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Self Dedication for the Solitary Practitioner

Prepare yourself by drawing a bath of warm water. Add a tablespoon or so of salt and a few drops of a scented oil such as Sandalwood. If you have no bath, use a shower. Fill a washcloth with salt, add a few drops of essential oil, and rub your body. If you're performing this ritual at the sea or river, bathe there if you so desire. As you bathe, prepare for the coming ritual. Open your consciousness to higher levels of awareness. Deep breathe. Cleanse your mind as well as your body.

After bathing, dry and dress for the journey. Go to a place in the wild where you feel safe. It should be a comfortable spot where you won't be disturbed by others, an area where the powers of the Earth and the elements are evident. It may be a mountain top, a desert , a cave, perhaps a dense forest, a rocky outcropping over the sea, a quiet island in the center of a lake. Even a lonely part of a park or garden can be used. Draw your imagination to find the place.  

You need take nothing with you but a vial of richly scented oil Sandalwood, Frankincense, Cinnamon or any other scent is fine and your ritual. When you arrive at the place of dedication, remove your shoes and sit quietly for a few moments. Calm your heart if you've exerted yourself during your travel. Breathe deeply to return to normal, and keep your mind free of cluttered thoughts. Open yourself to the natural energies around you. When you're calm, rise and pivot slowly on one foot, surveying the land around you. You're seeking the ideal spot. Don't try to find it; open your awareness to the place. When you've discovered it (you'll know when), sit, kneel or lie flat on your back. Place the oil on the Earth beside you. Don't stand contact the Earth.  

Continue deep breathing. Feel the energies around you. Call the Goddess and God in any words you like, or use the following invocation. Memorize these words before the ritual so that they'll spill effortlessly from you, or improvise:

 

O Mother Goddess,

O Father God,

Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered;

In this place of power I open myself to Your Essence.

In this place and in this time I am changed;

From henceforth I walk the Wiccan path.

I dedicate myself to you, Mother Goddess and Father God.

(Rest for a moment, silent, still. Then continue.)

I breathe your energies into my body, co-mingling, blending,

Mixing them with mine,

That I may see the divine in nature,

Nature in the divine,

And divinity within myself and all else.

O Great Goddess,

O Great God,

Make me one with your essence

Make me one with your essence

Make me one with your essence.

You may feel bursting with power and energy, or calm and at peace. Your mind might be in a whirl. The Earth beneath you may throb and undulate with energy. Wild animals, attracted by the psychic occurrence, might grace you with their presence.

Whatever occurs, know that you have opened yourself and that the Goddess and God have heard you. You should feel different inside, at peace or simply powerful.

After the invocation, wet a finger with the oil and mark the pentagram symbol somewhere on your body. It doesn't matter where; you can do this on your chest, forehead, arms, legs, anywhere. As you anoint, visualise this symbol sinking into millions of tiny points of light.

The formal dedication is ended. Thank the Goddess and God for their attention. Sit and meditate before leaving the place of dedication. Once home, celebrate in a special way.

A Dedication Ritual (2)

Devotion Of Faith

A dedication of faith is not something to enter into lightly. Nor is it truly necessary or required to step onto a religious path. But it is a method of acknowledging your seriousness or honest devotion to your chosen spiritual path. It can be seen as a stepping stone, a beginning and even a partnership between you, your spirit and the Divine force you have chosen to honor, be it a single view of God, the God/Goddess or the Great Spirits.

It is important to note here that a dedication is not the same thing as an initiation. A dedication is a statement of faith, an initiation is an acceptance or invitation into a particular form of that faith. The pagan community often refers to a particular form as a tradition, coven, or spiritual sect. An initiation must be performed by the tradition's spiritual leader, often a Shaman or High Priest/Priestess.

A dedication is often performed by a solitary practitioner during a private ritual. In part because solitaries sometimes feel their rituals are very personal and private matters which are not to be shared. Or because there are few fellow pagans in their area to share their mutual studies and devotions with. It doesn't matter if you devise a ceremony for yourself, to be shared with friends and/or family, or with an entire community. The choice is yours. One thing to keep in mind however. A dedication ritual is something you should construct yourself. It is your dedication, so it should be your energy that creates and conducts the ritual itself.

The Right Timing

There is a right time for a dedication. When you have decided a spiritual path is right for you and you truly feel within your heart that the beliefs and principles are the means by which you want to live your every day life, then you may want to dedicate yourself to that path.

