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We Will Kindle the Fire by Raven Quest

Circle Initiation

Initiate is bound and blindfolded before entering the Circle.

Nar.: We are met in this Circle to acknowledge (?) acceptance of the Wiccan path.

Initiate is held at the entrance to the Circle.

P.O.: Why have you come here?

Init.: I seek light.

P.O.: How have you come?

Init.: Neither bound nor free, neither barefoot nor shod, neither naked nor clad.

The point of an Athame or Sword is placed at the Initiate's heart.

P.O.: It is better to rush upon this blade than to enter with fear in your heart. How do you enter?

Init.: With perfect love and perfect trust.

Initiate is blessed and led into the Circle, and the measure it taken.

P.O.: During the Burning Times, a Witch's measure was taken to ensure that the secrets of the Craft would not be revealed to outsiders.

Religious freedom now protects us from persecution. However, ignorance is still abroad. So, you should ever keep the secrets, save from those who are properly prepared.

Be not ashamed of who you are, nor should you flaunt it.

Are you prepared to dedicate yourself to the ancient ways of the Goddess and God?

Are you prepared to allow the Wiccan Rede to govern your thoughts, words, and deeds?

Are you prepared to take your place as a spiritual adult beside me and others of the Wiccan community, both near and far?

Are you willing to stand before us and the Old Ones and declare your choice of the Wiccan path, discarding your old life and beginning with a new one?

The cord and blindfold is removed and the Initiate is presented to the deities.

Brighid, bring inspiration, fertility, and justice to (?).

Cernnunos, bring abundance, harmony, and reverence to (?).

Eire, bring growth, awareness, and healing to (?).

Lugh, bring strength, protection, and creativity to (?).

Oghma, bring intelligence, logic, and knowledge to (?).

Macha, bring wisdom, intuition, and understanding to (?).

Nar.: Let it be know to all in this Circle that (?) is a duly initiated and accepted member of the Craft. May s/he never hunger and never thirst. So mote it be.

"Self Dedication Ritual" Self Dedication Ritual14

Consecrate Sacred Space clockwise with sage:

O Great Spirit, who is the messenger of Air,

bring down the wisdom in which I might share.

Cast the Circle clockwise from the North:

With this Athame and power from above,

I construct this Circle with light and love.

Light candle:

I light the night which you have made.

Let ignorance and darkness fade.

Bring now to me the gift of light,

and bless me with your power and might.

Anoint forehead, heart, left and right shoulder with salt water:

Blessed be my thoughts that I shall see.

Blessed be my emotions that I shall feel.

Blessed be my actions that I shall be.

Blessed be all that shall please and honor thee.

Hold up the Chalice of mead:

My Lady of Earth to my dreams give birth.

My Lord of the Sun let my will be done,

that I shall work and walk in Your light

as I dedicate myself to You this night.

Drink some of the mead. Rise and hold your arms wide in the air:

This rite is now ended.

Bless me, my Lady and Lord, that I shall walk in Your light, life, and wisdom.

So mote it be.

Meditate on your goals and ambitions, both physical and spiritual. Go outside and pour the rest of the mead and salt water on the ground as an offering to the Sidhe. Let the candle burn throughout the night.

Source: (Earth, Religion, and Power, 21-24)

Student/Teacher Contract

I, _________________________, choose ____________________________ to teach me the magical arts. I promise that I will not use my knowledge of the Craft against my mentor; nor will I use my knowledge for dishonorable purposes. I attest that I am of sound mind and will use my knowledge of the magical arts with discretion. I understand that whatever I send out will come back to me three-fold. I realize that this contract is binding for one year and a day. Throughout the duration of this contract, I promise to seek only my mentor for magical instruction and advice. I further promise to read only the books which my mentor suggests.

I, _________________________, agree to teach _______________________ the magical arts. I promise that I will not use my knowledge of the Craft against my protégé; nor will I use my knowledge for dishonorable purposes. I attest that I am of sound mind and will use my knowledge of the magical arts with discretion. I understand that whatever I send out will come back to me three-fold. I realize that this contract is binding for one year and a day. Throughout the duration of this contract, I promise to teach my protégé the knowledge required for degree work, and will answer any questions of magical instruction or advice honestly to the best of my knowledge and ability. I further promise to suggest only those books which may aid my protégé in degree training.

