Today is the Day

Today I get initiated. I know a lot of you are tired of reading about this and ready for me to go back to talking about other things. I respect that and will be back to other topics soon. For those who find this interesting, here is what will happen to me today:

First of all, I have fasted for two days. Not a strict water fast, but I’ve drastically modified my diet. I’m trying to push my body without crippling it. Today all I will have with me is water and some nuts, and I’m going to try not to eat the nuts.

Even though I’m not being initiated until this evening, I have to be at the covenstead before noon. I know I will be making some ritual tools and speaking with my elders, but I’m not entirely sure what will fill my day.

As the evening wears on I will change into a robe and cingulum. When I enter barefoot into the circle, that’s all I will be wearing. No makeup, perfume, oils or jewelry.

I and the other initiate will be sequestered from everyone else. We will meditate until we are summoned, and that could be a few minutes or a few hours. We will be summoned one at a time, sometime after 9 pm. I don’t know which of us will be called first. I will be free to use the restroom if needed, but once sequestered we’re not allowed to speak to anyone.

Up until I reach the entrance to the Circle, I can change my mind. Although doing so would be a serious thing. Considering all the effort put forth by my elders and coven-mates, it would be akin to saying “I don’t” at the altar of a wedding.

I believe I will be blindfolded as I am led to the Circle, but I’m not certain.

Once I enter the Circle I honestly have no idea what will happen next. I know I will be outdoors and surrounded by members of my tradition. I know it will be chilly out. Weather forecast calls for a low of 50 degrees that night. Whatever happens, it will be irrevocable and binding for the rest of my life.

There is a joke that every initiate loses a toe but it grows back. At the moment I don’t see the humor in this.

Afterwards there will be a big feast. Every initiate gets to choose how to break their fast. My choice is my friend’s fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Since we will be tired, bewildered and cold, someone will be assigned to fix our plates and make sure we have a drink.

The feast will be a big party. Lots of food and lots of conversation.

After eating, we open gifts. Like a bar mitzvah or a communion, initiates often receive gifts to celebrate their milestone. I’ve carefully picked out a gift for my fellow initiate. Someone will be assigned to help us with this as a scribe. They will make a list of what we received and who gave it to us so we can send thank you notes afterwards.

I was a scribe for someone last year and helped make plates and fetch drinks for freezing and tired elders. Even though I wasn’t in Circle I still enjoyed being there and being of service to my Craft brothers and sisters. It’s part of the experience.

And then? I will be an initiated Witch. What will have changed? I don’t really know, but I expect it will be similar to the old Buddhist saying:

Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

I’m actually a shy person, so I expect this will be a very awkward evening for me, but I also expect it to be a rewarding memory. Initiations are supposedly really amazing rituals and current initiates do their best to attend them for that reason.

At any rate, I imagine I will sleep in on Sunday and be vociferously hungry when I finally wake up.

And then, I will back to regular blogging goodness.

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Sarah

    I don’t really know what the appropriate well-wishing comment is here. Good luck? Congrats? *shrug* I hope it goes well for you, Star. 

  • Sarah

    I don’t really know what the appropriate well-wishing comment is here. Good luck? Congrats? *shrug* I hope it goes well for you, Star. 

  • Manuel_araujo7

    I am absolutely not tired of reading about this subject. Be sure to enjoy this night, for it will be one of a kind. I hope you can later on share your experience with us, if you aren’t forbidden to do so due to an oath of secrecy.
    Best of luck to you!

  • Manuel_araujo7

    I am absolutely not tired of reading about this subject. Be sure to enjoy this night, for it will be one of a kind. I hope you can later on share your experience with us, if you aren’t forbidden to do so due to an oath of secrecy.
    Best of luck to you!

  • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

    Actually I am not at all tired of this subject, I am fascinated.  This ain’t something that pre-Gardnerian Witches and Pagans do.  Previously I’d kinda sneered at initiation as either a silly sorority stunt or an elitist exclusionary tactic, but your posts have begun to show the beauty and true purpose of the rite, and how you feel about it.  Mind telling us readers WHY some of the things are done — fasting, blindfolding, isolation, and how it affected you personally?

