Month: September 2015

Casting for Beginners

Casting is a funny term, and we here at ye olde Gardnerians blogge find that there are quite an unfortunate number of persons on the interwebz who are using it as though it has only one meaning. So, in an effort toward better communication, let’s take a walk down dictionary lane…

Technically, casting is a noun which refers to an object made by pouring molten metal or other material into a mold. Many of your pagan statuettes may be castings of original designs. We know that some of ours are, and we love them.

casting

But let’s take a moment to discuss the verb “cast.”

Cast: /kast/ v. 1. Throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction.
Lemmings cast themselves off the cliff.
2. Cause (light or shadow)) to appear on a surface.
The moon cast a pale light over the cottages.

So, to cast means to throw (even light or shade, depending on your mood). Great. What does the single word cast not imply? That what you are throwing is a spell.

Magic incorporates many different practices and experiences that vary in size, scope, and effect in almost every facet. Magic can be an internal process, an external process, a sudden occurrence or seeming coincidence, or it can be the knock-your-socks-off kind of mystical experience that grants union with the divine, the innate knowledge of the workings of the universe, or even an inexplicable fondness for Canadian bacon. Really, there is no limit to what could be magic to someone, even if it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE AND IS REALLY JUST HAM WITH A VERBAL VENEER OF GODLINESS.

Canadian Bacon

What witchcraft is this?

Casting spells is one little sub-division of magic. Despite what you may come across in public witchcraft forums, it’s not the end-all, be-all of witchcraft or Wicca specifically. Wiccans and all witches, really, cast many things. Some of them work in entertainment and they cast actors in movie and TV roles. Some go fishing and they cast lures. While any of this can be done in a magical way, not all of them are. Many witches are proficient at divination, and cast lots, or runes, or those Ogham stick things we bought when we were 16 and never actually used but still have in a box somewhere. Witches also cast spells, but of the many things we’ve listed here, spells are only one type.

So when someone in a witchcraft forum online says, “What are you casting for?” they somehow forget that witches are people deeply involved in the world, and that witches cast many things for many reasons and not all of them are spells. People who use the solo term ‘casting’ to explicitly refer to casting a spell are displaying a type of ignorance not befitting a witch who is worth her words, and in doing so must remain ever aware that a frequent response will be others more adept at communication raising an eyebrow and casting aspersions on them and their faculties, and no one wants that. So be a hero and pair your verb with a noun, you know, for the sake of sounding at all erudite.

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opinions

Two Gardnerians, Twenty-one Opinions

Behold, dear blog reader, one of the deepest and darkest secrets of the religion of Wicca: two Gardnerians disagreeing with each other! Spooky! Scandalous! Never before seen on the interne… oh wait.

Gardnerian B wrote, “The moment we begin a relationship with deity and magic inside a ritual circle we are acting as Priestesses and Priests.”

(Gardnerian A will respond not in quotes.)

When a wizened old court magician in the middle ages in Europe drew a magic circle on the ground and a triangle outside of it, and then began to invoke the names of God in order to compel a spirit to appear within that triangle, he fit the actions described above, but he was (frequently) not a priest. A rabbi could do the same thing, and unless he was born a Kohan, he also was not a priest. Interacting with a God does not make one a priest, otherwise every female Catholic saint would have been running an abbey somewhere that was probably Ireland. While I recognize and understand the desire to validate other people’s feelings, I do not understand the need to dilute who and what we are in order to do so.

If a God wants to make someone their priest, that’s great. The God can initiate them into their knowledge and mysteries in an infinite number of ways. But our Gods do not make one a Wiccan by Themselves. A Wiccan makes a Wiccan. It’s a priesthood created and promulgated by human beings who are witches. Who initiated the first Wiccan? I don’t care. Wicca traces to the New Forest, through either Gerald Gardner, or, when we’re feeling magnanimous, Sybil Leek. If the argument that the gods initiate people into our cult is made, the argument that they do so through their priesthood is also made. It happens through us. If we were to come across a devotee of the Horned God, Lord of Death and Resurrection, we would probably snatch them up, because they’d make a great Wiccan. If they didn’t feel the need for that, we’d invite ourselves to their circles and get to know them better and, through them and their devotions, possibly our own God more, which would be great. It would not, however, make that person a member of the Wica. They’d be like a spiritual cousin, but not a brother or sister of the Art as we know it to be.