For adults, this can occur whenever you feel ready. For children raised in the path, it should not occur until they reach puberty. At that time, a family may decide to opt for a Coming Of Age Rite, instead of a dedication. Leaving the dedication ritual until their 16th or 18th birthday. Once again the choice is up to the individual.

As an example; In the Enchanted Earth tradition, the dedication ritual is left to a member's 16th birthday. Some people chose to dedicate themselves to a spiritual path within the Tradition, acknowledging their desire and devotion to the faith itself. But the dedication ritual is also viewed as a dedication for those who have chosen spiritual service within the group as well. For instance, a person who has chosen the mission of a healer, will dedicate themselves to the studies and work of that path. In some ways it's like an acknowledgment of a major if you were in college. You are agreeing to work with the Great Spirits to fulfill your mission. You are asking for their help and you are agreeing to perform the necessary work, research, learning and spiritual lessons it will take to fulfil the mission. Within the Enchanted Earth group, a dedication like this is a requirement and prerequisite to an initiation within the group. Especially if the dedication ritual includes a devotion of service.

There is also a good time to perform the ritual itself. During the first full moon of the spring season or just after Samhain. These times are perfect for new beginnings and goal setting.

A Dedication Rite

The circle represents the flow of life, the ever-ending circle of growth. This ceremony is written for the solitary practitioner. However, you can modify the steps to include family members or friends to help you with the ritual itself.

The Altar:

An altar is placed in the northern sphere of the circle. You'll need:

·        A large white candle.

·        2 smaller candles (tapered candles are best). The colors should be light blue and lavender to represent spiritual growth and wisdom. If you are dedicating yourself to a particular service, chose a color to represent that path.

·        Candle holders, matches and a candle snuffer to extinguish the ritual candle.

·        A chalice filled with blessed water or wine (tea or fruit juice is ok as well). If you have guests, you might chose to include a decanter of wine or fruit juice for your guests (don't forget the cups).

·        A masculine tool, such as a wand, or athame.
A feminine tool, such as a chalice or crystal ball.

·        A ceremonial broom.

·        An offering for the God/Goddess. In this ritual it should be something you can plant that will signify the growth of spirit and partnership between you and the divine.

·        A rope made of natural fibers to define the ritual circle. The rope should be able to encompass an area 5-6 feet in diameter. Or larger if guests will be joining you inside the circle.

·        Arrange your altar before you begin. The ceremonial broom and rope should be laid on the ground in front of the altar until it's time to use them.

The Circle:

Cast the circle as follows.

·        Fold the cotton rope in equal halves to find the center.

·        Stand outside the position of the circle, laying one end of the rope opposite the altar.

·        Moving anti-clockwise lay the remainder of the rope on the ground, until the circle is defined and the ends are aligned together in the south. The Altar should be inside the circle.

·        A small opening should be left to allow entry into the circle.

·        If you want to make a circle big enough to also encompass any guests, family members or witnesses, you can. Just make sure you have a large enough continuous rope. Otherwise, your guests can stand along the outside of the circle.

Enter The Circle:

Once the circle has been laid, stand before the entry way with your ceremonial broom and state the intent of the gathering.

·        The opening should be something like this:
"In the name of the God/Goddess, I "state your legal name", enter this sacred circle for the purpose of honouring the spiritual path of "state the path you have chosen" and dedicating my spirit and life to that spiritual path.

·        Enter the circle.

·        If any guests are to enter, now is the time for them to do so. They should enter and move anti-clockwise. The first guest should lead the way around the entire circle, back to the south, where they should be seated. Other guests should follow until all have entered.

·        When everyone is inside, place a ceremonial broom across the opening, closing the circle to set and protect the divine ritual space. If you have invited family to your ritual, include them in the ritual. For instance, laying the broom across the doorway is a perfect job for a parent or grand parent. A prayer of protection can be said at this point. Something like this:
"We shut the doorway to this circle to protect the divine purpose for which we enter. We ask the Great Spirits to guard our ceremony in keeping our actions and thoughts positive and pure."

Evoke the God/Goddess:

You can use the generic Maiden, Mother, Crone and God, or you can evoke a specific deity of your choosing. But the Gods must be present to bless the dedication.

·        Stand or kneel before the altar.

·        Present yourself to the deities.

·        State your given legal name.