Bonding Ritual

The Student/Teacher Contract, a three-foot cord, and a chalice of water are placed on the Altar. The teacher stands to the right, facing the Altar. The student is led, by his/her sponsor, to the left of the teacher, facing the Altar. The student and teacher turn, facing each other, and clasp hands crosswise between them. The student's sponsor binds their fists together with the cord. The sponsor stands beside the student.

Nar.: We are met in this Circle to witness the bonding of a teacher and a student. Is there one among you who will vouch for (?'s) knowledge and ability to teach? Come forward and stand beside him/her. Is there anyone who objects to this union?

P.O.: Do you, (?), take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded instructor to pester and harass, for magical instruction or advice, in sound mind and health, from this day forward until a year and a day do you part?

Do you, (?), take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded student to teach and to test, by magical instruction or advice, in sound mind and health, from this day forward until a year and a day do you part?

The sponsor removes the cords and places the chalice of water in their hands.

P.O.: Repeat after me: With this water, I thee wed.

Both the student and teacher take a sip of the water. The sponsor takes the chalice and places it on the Altar.

P.O.: I now pronounce you teacher and student. You may sign the contract.

Nar.: Reads the contract aloud. Let it be known to all in this Circle that (?) and (?) have bonded.

May they both learn from each other. So mote it be.

(My twisted sense of humor snuck in on this one. *grins*)

First Degree

It is only logical that people worshipped the elements by which they evolved. Read my notes on PaleoAnthropolgy. Some of the information contained here may be slightly outdated, but still valid nonetheless and presents a well-grounded primer on the subject. The following is nothing more than a brief explanation to help the reader grasp the subject matter, and is not intended to be all-encompassing.

What sets humans apart from our earliest hominoid ancestors? Let us think back to the first bipedal primate--Australopithecus aferensis (ca. 3.65 million BCE). Bipedal motion was the first development which set us apart from other hominoids, but that alone did not make us "human." Australopithecus species were herbivores and preyed upon by other carnivores. Now introduce Homo habilis to the scene (ca. 1.85 million BCE). We have learned how to walk, and about the same time, we learned that we could grasp things with our hands. Oh, what's this? *whack* Thus the idea of the weapon was born, and with it the knowledge and the desire to kill. What did we eat? Other primates, of course; we just stopped eating rabbit food, or added meat to our diet to be more precise. We're not at the top of the food chain yet. Far from it. We just preyed upon Australopithecus and baboons in South Africa and Ethiopia and ate their brains. So when did we become "human?" Well, whether or not we are evolved is debatable, but I'll move on anyway so you won't get bored.

Homo sapiens neanderthalensis appeared ca. 650,000 BCE. By this time one can assume that we were living in caves, wearing hide clothing, utilizing purposefully crafted stone weapons, and cooking and heating our caves with fire. We also gathered plants and practiced herbal medicine. I cannot give a chronological analysis of which discovery came before the other because it is almost impossible. Suffice it to say that what we consider today as the most basic elements of survival were discovered and utilized somewhat simultaneously. The elements of Air and Water were already known through the acts of breathing and drinking. I will also venture to say that it's as much human nature as it is animal to seek shelter during adverse weather, so caves (Earth) may have been in use as early as ca. 39 million BCE by the first primate and common ancestor of both hominoids and cercopithecoids, Aegyptopithecus. Therefore, human's first elemental discovery was probably Fire, which occurred during Paleolithic times. However, I cannot say when the discovery was made nor can I say which hominoid species first used it.

So what have we learned since we discovered we could stand upright and kill each other? A hell of a lot!! We are now considered "human," and we are at the top of the food chain, or nearly so. We still eat each other's brains though. We are also developing abstract thought *eating brains, hhhmmm* *shaking head, nah*, which brings us to our first involution--spirituality.

The first involution occurred with the recognition of death and a belief in an afterlife ca. 60,000-40,000 BCE. as evidenced by a burial site located in a cave in Shanidar, Iraq. Another gravesite which points to the idea of exclusive coupling among Neanderthals was discovered at La Ferrassie, France. It was a family burial consisting of a man, a woman, and four children.