An initiation in the Gardnerian tradition, or in traditional Wicca as a whole, means jack shit when it comes to other people’s witchcraft traditions or religions, but it does have meaning when it comes to Wicca. I would never expect a Feri initiate (which has only one degree) to give any extra shit about me or what I do more than any other pagan, just because I have 3 degrees in another form of witchcraft. This isn’t Hogwarts. Wiccan degrees are not accredited. They don’t transfer from one form of witchcraft to another. Within the initiated priesthood of the Wicca, if an Alexandrian and Gardnerian pair of third degrees honor each other as such, that makes sense, because they’re both traditional Wiccan HPs. Once you leave the arena of traditional Wicca, anything goes and things are not directly translatable.

Orange-flavored candy might smell vaguely like an orange, and have perhaps a hint of its (artificial) flavor, but there’s no actual orange in there. It’s like the difference between people who insist on using actual plant products and essential oils in their condition oils and people who buy artificially scented oils and claim they’re the same thing. They’re not. The only way to find out why is to try them both. You notice a difference. The spirit of the plant is present in the one that contains the actual botanicals. In synthetics, it’s just your energy alone. I prefer the real deal, otherwise one could call orange Gatorade “Orange Juice” and people will mistakenly think that they’re the same thing. They’re not. Ostensibly so. Arguing to a carton of orange juice that orange gatorade is also orange juice is just… I mean, it sounds delicious, but it’s not true. The same goes with traditional Wicca and Wiccan-based, eclectic witchcraft.

This other idea that language changes over time based on how the populace uses it is completely true. That doesn’t make it right. Words and their meanings can be completely diluted, or changed into their opposites, as Merriam Webster has delightfully done by changing the meaning of the word “literal” to “figurative” because so many pumpkin-spice drinking white girls just “literally cannot even.” Using Wicca in a way that includes anyone who casts a circle, or even those who don’t, but generally identify with what they think our philosophy is, dilutes the name, and names have power. Plus, there’s always the possibility that the tide can turn back in the other direction, and then the word Wiccan will mean the same here in the US as it does in the UK where it was born. Let’s not disempower ourselves by giving up, even if there’s a cacophony of well-meaning, but uninformed voices out there using it incorrectly. Disagreeing with something is not judgement. It is simple disagreement based on, hopefully, knowledge.

Also, to pretend one can be Wiccan but not “of the Wica” is like the idea that one can be Wiccan and not practice witchcraft. Can someone be a Christian but not “of the followers of Christ?” No. That’s silly. But here we are, doing silly things just to ensure that we’re not hurting the egos built by the uneducated masses. Why not just educate them? Why not just say, in plain English, what we said: Belief does not equal initiation. It’s good for people to hear. It makes them think. Well, it makes some of them think. Sometimes it feels like it makes most of them dig in their heels and start crying about how we’re bullies who won’t accept them, when they’re the ones co-opting the name of our priesthood, and then running around spouting inane things about it like it doesn’t taint us. I forget what it’s called when white people go to Coachella and wear traditional native feather headdresses, or when someone sets up shop in the French quarter and declares themselves a Vodou mambo, without any training, or when Rachel Dolezal did pretty much anything, but the feeling is similar. People outside of the priesthood, for various reasons, and most of them not ill-intentioned, looked at our culture, took what they like, and adopted it as their own without any of the experiences that go with them. I mean, people run around wearing the third degree sigil as jewelry, for fun, because it’s cute, and they started their own eclectic coven, so they feel entitled to it. What do you call that? Did Carl Weshke have the right to take the name of our priesthood and put “the words Wicca and Wiccan in the hands of anyone who wished to claim them”? I say you nay, sir. He was not one of us. He did not have that right. But this is AMURICUH, and Americans can ostensibly do whatever they want.

Gardnerian B: “If someone has eighteen books on their shelf with the word “Wicca” on them and they self-identify that way who am I to stop them? What purpose does that serve? Words get away from us and it’s hard to police their meanings after they do so.”

Let’s play hypotheticals. If someone has 18 books on the shelf with the word “Lukumi” or “Vodou” or “Catholic Priesthood” or even “African American” and they self-identify that way, even though they’re not initiated into the former three and clearly are not of the latter, who are you to stop them? I would think that any logical human being would disagree with them. No one is stopping anyone from doing anything, especially in America, but we don’t have to cater to the lowest common denominator among us, especially if it’s quite obviously uninformed.

