sound silly or easy - but before starting a Coven you should have some idea of what you want and the type of people you want in it. Sometimes a study group will turn into a Coven - other times a group of Witches who meet together for Sabbat will decide they should form into a Coven. As with joining a Coven - be very careful in forming one. Beware of people who are not what they say.
Questions for week 15:
Read pages 55-63 Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft and pages 119-132 To Ride a Silver Broomstick.
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