A Wiccaning is a rite of passage held for a baby born to Witches. It is a naming ceremony, a presentation to the community, and a magickal pledge to be good parents. Our coven just held the first ever Wiccaning Ceremony of a child born to two of our coven members, and I’m so proud of them all.
Wiccaning is sorta like Christening, but not really…
One big difference between a Wiccaning and a Christening, is that we aren’t committing the child to our religion. Someone either is or isn’t a witch, much more like an orientation, and can’t be foisted upon anyone. But even still, should the child have the gifts and inclination to practice witchcraft, they must choose to follow the path of their own free will, and well after they are mature enough to make such important decisions. Consent is paramount.
We wouldn’t impose the parent’s will on that baby’s spirit, nor make any promises to our God’s for the child. We are making promises to the child. We speak for ourselves as parents and guiding friends, pledging as a whole village to raise them with love and support of their inner Divinity, however that may manifest, and bestow blessings upon their childhood.
The Wiccaning is a magickal ceremony for the parents to seek wisdom and guidance, and set their own intentions as they responsibly guide their child in understanding of our world. It really does take a whole village to raise a child, so together we weave a safety net around them, of hopes and dreams, until such time that the child can choose their own way.
Wiccaning Ceremony: Welcoming a Child to the Witching Community
Webweaver and Coyote gave me permission to post the beautiful Wiccaning ceremony they’ve written, and we held this Samhain Sabbat weekend, near their son’s first birthday. I have altered it a bit to become a template, and we share this as an inspiration when welcoming your next generation of pagan children to the world.
- Candles to represent Spirit, Goddess, God, and ancestors as the family chooses.
- Consecration elements of incense, red fire candle, bowls of salt and water.
- Any tools such as athame or wand that you use in the creation of sacred space.
- A special garment for the child, prepared especially for the rite of passage. In this case the parents made a standard sized hood out of the same fabric they’d each made ritual garments for themselves. At this time, it can be pinned under the child’s chin and is just long enough to fall over his shoulders, but someday can be attached to a larger cloak to be given at – for example – his adulthood rites in his early teens.
- A special amulet of protection to be worn. In this case, since the baby is named after a particular Saint, the parents gave him a “cloak pin” of that saint that is used to close the hood now, but may also be used in other ways, as the child grows.
Create the Temple:
Cast the circle and create the temple in your group’s traditional way, awakening the altar elements to their purpose (see an example here) and opening the elemental gates, as you do.
Evoke the Deities and guiding Spirits or ancestors that the family chooses, lighting their candles.
Parents carry their child to the altar, and the rest of the coven and any guests form a circle around them.
Mother: We stand at the altar on this day, (name the occasion…like, “on this Ostara Sabbat,”or “on this full moon in Scorpio”) to present our child, whom we have named (gives Name of Child, and offers the meaning and reason behind the choice of their name.) We ask the guidance of the Divine Powers as we raise him with the knowledge of the Old Ways until that day when he shall choose his own path.Father: [wafts incense smoke over child] Powers of Air, we ask that you fill this child, as you fill sails on a ship, with your powers of knowledge and wonder. May he always know his divine connection and may he never cease to wonder at the magic in the world around him.
Father: [encircles child with the Fire candle] Powers of Fire, we ask that your powers of will and surrender burn within this child. May he have the will to lead a passionate, yet balanced, life, knowing when to surrender for his greater good.
Mother: [sprinkles child with water] Powers of Water, we ask that you wash over this child, bringing your powers of daring and acceptance into his life. May he dare to live an honest and fulfilling life, accepting the world and all its creatures as part of the divine web.
Mother: [sprinkles child with salt] Powers of Earth, we ask that you ground this child with your powers of silence and resonance. May he understand the beauty of silence and the proper use of resonance both within himself as well as within the modern world.
Father: We call upon the ancestors of Land, Blood, and Spirit to guide (name of child) on his correct path as he grows in the knowledge of the Old Ways.
Mother: We call upon the Goddess and God, our Earth Mother and Father God, to nurture and protect (name of child) as he grows, not only in physical size but also in spiritual understanding.
Father: We also ask for your guidance for ourselves as we raise (name of child) in this spiritual tradition until the day when he can choose his own path.
Presentation of the Garment and Amulet
Father: We also would like to consecrate a hood for (name of child) that can one day be added to a robe or cloak should he choose to continue along this path.
Mother consecrates the hood and the amulet pin they’ve chosen by the four elements, explaining its meaning and their intentions for protection and guidance. Together they put the hood on the child.
Mother: We thank all those present for holding the space and for witnessing these rites. We present the newly Wiccaned, (name of child)!
Celebrants cheer and clap, and call his name…. Hail and Welcome!
Parents: We welcome anyone who may wish to bestow blessings and intentions upon (Name of Child) to do so at this time.
We go around the circle and each covener and guest approaches and bestows words of blessing on the child. If so choosing, they may also offer them a small token gift that represents their hopes for them. This can be as simple as a stone, fetish, talisman, amulet or other small symbol that may be incorporated into a wish bag, medicine bundle or treasure box to be kept for the child until they are able to safely understand them.
This child’s family and extended community might also be asked to write the child a letter with their love and wishes for him, that would be put in a sealed envelope and given to him either at this adulthood rites in the early teen years, or at 18 before leaving home.
Closing the Temple
When all have blessed the child, the temple is released by the group’s traditional method.
To our coven’s “Brave Prince,” know that your Aunty Heron LOVES you! I love you like my own wee witchlings. May we safely nurture them all in the respect and responsibility of the Old Ways, growing in personal sovereignty, until they make their own choice of Spiritual path.