A Wiccaning Ritual

Wiccaning Ritual

Goal:

This ritual is for the purpose of formally naming a child, and presenting him or her to the universe. It is a first rite of passage for a new life, called “christening” in Christianity.

Preliminaries:

Do this ritual when the parents are sufficiently recovered from the birth that they feel like contending with people again! Rushing this can spoil the joy of it for exhausted families. Some traditions chose to do this at a specific time, for example the first new moon after the birth date, the equinox or solstice of the season in which the child is born, etc. Pick when you feel would be most appropriate.

Invite people who care about this child, and will be watching over it. Family(by blood or chosen), Goddess Parents, if any, and friends. Advise people that they may bring a small, symbolic gift to the
child if they so desire. This need not be costly or traditional things like toys or clothing, though that is
okay too, it could be a poem, a gemstone, a collection of photographs or something the person made for the child. Ideally many of these things can be saved so that the child can have them again at age 18 or so, to see all the wishes people had for them. Some examples might be “I bring this book and candle to {child’s name}, in hopes her intellect will burn brightly”. “I bring this teddy bear to {child’s name}, in hopes that she will feel safe and comfortable throughout her childhood”. “I bring this song to {child’s name}, in hopes she will be blessed with appreciation of music.” etc.

If the baby cries through this, no problem. He/she is just participating! Announcing their presence, just go with it in the ceremony, do not become frustrated.
 

Supplies:

Standard altar set up, and a candle to match the color of the zodiac sun sign under which the child was born. Guests and their symbolic gifts, parents and siblings of the child and their symbolic gifts. If the name has a visual symbol, you may place something on the altar to symbolize it, in our example, a
{child’s name} feather for {child’s name}.
 

Ritual

Set up the altar, call the quarters, cast the circle and invite the deities. A sample deity invitation is below, use appropriate invocations for other deities of you choice. Great Goddess Artemis, protector of the young. We ask that you attend this rite, and welcome this child to the moonlit earth.

Great God Apollo, golden brother, god of heroes and poets, We ask that you attend this rite, and welcome this child to the sunlit earth.

Parents approach altar with baby.

Priestess: Who is this new traveler?

Parents: {child’s full name}

Priestess: Raise censer of incense and draw pentacle in the air before the child. “I bless you [child’s name] with the power of fire and air”.

Draw pentacle on child’s third eye with salt water on finger. “I bless you, {child’s name} by the power of earth and water.

Priest: “Lord Apollo, Guide her in the ways of kindness and courage. Let her be valiant and wise, as you are. Give to your talents and appreciation for poetry, art and music. Warm her through the long days of learning ahead.”

Priestess: “Lady Artemis, protect {child’s name} with your vigilance, let her breathe in your fresh air of the forest. Let her be strong, free and independent as you are. Guide her hunt for her own path. Protect her through the darkest of nights, and help her ponder the infinity of the starry sky.”

Parent: One of the parents takes baby and faces him/her in each direction, starting with east. Once Priest/ess has made the blessing for that direction, the walk slowly clock wise until they face the next direction, where they pause for the next statement.

Priest: Hail East! Recognize this person [child’s name]. Help her to soar in the limitless sky of thought and imagination. Send [child’s name] gentle breezes to guide her on her path. Bless [child’s name] with all the airborne powers of the East.

Priestess: Hail South! Hail East! Recognize this person [child’s name]. Warm her, strengthen her Will with your energy. Send [child’s name] light to help her prevail in the challenges that await her. Bless [child’s name] with all the burning powers of the South.

Priest: Hail West! Recognize this person [child’s name]. Help her to swim the deep seas of emotion and empathy. Send [child’s name] cleansing waters to cleanse her of doubts and confusion. Bless [child’s name] with all the flowing powers of the West.

Priestess: Hail North! Recognize this person [child’s name]. Help her to stand firm on mother earth. Send [child’s name] rich soil to root in, and connect her with all that is. Bless [child’s name] with all the solid powers of the North.
 

Optional God/dess Parent Component:

The Goddess Parents should be brought forth then to the center of the circle, and the parents as well. one parent should hold the baby.

Priestess: In times past, children were not the sole responsibility of the biological parents. This responsibility is too great for any one or two people to bear alone. I hope that all in the community would
help a child in need. As a reminder that children need many sources of support, the tradition of the
god/goddess parents arose. These chosen people will have a special relationship with {child’s name}, will be there should she need someone outside the home to talk to. To share experiences, and to be a “neutral” and loving third party should the family need help.

The parent should say {God/dess parent’s name or names} will you participate in the upbringing of this child, {child’s name}. Will you be their to listen to her, and help and advise us for her welfare if necessary?

God/dess parents answer

Parent passes the child to the god/dess parent. If there is more than one, the goddess parent holding the child repeats the speech and then hands it to the other or next god parent. Then the parent takes the child back and says.

God/dess parent(s): Bless and keep you {child’s name}. I will be here for you.
 
 

Name Chant

The parent(s) then sit or stand in the center of the circle with the baby, and the group chants the baby’s name. For example, they might being Rob-in, Rob-in, {child’s name}, then people will start to say it in different ways, whispering it, singing it, saying it in different tones and inflections, it should make a musical sound to raise energy. When the power is at it’s peak the priestess or parent should call it by standing with the child and holding them up the energy then goes forth to the universe, declaring the presence of young {child’s name} and blessing the child. This energy could go into a protective shield for the child, if desired.

All eat cakes and wine, ground, open circle, thank and say farewell to quarters and deities. and celebrate, and probably change the baby!

As part of the celebration, make a time to let each person present their symbolic gift to the child, and state their wishes. It is best to go around for this so everyone can hear and join in this portion of the ceremony. This may be done inside the circle before the called and wine if desired.
 

---Copyright © Zephyr Lioness, 1997. This document may be used and distributed freely, so long as the copyright remains attached.


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