Human's second involution, which occurred in conjunction with burial and exclusive coupling, was religion in the form of Animism/Shamanism. They developed the idea of spirit or deity in the form of the physical elements and the animals they hunted. Evidence of Animism, which dates between ca. 100,000-20,000 BCE, was found in Switzerland, Germany, and Middle Franconia, where there were skeletal remains of the cave panther, cave lion, and cave bear. There can be no doubt that archeologists have found evidence of a religion founded in veneration of the cave bear, which was of the same period as that of the earliest known human burials. Thus, the interpretation of death as a passing had been applied to both man and animals as the objects of his hunting. The cave bear was cast in the role of Animal Master probably because it was the largest animal of this period and perhaps because the skeletal structure and behavior of the bear most closely resembled that of humans. They may have thought of the bear, in a spiritual sense, as their ancestor. Among hunting tribes, this is a commonly recognized power, upon whose goodwill the appearance of game animals is dependant. They devised elaborate rituals and ceremonies according to their lifestyle. On a good hunting day, rites of gratitude and appeasement were enacted to ensure that the next hunt would also be successful. Thus the rituals of burial and animal worship became complimentary.

The third involution is of Cro Magnon--Modern Homo Sapiens--our direct ancestor, ca. 20,000 BCE, who flourished in the Dordogne region on the southern tip of France. The Venus of Laussel ca. 20,000-18,000 BCE is a female figure carved into a limestone wall. She is shown with her elevated right hand holding a bison horn engraved with 13 vertical marks, with her left hand resting on her belly. She represents both the mythology of the hunt and the human reverence for the mystery of birth and the female power to bring forth life and preside over it. This finding also suggests that Paleolithic humans had knowledge of and revered deity in the form of a Goddess. They believed that the feminine power was responsible for their livelihood and survival, for all life comes from the female. Man had not yet learned of his role in reproduction.

Early Paleolithic humans questioned the world around them and how it worked, and developed a means of manipulating their world. This is what we today commonly refer to as "Magic" or "Witchcraft". I will inject here that we do not know exactly what ancient practices were. The best we can do is make educated guesses. Now, we have a belief in Spirit (the Fifth Element) or Deity and worship, and with each new discovery, humans gave deity the credit. Also, if humans needed or desired anything, they looked to deities to bestow those gifts. Thus, deity began to develop different personalities and names, according to human's needs and desires. This is how we came to have anthropomorphic deities. It is only natural to depict deities according to what they represent. This is why Cernnunos, Herne, Pan, etc...look half animal and half man. It may also be possible that the artists who created these likenesses used their own animistic shamans as their models. It was common for shamans to wear the skins of the animals whose spirits they were invoking.

The rest of human development is nothing more than improvements on skills or elaborations on ideas which were already established by our ancestors, be they Paleolithic or Neolithic. These developments include, but are not limited to, domestication of animals, agriculture, horticulture, and modern medicine. Thus, they worshipped the Earth. Another development was discernable language, writing, and mathematics, which gave humans the ability to communicate coherently and to keep records. Mathematics allowed them to calculate the movement of the planets and constellations according to seasonal cycles, from which our calendars are derived. Thus they worshipped Air, the means by which we communicate. Also in early development was the irrigation of crops by means of rivers and streams (Nile in particular), and boats that provided transportation down rivers and across seas. This development expanded trade and commerce to other lands and continents. Boats also made it easier to transport armies and conquer neighboring civilizations. Thus, they worshipped Water. The discovery of metal and gunpowder gave humans a new use for Fire, which has been worshipped since time immemorial.

With all of our modern technology, we still live as a Neolithic society because we rely on all of these elements for our survival today. We also rely on our animal brethren to keep us company, and to feed those of us who are omnivores.

The Working Tools are nothing more than weapons and household items. Only a few of them are ceremonial in nature--the bell, pentacle, and thurible. The crystal is either modern or ancient depending upon one's point of view. The athame, bioline, sword, and staff are weapons. The besom, cauldron, chalice, and wand (stirring utensil or switch, you're call) are household items. The book contained genealogy and clan affiliation, as well as property records. This was the very beginning of what we know today as Wicca. It was nothing more than a means of survival that naturally evolved into a religion.

Wiccan Rede

"Bide the Wiccan Law ye must in perfect love and perfect trust.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: And it harm none, do as ye will.
Lest in thy self-defense it be, ever mind the Rule of Three.
Follow this with mind and heart, for merry ye meet and merry ye part."

We must act, think, and speak according to the Wiccan Rede, and abide by it with love for humanity and for ourselves.

We may not trust people around us, including other Witches, but we must trust and have faith in Universal Law. Many rules, regulations, and stipulations may be added to the Rede, but its essence remains the same and must never be changed.

