When my spirituality was blossoming faster than I could manage, all of the pagan and Wiccan groups I knew were closed. The only thing left for me to do was to self-initiate and dedicate myself to my path.
I self-initiated through an elaborate and complex ritual that had me in the wild woods, sacrificing the things I loved to the earth as I meditated in a theta trance state for hours, even as the beasts of the forest pawed the earth and rustled the leaves nearby. It was an amazing, beautiful experience that strengthened my trust in the gods and spirits.
After that night, I referred to myself as a priestess of intuitive witchcraft.
Note that I didn’t refer to any existing lineages or traditions. For example, I didn’t say I was a Wiccan priestess or a Voodoo priestess (which are traditional paths or paths with initiation rites). To say something like that would be like saying, “I’m a Yale graduate,” when in truth, I’ve never even stepped foot on the campus grounds.
Whenever I’m asked what lineage I belong to, I say, “none!” I freely admit I had a ritual to self-initiate and dedicate myself to my path. If I think someone is getting the wrong impression, I volunteer that information. I also don’t call myself a high priestess because I don’t lead a coven or circle, not officially, anyway.
In other words, I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not. And that’s okay.
There’s no shame in being a self-initiate as long as you don’t put on airs and pretend to have been initiated in a tradition. However, if you name-drop a tradition that has a lineage and initiation rites, that’s where things get sticky.Back it up and try again. Be honest. Especially if you are offering services to others, you need to be transparent. Same goes for those claiming to be hereditary witches.
Transparency is a huge trend in business, the arts, religions, and many other areas of life. It’s a good thing. It reinforces the concept that people can be self-made. You don’t need an arts degree, or a diploma. You can be an artistic genius or a business owner without it. But don’t fake having a degree or a diploma if you don’t. Just be yourself. Celebrate your path and walk it with pride and honesty.
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