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Must you be initiated?

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Forums -> Wicca -> Must you be initiated?

Must you be initiated?
By:
Post # 1
Forgive me if this has been talked about before.
Just something I wanted to talk about because I was reading a few harsh articles on the internet about how 'You're fake, you're not a real Wiccan unless you're initiated by a high priestess'. What if you don't know anyone in your area to even be initiated by, nor a teacher or someone who's even Wiccan? Just some of the harsh things people can say to knew people that are genuinely interested in Wicca. It's just discouraging, feeling as if you're being pushed away from something you strongly believe in. So my questions are, must you be initiated to be a 'true' Wiccan? If so what would you even do if you don't go to public places or join a coven around your area because maybe you just don't know anyone that is Wiccan? Maybe someone is very shy and has a hard time going to any kind of public functions, big or small. Or is it honestly okay to learn from books, and be a solitary. Are Solitary Wiccans just as equal as Wiccans that have been initiated in a local coven? Is initiation even required at all? I've also heard people do self initiation by themselves when being a solitary, is this just as right as being initiated by a high priestess? I would love to hear what all of you have to say about all these questions.
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By:
Post # 2
I am not Wiccan, but I have heard that to be considered part of Gardnerian Wicca, one must be initiated in a coven after their year and a day study. I may be wrong on some point.

There are plenty of people out there who do not consider someone Wiccan if the person is not initiated into a coven.
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By:
Post # 3
From what I've read, if you're interested in Alexandrian or Gardnerian wicca then you must be initiated, however if you're Solitary or eclectic then the decision is up to you really.. No one can tell you what your religion is, as it's none of their business, so people who say 'you're not a real wiccan because you're not initiated' are quite silly ^^
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 4
Strictly speaking, you have to be initiated into any religion. In Christianity (especially Catholic) there is usually a Baptism, followed by a Confirmation Ceremony. In the original Wicca, Gardner insisted on initiation. Alex Sanders differed a little from Gardner, and thought that "self-initiation" could be viable for ones who could not, for some reason, find a coven to join.This was mainly because anything relating to the Occult/Witchcraft was against the Law at that time. This was explained very well by Janet & Stewart Farrar in their book "A Witches Bible".
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 5
If you are worried about initiation, you might want to contact Maxine Sanders, the widow of Alex Sanders, on her web-site. (Yes, she is still alive and well,living in Wales.)
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 6
Otherwise, contact Lark on this site.
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By:
Post # 7
I am performing my own "dedication" ritual tonight at midnight. :)

I am doing it for myself, and nobody else. It will help me formally bond to my new religion, and put the past behind me.

I have not had an initiation, but I am a solitary witch, and I am not able to get out of the house as much as I would like. I am hoping my kidneys get better, and that will change.

For now, the dedication is the best I can do, but I am happy with it. The Gods know my heart, and know I am serious about my dedication. That is what's important to me. :)
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By: / Novice
Post # 8
Initiation really does a number of things. First, it makes you an official member of that particular group. If you are going to study a particular path that requires initiation, such as Gardnerian, than you would need to participate in that initiation. The second thing it does is connect you to the egregore of that that group or order. This allows you to tap into the energy of the group and to connect to thought forms or god forms that the group has pumped energy into since its creation. This can be of great benefit in your practice. The third thing that initiation does, if done properly, is open you up to the higher levels of spiritual awakening. This in my opinion is the most important part of initiation. This connection to the higher levels, whether you call it spirit, the higher self, or what ever, is a huge boost to your work.

Now, is it possible to practice magic and follow a set of beliefs without initiation? Absolutely. Obviously you would not want to claim to be a member of a tradition that requires initiation. I have met many very competent witches and magicians who were not initiated, and many who were initiated that were useless. If initiation is taken, but the work on yourself is not done, then the initiation is a waste of time. But if you are not initiated, yet you work hard and study, practice daily and train yourself, you can be successful in magical practices.

Wicca is a very broad category. No one can really say that you are not a true wiccan because that definition is going to vary almost from person to person. Yes, some people can be harsh, but that is their shortcoming. In the end, what matters is does it work for you? If it does, great! If it doesn't, change it.

As always, just my thoughts.
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By:
Post # 9
This has been mentioned by the other comments certain traditions do require that you be initiated by the priest/ess of the coven. However in Wicca we are our own priest/ess, also how else could witches away from civilization have been initiated.
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Re: Must you be initiated?
By:
Post # 10
Merry Meet,

Scott Cunningham made a good point "If a witch can only be initiated by another witch, why initiated the first?"

In my opinion being from a line of witches or being in a coven doesn't make you a witch just as going to church doesn't make you Christian. It's what you do with your knowledge, how you live your life, that makes you one. I know plenty of solitaries, and since my coven disbanded I usually go to public coven meetings in my area when I have the chance. Though, to study certain types, like BTW, you need to be initiated because they don't tend to teach non members.

So no, you do not need to be initiated into a coven, however, one should do a dedication ceremony to the Lord and Lady. Also, the concept of a "true Wiccan" is one that has been debated for a while. A "true Wiccan" to me is someone who lives their path and follows the Rede to the best of their understanding. Some have claimed only "True Wiccans" are vegans who meditate for hours, don't drink, smoke, do drugs, and work in some type of conservation effort like Greenpeace. For some, that's attainable. For me, I compost, I try to eat a balanced diet, I've adopted all my animals. Point is you should reflect on what it means to be a "true Wiccan" from your view. Joining a coven is fine for some, but think of it like this, in three generation of Wiccans, will your grandchild be asked for his paperwork to prove he's Wiccan?

Blessed Be.
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