Educate people. That’s the purpose it serves: education. Words get away from us, yes, and policing their meanings is up to the likes of Merriam Webster and the Oxford English dictionary, but those meanings are formed and reformed based on us, the people, and if we give up on who and what we are, we become meaningless. I refuse to contribute to our priesthood being watered down and made meaningless. It means too much to me, and if that is a crime, then lock my ass up. Me and Kim Davis can have a lively debate while we’re in the clink together 😉

*BB*

Gardnerian, A

County

 

You Don’t Have to Be Initiated To Be a Wiccan

Labor Day Weekend is usually quiet on the Pagan front, but not so much this year. On Sunday morning a friend sent me a message saying: “the idea that you have to be initiated to be Wiccan is going around again.” Much of that debate was inspired by this article on the website Gardnerians. Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of Gardnerians, it’s snarky and informative, but when it comes to the idea that one must be an initiate to be a Wiccan I’m in complete disagreement. Here’s a little bit of the post that upset my friend so much:

“Just as you cannot ordain yourself a Catholic priest, you similarly cannot initiate yourself as a priestess of Wicca. That is something that is done for us, by others of us . . . . Many pagans who lean toward Wicca but are uninitiated are under the false perception that they can initiate themselves into Wicca and become a priest or priestess by reading books and deciding that yes, they are feeling priestly. The sad thing is that these are usually the same people that don’t know that there is one Book of Shadows that is used in Wicca (in forms that vary slightly from coven to coven) . . . . .

To be initiated, you must be put through the Wiccan initiation rite present in the Book of Shadows. Hell, even if you want to go an eclectic route that doesn’t even use the Wiccan rites, have at it: but initiation will still be required for membership into pretty much any form of Wicca even if they do silly, un-Wiccan things like keep their clothes on.”

"Witches Round the Cauldron" by Daniel Gardner. From WikiMedia

The moment we begin a relationship with deity and magic inside a ritual circle we are acting as Priestesses and Priests. There is no barrier between a Witch and the powers they serve (and that serve them). Just because one is a Priest or a Priestess though does not mean that they are a “High Priestess” or anything or that their authority extends anywhere beyond the circle they’ve cast. But I have to believe that what we do is about breaking down barriers between mortals and the divine. (This doesn’t of course mean every Priest or Priestess is doing things in a way to achieve maximum efficiency.)

I sympathize with other Wiccans who believe that initiation is a prerequisite to calling ones self Wiccan because that was the way of things for several decades. Wicca was originally an initiation only tradition. If you wanted the rituals and wanted to practice you had to be an initiate. That was the way of things until the 1970′s when the first “101″ books complete with rituals began to show up on the shelves.

It should be pointed out that most of those books used the word Witchcraft to define the (Wicca-like) systems they described, most but not all. Raymond Buckland’s The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft (1974) has the word Wicca literally right on page one, though it’s Wicca with one “c” (something we will get to a bit later). It’s important to remember that the entire point of The Tree was to provide a non-initiatory form of the Craft to interested persons.

j8T74OVEBgcXwAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==Certainly to be a Gardnerian Witch (or a Witch of any tradition) one must have a valid initiation. No one has ever argued against that position. Even if someone were to have a complete copy of a Gard Book of Shadows (BoS) they still wouldn’t be a Gardnerian because much of the point is lineage. Having a book doesn’t connect you to a family tree, nor does it reveal the oral tradition associated with the tradition.

One of the problems with words is that they evolve over time and their meanings often change. At some point it’s no longer “you are using the word wrong” and it becomes “this is the new definition of the word.” As far as “word evolvement” goes one needs look no further than the word Wicca its self. In Triumph of the Moon Professor Ronald Hutton shares a bit of history surrounding the word Wicca:

“The 1950s were the decade in which Gerald Gardner announced the existence of of his with religion to the world . . . . .In 1954 his book Witchcraft Today gave that religion a generic name of ‘Wica,’ adapted by the 1960s to its enduring form of ‘Wicca,’ . . . The word in in Gardner’s spelling occurs only in Chamber’s Dictionary of of Scots-English, where it means ‘wise’ and this volume may have well been the source for it. The later adaptation resulted from the older and more precise connotation of the Saxon wicca, signifying a male witch (female version wicce).”