·        The presentation might go something like this:
"Great Spirits, In this sacred space, I "your legal name", come before you in humility and reverence to dedicate myself upon this spiritual path. I ask for your presence and blessings, as I step forth onto the "state your tradition if you have chosen one, if not you can use a generic term" path and ask for assistance in learning and growing.

·        Light one of the small candles to represent the flame of life that has been lit within you.

Accepting the responsibilities of your chosen path:

Here's the big part. You don't have to be perfect, if you make a mistake it's ok. Remember this is your first official ritual, the one that will be held up to all others. Do what you can to make it a fun and happy event.

·        In the name of the Great Spirits, I "your legal name" am ready to accept the spiritual path of the ancient ways, living in the divine light of the God/Goddess.

·        I am ready to accept the pagan credo as your law to live by.

·        I am willing to take on the responsibilities of this journey to proclaim my spiritual path as "state the name of your path".

·        {If you are also using this dedication as a statement of service, continue your proclamation}. I step forth into service as an apprentice of "state your mission". Giving myself and energies to the Great Spirits for divine purpose and use. I declare my desire and willingness to overcome past deeds that might interfere with this path. I acknowledge the tasks ahead to learn. I open my heart, mind and soul to the education and teachings required to fulfil this mission.

·        Light the second candle.

The Declaration:

Now remember, this is a rite of dedication, not an initiation into a pagan priesthood or shamanistic role. But at this point, many traditional circles suggest you recite a pagan credo. This can be a credo written in verse by you, or a standard credo, such as the Wiccan Rede. I prefer one that puts in your own words what you are accepting as the law you will live by. This demonstrates many things to the gathering and/or the Divine forces that are present.

1.      That you understand what you are accepting, acknowledging the importance and reverence of your commitment.

2.      It demonstrates your level of magickal knowledge, showing you can write your own ritualistic program or prayer.

3.      It shows that you are indeed mature enough to conduct a ritual on your own with confidence and grace. (Remember it doesn't have to be perfect. This is the biggest confidence builder for a new pagan.)

Begin as follows.

·        Turn to the gathering if you have guests, if not remain facing your altar and recite your credo. The credo should begin something like this:


"To the Great Spirits I "state your legal name", proclaim my commitment and desire to walk the spiritual path of "state your tradition or magickal group's name". I put forth my mind, body and soul to here after be known as "state your new permanent magickal name".

·        It is important to give some serious thought to the magickal name. Names are very important to the Celts, and carry with them a great deal of energy. The name should reflect your characteristics, hopes, talents or divine gifts.

·        With the lighting of this candle, (light the large white candle), I bind my journey, my emotions, my thoughts, my actions and my energies to the following principles. State (or read) your credo.

·        After the credo some traditions also take this moment to declare a pantheon. Here you should pick up the athame (or whatever tool you chose to represent the God) and raise it in both hands at a height even with or over your shoulders. Then state:
"From today forward, I call upon "the name of the God", for his wisdom and guidance on my path through this spiritual life. Blessings be to Thee". Place the athame back upon the altar.

·        Pick up the chalice (or whatever tool you chose to represent the Goddess) and raise it in both hands at a height even with or over your shoulders. Then state:


"From today forward, I call upon "the name of the Goddess", for her wisdom and guidance on my path through this spiritual life. Blessings be to Thee". Place the chalice back upon the altar.

·        Pick up the offering you have brought for the divine spirits, holding it with both hands above your head. Then state:
"I make this offering of "state what you have brought", for honour and thanks to "state the God and Goddess' names" for your presence, your willingness to guide my path and your protection as I take this journey forward." Some people like to state what they plan on doing with the offering...if they are going to plant it in a certain place, or bury the offering to represent a certain thing, or burn incense so the smoke can carry a certain message across the winds. Whatever you chose will be fine. When you have concluded, replace the offering (if that is appropriate) back upon the altar.

Family Presentation and Closing:

You have concluded the dedication, but you can include a small celebration rite as well. You should stand before the altar for this section, if you have guests everyone should rise.

·        If you are a solitary practitioner, take your chalice of wine from the altar and hold it level with your heart.

·        If you have guests, present each one with a cup (starting with the first person to your left and working anti-clockwise around the circle). Then fill their cup with wine, fruit juice or tea from a decanter (which should have also been placed on your altar). Again, start to your left and work anti-clockwise around the circle.