    • Sarah

      Yeah, exactly. I didn’t see the point in initiation, or indeed coven life until I read your posts about them. Now, I’m starting to see and id love to hear as much as you’re able or willing to share.

  • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

    Actually I am not at all tired of this subject, I am fascinated.  This ain’t something that pre-Gardnerian Witches and Pagans do.  Previously I’d kinda sneered at initiation as either a silly sorority stunt or an elitist exclusionary tactic, but your posts have begun to show the beauty and true purpose of the rite, and how you feel about it.  Mind telling us readers WHY some of the things are done — fasting, blindfolding, isolation, and how it affected you personally?

    • Sarah

      Yeah, exactly. I didn’t see the point in initiation, or indeed coven life until I read your posts about them. Now, I’m starting to see and id love to hear as much as you’re able or willing to share.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=852360542 Dydan Waters

    Not at all tired to read this.  I wish you luck and hope your initiation is meaningful and memorable!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=852360542 Dydan Waters

    Not at all tired to read this.  I wish you luck and hope your initiation is meaningful and memorable!  

  • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

    Blessings of light and love, Star.  May you be enfolded by both.  

  • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

    Blessings of light and love, Star.  May you be enfolded by both.  

  • http://twitter.com/chorisschema Corc Hamr

    Blessings, and I hope your initiation goes well!

  • http://twitter.com/chorisschema Corc Hamr

    Blessings, and I hope your initiation goes well!

  • Robert

    May the Lord and Lady smile upon you on this eventful day!

  • Robert

    May the Lord and Lady smile upon you on this eventful day!

  • Anonymous

    Goddess smile upon you.

    A comment on commitment. We moderns are very time-oriented — it’s even built into our language — and so “commitment” is often associated with “forever.”

    That neglects what I think is the more important meaning of “commitment” as “completely.” The image I use is of diving into a cold mountain lake. You can fool around on the shore for a long time, test the water (yes, it’s chilly), look for sharks (in a mountain lake? Nope, none o’ them), watch other people swimming around. Commitment is when you decide to take off your clothes and jump into the water. All the way. Whatever it brings. How long you stay in the water is a secondary concern.

    A lot of people approach marriage exclusively as “forever” and completely miss “all-in.” They spend their “forever,” starting from the first day (even the first hour) looking around, comparing, shopping, wondering if they should have picked a different spouse, or if they should “trade up.” Their commitment of “forever” becomes a prison and a shackle, because the grass always looks greener on the other side, even thought it usually isn’t.

    It’s much more exciting, nourishing, and stabilizing, I think, to forget about the “forever” aspect and simply concentrate on the “all-in” aspect. You can stop reading the consumer reports now (what a relief!) — you bought the Toyota, not the Honda or the Subaru or the Ford — and now you can concentrate on going places in your Toyota.

    The “forever” part will take care of itself.

    You won’t see this post until after your initiation, I suspect, so congratulations! You are a witch! All-in. Now you can go places. :-)

  • http://www.themonthebard.org/ Themon the Bard

    Goddess smile upon you.

    A comment on commitment. We moderns are very time-oriented — it’s even built into our language — and so “commitment” is often associated with “forever.”

    That neglects what I think is the more important meaning of “commitment” as “completely.” The image I use is of diving into a cold mountain lake. You can fool around on the shore for a long time, test the water (yes, it’s chilly), look for sharks (in a mountain lake? Nope, none o’ them), watch other people swimming around. Commitment is when you decide to take off your clothes and jump into the water. All the way. Whatever it brings. How long you stay in the water is a secondary concern.

    A lot of people approach marriage exclusively as “forever” and completely miss “all-in.” They spend their “forever,” starting from the first day (even the first hour) looking around, comparing, shopping, wondering if they should have picked a different spouse, or if they should “trade up.” Their commitment of “forever” becomes a prison and a shackle, because the grass always looks greener on the other side, even thought it usually isn’t.