In his published works Gardner consistently uses the word Wica and he uses it in a way that’s equivalent to how we use the words “The Wiccans” or “The Witches” today. It’s not the name of a religion, it’s the name of a practitioner. Here’s Gardner’s one use of the word in Wica in Witchcraft Today (1954):

“These Wica generally work for good purposes and help those in trouble to the best of their ability. Of course whatever you do in this world you tread on someone’s toes; if a witch raised a good crop of corn in the old days, people complained she was deflating the prices. I think it unwise to lay down the law without knowing the subject.”

Gardner doubles down on Wica in The Meaning of Witchcraft (1959). In that book he uses the word seventeen times, this is the most famous instance:

“I realised that I had stumbled on something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word ‘Wica’ which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things. In this way I made the discovery that the witch cult, that people thought to have been persecuted out of existence, still lived.”

Gardner’s use of Wica in Meaning matches his use of it in Witchcraft Today, it’s not the name of a religion but the name of a religion’s adherents. “Is there a future for the Craft of the Wica?” he writes on page 257 of the version I’m looking at. I’m quoting this because it’s a crystal-clear example of how he uses the word.

Curiously Gardner actually uses the word wicca six times in The Meaning of Witchcraft but it’s all limited to a discussion on word history. Here’s the first instance:

“By this time the Celts in their out-of-the-way dwellings were regaining their prosperity, and the Danish-Saxon lawgivers began making laws against the aboriginal magic they feared. As they had no witches of their own they had no special name for them; however, they made one up from wig, an idol, and laer, learning, wiglaer, which they shortened into wicca.”

So Gardner was clearly aware of a spelling with two c’s, he just chose not to use it.

In the tradition of Gardner I count myself very much among “the Wica” and the only way to be “of the Wica” is to be an initiate. I sometimes feel like I’m taking the easy way out by writing such things, but I also believe it to be true. Also no one’s ever been offended when I’ve said the only way to be of the Wica is to be an initiate of the Wica. It certainly cuts down on hurt feelings and it also retains Gardner’s original use of the term.

The words Wicca and Wiccan became popular during the 1960′s, but probably owe their popularity to one of Gardner’s earliest critics. In 1958 a witch going by the name of Charles Cardell claimed to be Wiccen in an English occult magazine, and soon thereafter declared “war” on Gardner and his initiates. (1) There’s some disagreement over whether or not Cardell’s wiccen was what lead to the word Wicca becoming commonplace. In 1960 a satirical poem by a friend of Gardner’s used the word Wicca in reference to Cardell and his sister Mary:*

    ‘We feel it is tragick
That those who lack Magick.
Should start a vendetta
With those who know betta
We who practice the Art
Have no wish to take part
Seems a pity the ‘Wicca’
Don’t realise this Quicca.’ (2)

By the early 1960′s the words Wica and Wicca began showing up in increasing frequency in British occult magazines. Melissa Seims sums up that history in her article Wica or Wicca:

Another example of the word ‘Wica’ being used in a defining way can be seen in a 1963 letter sent from Arnold Crowther to Gardner.[9] The letter has the phrase ‘The Wica detective agency’ at the top and is about Crowther’s investigations into a new Witch that had appeared on the publicity scene – Alex Sanders. Such ‘detective’ work was probably partially inspired by the fact that Alex, who started to appear in the media in 1962, initially showed a clear preference for the one ‘c’ spelling. Arnold’s reference to himself as ‘The Wica Detective Agency’ reveals a sense of ownership of the word ‘Wica’.

This same year also sees the following advertisements appearing in Fate Magazine. One was for a ‘Wica Perthshire Circle’. This is almost certainly Monique and Scotty Wilson. Another advert is for ‘Wicca – Dianic and Aradian’ based in Cardiff Wales. Mary Cardell was originally from Wales and Diana is the main Goddess mentioned in the Atho material which appears to have originated with Cardell, so it seems likely that this advertisement is something to do with them.

By the late 1960s a glance through newspaper archives will readily show that the word ‘Wicca’ is increasing in frequency. This isn’t to suggest that Cardell’s Witchcraft was gaining strength but rather that people were becoming more aware of the etymology of the word and had started to assume that Gardner had mis-spelt it in the first instance. Additionally the writings of Doreen Valiente (whose more perspicacious personality generally chose correct etymology over Gardner’s spelling), were also increasing in frequency and I suspect that her use of Wicca served a double purpose. For not only was it etymologically correct, but it also meant that she could aid in reclaiming a word that she considered Cardell as unworthy of using. Other 1960s writings by Justine Glass and June John’s book, King of the Witches, also used ‘Wicca’, with Glass stating that ‘Wiccan’ was the correct plural form of ‘Wicce’. By the end of the 1960s its reclamation was just about complete.