We may do as we wish, so long as we do not harm any form of life--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or sexually--including ourselves. We may only harm life in self-defense, or in the defense of others--including animals, plants, or the earth itself. We may kill only to preserve our own lives, or the lives of others.

We must not attack someone without sound reason. If we are offensive in our actions, thoughts, or words, what we do will come back to us times three. We may have one bad incident that is three times worse than what we did. Or, we may go through a series of three bad incidents to answer for what we have done. We must always be mindful of this Universal Law.

Faith, belief, and worship lies in the minds and hearts of people. We must try to meet each other happily, and if something goes wrong, we should try to resolve our differences and part ways happily as well. We must abide by the Wiccan Rede, but we must also abide by the laws of the country in which we live.

Deities

Eire

Symbols: Golden Harp, Shamrock, The World Tarot Card

Element: Earth

Color: Green

Food: All vegetation

Sabbat: Mabon and Yule

Assoc.: Leadership, memory, family heritage, protection of family.

 

Lugh

Symbols: All Blades, Threshing house, Loom, Spear, Grain, Gold, Obsidian, Strength Tarot.

Element: Fire

Color: Red

Food: All Grains

Sabbat: Lughnasadh

Assoc: Harvest, sun, money, energy, strength, protection, new beginnings, business.

Oghma

Symbols: Ogham, Ink, Pen, Feathers, Blarney Stone, The Wise One Tarot Card.

Element: Air

Color: White

Food: Berries

Sabbat: Ostara

Assoc: Artistic creativity, speech, abstract thought, law, overcome writer's block.

Macha

Symbols: Serpents, Apples, Blood, Belladonna, The Close Tarot Card.

Element: Water

Color: Black

Food: Meat

Sabbat: Litha and Samhain

Assoc: Wisdom, death, past lives, destruction, divination, dreams, prophecy, war.

 

Morrighan

Symbols: Raven, Cauldron, Yew, Spiral, Onyx, Mastery Tarot Card.

Element: Spirit

Color: Black or Purple

Food: Pomegranate

Sabbat: Women's Esbat

Assoc: Banishing, exorcism, war, women's mysteries, Abyss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brighid

Symbols: Brighid's Cross, Well, Shield, Lamb, Heart, Empress Tarot Card.

Element: Fire

Color: Red and White

Food: Dairy

Sabbat: Imbolc

Assoc: Fire magic, crafting, inspiration, fertility, chastity, domestic animals, healing, childbirth, children, poetry, justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cernnunos

Symbols: Stag, Oak Leaves, Antlers, Torc, Emperor Tarot Card.

Element: Earth

Color: Green and Brown

Food: Meat

Sabbat: Beltane and Samhain

Assoc: Hunt, forest, wild animals, livestock, virility, sacrifice, sexual matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elements

Earth

Deity: Eire

Color: Green and Brown

Season: Winter

Life: Birth and Rebirth

Sabbat: Mabon and Yule

Time: Early Morning

Tool: Pentacle and Bioline

Animal: Bear

Spirit: Leprechaun

Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Stones: Crystal, Emerald, Malachite

Plant: Aloe

Sense: Touch

Assoc: Fertility, vegetation, silence, growth, healing, self-awareness.

Elements

Fire

Deity: Lugh

Color: Red and White

Season: Summer

Life: Maturity

Sabbat: Imbolc and Beltane

Time: Noon and Midday

Tool: Athame and Sword

Animal: Horse or Lion

Spirit: Dragon

Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Stones: Carnelian, Flint, Garnet

Plant: Poinsettia or Dragon's Blood Tree (Daemonorops draco)

Sense: Sight

Assoc: Will, passion, creativity, transformation, material gain, power.

 

 

 

 

Air

Deity: Oghma

Color: White

Season: Spring

Life: Youth

Time: Dawn and Late Morning

Sabbat: Ostara and Lughnasadh

Tool: Wand and Thurible

Animal: Bird

Spirit: Faery

Signs: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra

Stones: Blarney Stone, Calcite, Opal

Plant: Sage

Sense: Hearing and Speech

Assoc: Intellect, mental clarity, logic, knowledge, communication.

Water

Deity: Macha

Color: Black or Blue

Season: Fall

Life: Old Age

Time: Evening

Sabbat: Litha and Samhain

Tool: Chalice

Animal: Fish

Spirit: Mermaid

Signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio

Stones: Aquamarine, Lapis, Shell

Plant: Seaweed

Sense: Taste

Assoc: Intuition, wisdom, divination, understanding, past lives.