·        Then state something like this:
"I, {state your magick name}, thank you all for participating in this ritual of dedication. I ask you to join me in celebration and toast." Some people also like to include a prayer of thanks, but again, this is your choice.

·        Once you have taken a sip, return the chalice to the altar. Your guests should return to their seats.

·        Cross the circle and lift the ceremonial broom.

·        Turn back to the circle and state:
"Our thanks and gratitude to the forces that be present, to the Lord and Ladies, the guides and guardians. I close this sacred circle and return this space back to it's original state. Blessings be to all."

·        Step back from the circle.

·        If you have guests, now is the time for them to exit...again, moving anti-clockwise. The person sitting to the right of the door on the west side of the circle, should move around the entire circle and be the last person to exit.

The ceremony is now concluded, but you still have some cleaning up to do. The larger candle should be placed on a mantle or as a centrepiece on the dining room table for a small celebration meal. The candle should be allowed to burn for a minimum of 1 full hour. But do not leave the candle unattended. When it's time to extinguish the flame, snuff it out with the candle snuffer.

Clean up your ritual space and altar. Then join in a celebration of life and spirit.

Blessings be to you and yours.

A Dedication Ritual (3)  

Prepare area - gather all tools and set up altar.

Bathe, add Sandalwood, Frankincense & Cinnamon. Add Sea Salt, light candles & concentrate on what is before you.

Purify space and open the circle.

Face the East, raise your projective hand and point to the sky. Say:  

"Gabriel, Angel of Water, I do summon, stir and call you to witness this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Water, be with me as I journey between worlds."

Turn to the North, point your hand and say:  

"Michael, Angel of Fire, I do summon, stir and call you now to witness this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Fire, be with me as I journey between worlds."  

Turn to the West, Point your hand and say:  

"Ariel, Angel of Earth, I do summon, stir and call you to witness this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Earth, be with me as I journey between worlds."  

Turn to the South, point your hand & say:  

"Raphael, Angel of Air, I do summon, stir and call you now to witness this rite and guard this circle. Powers of Air, be with me as I journey between worlds."

Face the Altar, raise your hands to the sky and say:

"The Circle is cast and I am between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time, where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one."

Ring the bell to signal that the circle is cast and to invite the deities.

Read the Charge of the Goddess.

Light the Candle and raise your hands and say:

"On this night and in this hour; I call upon the ancient power of (your choice of deity) I ask that you assist me in my dedication ritual as I take a new path in my life."

"I have cast this circle this night to perform the act of dedication of my mind, body and spirit to the Goddess and God, and to the Religion and Science of Witchcraft. From this day forward, I will honour and respect both the Divine and myself. I vow to hold the ideology of the Craft in my heart and my mind for the totality of this lifetime and beyond."

Next, point to your knees and say:

"Blessed be my knees as I kneel at the altar of my faith, not in supplications, but in thanksgiving."

Next, point to your groin and say:

"Blessed be my womb that holds and produces the creation of the human essence. I vow to protect and teach the children of the world."

Next, point to your chest and say:

"Blessed be my heart that it may beat steady and true. May the warmth of my love spread throughout the galaxy."

Next, point to your lips and say:

"Blessed be my lips that they shall utter truth and purity of mind and soul. May wisdom flow for the benefit of all humankind."

Next, point to your third eye and say:

"Blessed be my Astral Sight that I may see through the veil of life with the truth of the Divine."

Now, turn to face the altar, raise your hands in the air and say:

"I, (your name), in the presence of the Universe, do of my own free will and mind, most solemnly swear that I will ever abide by the religion and science of the Craft. I shall neither harm my fellow human with the secrets that I learn, nor shall I flaunt my beliefs or power before them. Henceforth - from this day, I shall be reborn as (Your New Craft Name) and shall honour, respect and cherish this oath I have taken!"

Next, take the wine & say:

"As I take this wine into my body, I take that of the Goddess, Earth Mother and seal my oath...forever."

Drink half the wine and hold it to the sky and say:

"Accept this wine as my offering of thanksgiving."

Then place the wine on the altar and say:

"I, (Your Name), wish to thank you (Your Goddess/God Name) for presiding over this dedication ritual. May we together walk within the light forever."

Close the circle, starting in the East and thank the Angel and Power for assisting in the rite. Follow with North, West and South.

Then face the altar and say:

"The circle is open, but never broken. Merry we meet, merry we part, merry we meet again. So Mote It Be."

Clean up, pour the wine into the ground and feast.



 

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