WICCAIn fifteen years the Wica became Wicca with traditions outside direct linkage to Gardner also using the term. By the middle of the 1970′s people even further removed from Gardner (and even Alex Sanders) began using the term to describe themselves. By the early 1980′s the name was being used in titles of books and in 1989 Llewellyn published Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide For the Solitary Practitioner forever putting the words Wicca and Wiccan in the hands of anyone who wished to claim them.

Has this all been good for Wicca? That’s up for every individual Witch to decide, but I probably wouldn’t be here without an eclectic path to first wander down. At this point in my life I’m comfortable calling anyone who casts a circle, calls quarters, invokes deity, and celebrates cakes and ale a Wiccan. I know that position is not popular in every circle, but I just don’t feel as if I have the authority to say who is what and who is not what. If someone has eighteen books on their shelf with the word “Wicca” on them and they self-identify that way who am I to stop them? What purpose does that serve? Words get away from us and it’s hard to police their meanings after they do so. Besides no one who self-identifies as a Wiccan and hears “you’re not a Wiccan” from an initiate is likely to change how they view themselves.

-A Gardnerian

*Mary Cardell was not really Charles’s sister but that’s how they introduced themselves to others. The Cardells were odd ducks.

NOTES

1. From The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton, Oxford University Press, 1999. This is from page 298, but Hutton writes about Cardell for about three pages.

2. Taken from this awesome article (Wica or Wicca) from The Cauldron issue 129 by Melissa Seims.

initiation

Belief Does Not Equal Initiation

Wicca is not Christianity. Accepting the Goddess as your Lord and Savior does not automatically make you a Wiccan. Hell, doing that with Jesus doesn’t even make you Christian in most instances; you’d need a baptism, and that requires, *gasp*, an actual other Christian! Rites of passage, rites of entry, ordination, and initiation are all terms for similar processes. These rites which bring an individual into the group are things that necessitate an “other” into which one is being brought. Just as you cannot ordain yourself a Catholic priest, you similarly cannot initiate yourself as a priestess of Wicca. That is something that is done for us, by others of us.

I can’t initiate myself into the Masons or into a fraternity, but that doesn’t mean that my Abercrombie and Fitch wardrobe complete with pooka shell necklace doesn’t make me every ounce the cologne-abusing douchenozzle that a fraternity brother is. We may actually be quite similar in some sad, misinformed 90s way. But one is a frat brother and the other is…probably should become a frat brother, by pledging, binge drinking, and being initiated.

Many pagans who lean toward Wicca but are uninitiated are under the false perception that they can initiate themselves into Wicca and become a priest or priestess by reading books and deciding that yes, they are feeling priestly. The sad thing is that these are usually the same people that don’t know that there is one Book of Shadows that is used in Wicca (in forms that vary slightly from coven to coven, dependent on whether you’re a Gardnerian or a Gardnerian-lite, aka Alexandrian, and where you are). We all have the same rites, we perform the same or similar sabbats which enact the mythology of our Gods, which we also share. We do amazing and unique rituals during full moons, even though we also have a shared liturgy for that, and whenever we have need, so there’s little chance for our practice to become stagnant or stuffy. Our rituals are like the setting up of the diving board off of which we may choose to flip, twist, swan dive, or hit our heads and eat shit because we tried something we weren’t ready for. We’re all human, afterall and everyone can’t be Greg Louganis (but everyone should LOOK like 90s Olympics Greg Louganis).

Greg louganisSrsly.

These IRAB (I read a book) ‘Wiccans’ are also often the first and loudest in attempting to assert misinterpretations of some of our teachings in an effort to control and restrict other witches, which, to those of us who are initiated, is just silly. Just as we know that there is no universal law or rule of threefold return and also that the Rede of the Wicca is only eight words long and advice, not law, we also know that it takes more than reading and meditating and cultural appropriation to become one of the Wica.

Most of us have to seek. The vast majority of us, in fact. True, there are some witches who were so utterly lucky that they discovered there was a coven next door or down the street or maybe even multiple covens in the same town (I’m looking at you, Louisville, KY, Sandwich, MA, half the south shore of MA, and Salem.) But a fundamental part of each of our witches’ journies is their eventual coming home to the Wica. It’s a feeling we all share, one that we all relate to. It takes time and dedication and perseverance, and when it finally results in initiation, the feeling of finally making it back home is practically palpable. We are among our own kind once again, and that is one of the keys to unlocking the magic inherent in ourselves and in the worlds we straddle.

