Which is more proper: self-initiation or coven initiation? This is an interesting topic that seems to bring out quite a bit of different views.
In researching this topic, I’ve become stuck in the middle. Some books state that you can’t be initiated as a witch unless done so by a coven, in an actual ceremony. I’ve also read that you can be initiated on your own if you are a solitary practicing witch, in whatever setting and method feels right.
I can see where a coven ceremony would be a memorable event, but what about solitary witches, like myself? Does that mean we get left “out in the cold” when it comes to being initiated?
Personally, I don’t see why it would make a difference if you’re initiated in a coven or by yourself, so long as the initiation covers what’s important.
I chatted with a fellow solitary witch about her solo initiation. She chose to do hers in her backyard, at night, during a full moon. She lit a few candles, burned some incense, and recited an incantation (that she created). Her personal ceremony included an offering (hers was a vial of her blood, which she was able to get her doctor to draw for the purpose). At the end of the ceremony, she asked for a sign of her acceptance. She said it started snowing and kept snowing for at least 20 minutes — only over her property — in the middle of summer.
I’m not going to say I don’t believe any of what she claims (I’m from California — I’ve seen and experienced far stranger things). I’m keeping an open mind. But if it did happen, that proves that you don’t have to be coven initiated to be a full-fledged witch.
I’ve been planning my own solo initiation, as I don’t belong to a coven. I’m still not sure where (I was thinking the forest around my dad’s ranch, but with mountain lion sightings there, that may not be a good idea), when, and how I’m going to do it. I do know that I want to do it outside and skyclad (naked). The idea of offering myself, body and soul, to nature feels very right to me. I’ll burn incense, and light at least one candle. I’ll say an incantation (that I’ll create), and see what happens. Because of my health issues, I can’t be totally by myself. So, I’ll be asking my very close friend to come with me and keep an eye on me. If necessary, he’ll know what to do.
The way I see it, it shouldn’t matter if you’re initiated on your own or by a coven. But, then again, I’m just a solitary witch.
What’s your opinion?
Brannock is SpokaneFAVS’ Pagan writer. She studies and practices witchcraft, which she plans to explain through her writing.