    It’s much more exciting, nourishing, and stabilizing, I think, to forget about the “forever” aspect and simply concentrate on the “all-in” aspect. You can stop reading the consumer reports now (what a relief!) — you bought the Toyota, not the Honda or the Subaru or the Ford — and now you can concentrate on going places in your Toyota.

    The “forever” part will take care of itself.

    You won’t see this post until after your initiation, I suspect, so congratulations! You are a witch! All-in. Now you can go places. :-)

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    I know you’ll do fabulously, Star!  I hope the experience happens without a hitch!

    (Hearing you describe it, I realize:  for the Antinoan Mysteries, we need better support staff!  Crikey…)

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    I know you’ll do fabulously, Star!  I hope the experience happens without a hitch!

    (Hearing you describe it, I realize:  for the Antinoan Mysteries, we need better support staff!  Crikey…)

  • erica

    yay, star!  many blessings and courage for your journey, tonight and ever after!

  • erica

    yay, star!  many blessings and courage for your journey, tonight and ever after!

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    Very excited for your venture!!  My initiation to third was my most memorable and I always cherish them.  This is something that should be written about and it is nice to read.  Hugs and Blessings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    Very excited for your venture!!  My initiation to third was my most memorable and I always cherish them.  This is something that should be written about and it is nice to read.  Hugs and Blessings.

  • Jim Baker

    Of course you are right to share. Thank you for doing that.

    I personally have not chosen that path, but I can see the enormous benefit that some can find in formal initiation. There is a much deeper truth in 
    Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

    than its overt meaning.

    I wish you well and great blessings from your experience.

  • Jim Baker

    Of course you are right to share. Thank you for doing that.

    I personally have not chosen that path, but I can see the enormous benefit that some can find in formal initiation. There is a much deeper truth in 
    Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

    than its overt meaning.

    I wish you well and great blessings from your experience.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FCM62LRWJYSJZAWCXGUA62L7B4 nothing

    May the Lord and Lady smile down upon you on this special occasion. Blessings always be with you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FCM62LRWJYSJZAWCXGUA62L7B4 nothing

    May the Lord and Lady smile down upon you on this special occasion. Blessings always be with you.

  • Anna Korn

    I’ve enjoyed your posts. I’m also pleased you are enjoying the process involved in becoming part of a traditional coven. As a Gardnerian HPS, I’m told all the time that covens are passe. I don’t think so-I think to they are more like graduate school. But we do need to find seekers who are deeply committed to the Craft. I’m glad you are documenting your experiences, and please continue to do so. (Of course not betraying Craft secrecy!) But you have an interior life that will be affected as a result of this experience. Your skills, power, perceptions, and confidence as a Witch will increase. You will connect with the mana of your lineage. May the Lord and Lady bless you.

  • Anna Korn

    I’ve enjoyed your posts. I’m also pleased you are enjoying the process involved in becoming part of a traditional coven. As a Gardnerian HPS, I’m told all the time that covens are passe. I don’t think so-I think to they are more like graduate school. But we do need to find seekers who are deeply committed to the Craft. I’m glad you are documenting your experiences, and please continue to do so. (Of course not betraying Craft secrecy!) But you have an interior life that will be affected as a result of this experience. Your skills, power, perceptions, and confidence as a Witch will increase. You will connect with the mana of your lineage. May the Lord and Lady bless you.

  • val bobincheck

    With brightest blessings for this important event.  May the Lord and Lady be close to you this night!

  • val bobincheck

    With brightest blessings for this important event.  May the Lord and Lady be close to you this night!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1066316113 Jocelyne Berengaria Houghton

    Blessed be and congrat-ululations!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1066316113 Jocelyne Berengaria Houghton

    Blessed be and congrat-ululations!

  • Beast

    Congratulations Star
    May the Goddess bless you
    May your courage and wisdom grow

  • Beast

    Congratulations Star
    May the Goddess bless you
    May your courage and wisdom grow

  • leda marte

    Oh no! i’ll be missing those post…i love your blog! Blessings from Dominican Republic :)

  • leda marte

    Oh no! i’ll be missing those post…i love your blog! Blessings from Dominican Republic :)


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