The first step toward initiation into Wicca is what we call seeking. No, that’s not getting on your broom and chasing down a flying golden ball called a snitch. Snitches get stiches. We’re gangster like that. Just ask, what was his name again..? Seeking is when you actively start to look for the right group of people for you. Seeking is often times done online, by scouring Witchvox.com, Facebook groups, Twitter, and a ton of other places. You have to look. A lot. There’s no guarantee that you will find anything even remotely possible, but therein lies part of the mystery. You might overlook a coven nearby for months before the time is right and the observation is made and comes slamming down into your consciousness. You may find no coven within 500 miles. You may have to board a plane or a train or an automobile and travel great distances, because you want to and because it’s worth it to you to make this happen. It takes sacrifice. All of these things have happened before: some people flew from Poland to the UK for training, regularly, for years. Some people just walked down the block. Wicca exists in Tasmania. TASMANIA FOR GODS’ SAKES. I even heard that one of us has been to Antarctica. Baller.

rae-bone-initiation

Seeking is also something that starts within. Who is it that we must ask when we wish to find other witches? Strangers on the internet always make for a fascinating foray in most situations, but truly, the first beings that should be asked are the Gods. Don’t know Their traditional names? No worries, They’ll hear you. We have a monopoly on what we call Them, but we don’t control Their ability to hear other witches who are trying to find their way back to Them. In fact, we count on it. Ask the Gods. Have a circle, light your candles, and make an honest and earnest plea to Them to lead you in the right direction, to bring you to the right people and to bring the right people to you. Amazing magic can be worked when you have an honest need and ask for the assistance of our Gods in seeing it come to fruition, especially if it brings you closer to Them and Their service. Thaumaturgy is fun, but theurgy is fucking amazing.

Spellwork to find a coven should be a logical first thought and one of the first steps taken when seeking. Some witches decide to incorporate this into a ritual for themselves which we commonly refer to as a dedication. They dedicate themselves officially toward studying the Craft for a certain period of time, frequently a year and a day because that is the traditional minimum amount of time a coven will wait in order to get to know a seeker and for a seeker to get to know them. When you’ve seen someone in every season, you get an idea of whether you will mesh with them and whether they would be a good fit for the group.

A dedication is not initiation, but it’s a start on the road toward it. Spellwork to assist you and strengthen your resolve, to grant insight and to bring one closer to the Gods is a great idea, especially when you place no specifics on it and ask for Them to enable you as They see fit. Magic with our Gods’ assistance can accomplish much.

Even though spellwork and magic are all about visualization and fiercely reinforcing your visualization with energy and intent, THERE IS NO SPELL THAT MAGICALLY INITIATES YOU ALL BY YOURSELF IN YOUR HEAD OR YOUR MOM’S BASEMENT WHILE EVERYONE ELSE IS AT CHURCH. To be initiated, you must be put through the Wiccan initiation rite present in the Book of Shadows. Hell, even if you want to go an eclectic route that doesn’t even use the Wiccan rites, have at it: but initiation will still be required for membership into pretty much any form of Wicca even if they do silly, un-Wiccan things like keep their clothes on.

alexandrian-ritual

The hard thing is that options are limited by everything from age to geographical location, frequently depending on transportation and thus either income or municipal transit. If any of these are lacking enough to be a barrier, then that is where your efforts are best suited. Don’t have enough money for a bus pass? Work some prosperity magic, get yourself a better job or an additional job and work your way up toward car ownership as a means to be able to get to coven. Ask the Gods for help with these things as well. You need to be the change required for magic to successfully help you, and the Gods help those who help themselves. The Gods can also help you get a bus pass. I’ve seen it because I’ve been the one shelling out the $80 for a friend to make it to circle reliably. We’re a family, after all.

The great part is that it’s worth it. The best part is that initiation into the Wica comes with family. You become a brother or sister of the Art, and you will have coven siblings and a veritable shit ton of craft siblings around the world who will meet up with you at Pantheacon, invite you to stay at their place in the Netherlands, and generally be completely wonderful to you for no other reason than the fact that you have something truly wonderful and unique on common: a devotion to the Craft, to our Gods, and enough will power to find your way home to all of us. Initiation is a welcoming, and it is also a transformation. I highly recommend it. So don’t half-ass it. Get up and seek.