 

Spirit

Deity: Morrighan

Color: Black or Purple

Season: Storm

Life: Death and Rebirth

Time: Midnight

Tool: Cauldron and Crystal

Animal: Medicine Animal

Spirit: Spirit Guide

Planets: Earth and Moon

Sign: Spiral

Stones: Amethyst, Moonstone, Onyx, Jet

Plant: Nightshade

Sense: Psychic

Assoc: Psychic abilities, astral projection, spiritual awareness, spirit communication.

 

Working Tools

Athame: A dull, double-edged, black or natural handled knife. Used for directing energy, calling deities, elements, spirits, etc..., invocation, and Circle casting.

Bell: Used to release a cone of power, call members into Circle, make an announcement in Circle, dispel unwanted Faeries or negative entities.

Besom: Neutralizes energy on ground of Sacred Space. Used to sweep away energy before and/or after a ritual, and to stimulate the growth of crops by showing them how high to grow.

Bioline: A sharp, single-edged, white or natural handled knife. Used to for cutting herbs and making magical items.

Book: A Book of Shadows contains rituals. A Grimoire contains spells and recipes. Today, many Witches use one book or a disk for both.

Cauldron: A black kettle, whose mouth is smaller that its base, and rests on three legs. Used for divinational scrying, holding the Bel-fire or candle, and burning spells.

Chalice: Used to hold ritual beverages on the Altar.

Crystal: A crystal point is used for aligning the chakras and healing the aura. A crystal ball is used for divination.

Pentacle: A round object, usually 6-12 inches in diameter, with a pentagram inscribed on it. Used to place ritual items upon for consecration.

Staff: A long wooden branch or stick, usually 4-6 feet in length. Used to denote magical status of the owner. Can also be used in the same way as an Athame.

Sword: Preferably dull, but can be sharp. Used interchangeably with the Athame. It is best used for defense against and to control malevolent spirits or demons.

Thurible: Used to burn incense or spells during a ritual.

Wand: A wooden branch or stick, usually 8-14 inches in length. Used for invocation, Circle casting, and directing energy.

First Degree Test

This test must be given orally or hand written. Each student must score at least 90% in order to qualify for his/her First Degree. Each section is worth 25 points.

Working Tools

State the use and elemental association of each of the following:

Athame, Bell, Besom, Bioline, Book, Cauldron, Chalice, Crystal, Pentacle, Staff, Sword, Thurible, Wand.

Elements

State the magical properties of each element:

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit.

Deities

State the magical associations of each deity:

Brighid, Cernnunos, Eire, Lugh, Oghma, Macha, Morrighan.

Wiccan Rede

Cite the Wiccan Rede, in its entirety ver batum, and give your analysis of its meaning.

First Degree Initiation

Initiate should bring his/her Athame for consecration. He/she should also have chosen a magical name and a personal Goddess and God, which shall be told to the Presiding Official before the Initiation.

Nar.: We are met in this Circle to recognize the acquired knowledge of (?). His/her perseverance and dedication to the Wiccan path has made us proud. Thus, we acknowledge (?) for their achievements.

P.O.: (?), have you a magical name?

Init.: My magical name is, (?).

P.O.: Have you chosen a personal Goddess and God?

Init.: My Goddess and God are, (?) and (?).

P.O. anoints Initiate's forehead with oil, milk, and mead, in the sign of the Pentacle.

P.O.: I anoint you, (?), with oil and give you the magical name, (?). I anoint you, (mag.?), with milk in the name of the Goddess, (?), which you have chosen. I anoint you, (mag.?), with mead in the name of the God, (?), which you have chosen.

P.O. consecrates Initiate's Athame.

P.O.: I ask the Goddess, (?), to suffuse this magical blade with Her loving energy by the powers of Earth and Water. I ask the God, (?), to suffuse this magical blade with His strong energy by the powers of Fire and Air. May this Athame be used correctly and for the good of all. So mote it be. (Mag.?), I present you with your most personal and magical tool. Use it wisely and guard it well.

P.O. performs Drawing Down the Moon and Sun on Initiate to align and attune him/her with the Goddess and God.

Nar.: Let it be known to all in this Circle that (mag.?) has completed his/her First Degree. He/she has been blessed and accepted by the Goddess and God of his/her choice. He/she has also been presented with a consecrated Athame of the Craft. May he/she be steadfast in his/her endeavors. So mote it be.

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