For quite a few Witches, studying or working in a formal tradition or other kind of group is just not in the cards. Maybe there are none in the area, or if there are, it’s not a good match in terms of personality or accessibility. So instead, they walk a solitary path, learning from books and personal experiences. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach at all!
Yet figuring Witchcraft out on your own can sometimes lead to a feeling of lacking in “officialness.” There is a sense of validation that comes with having the title of “Witch” bestowed upon you through formal training, and being recognized as such by other practitioners. But in actuality, the only person who can truly make you a Witch is you.
One way to instill this sense of being within you is to perform a ritual of dedication. The word dedicate comes from the Latin dedicat, meaning “devoted, consecrated.” So, you can look at this ritual as marking your devotion to following this path—a transformation of self and spirit.
A rite of dedication is an oath that you make to yourself. It does not have to involve anyone else, be that gods, spirits, or humans. However, you can call them as witnesses to your ritual.
Time of Day: Evening, preferably when you have 2-3 hours alone and can go to sleep afterward.
Gather Ahead of Time:
- An oil for anointing: can be a special blend, a favorite essential oil, or simply olive oil poured in a little bowl
- A white candle, holder, and matches
- An outfit/jewelry that inspires and works for wherever you plan to do you ritual (indoors or out)
- Bless/consecrate the above before your ritual
Preparations: Eat lightly. Take a cleansing bath or shower, dress in your chosen attire, and have the oil and candle ready. Head to your chosen location (in front of your altar, a mirror, or perhaps a favorite spot in nature).
Take three deep slow breaths in and out. Cast a circle if you wish, calling in any witnesses.
Light the candle and say: May the path before this Witch be illuminated and the shadows known.
Taking the oil, anoint yourself:
(forehead): May my mind accept wisdom and be open to learn always.
(near eyes): May I see clearly the work before me.
(lips): May the words I speak be rooted in the power of truth.
(hands and feet): May the work I do honor and inspire the world.
(heart): May my heart guide me true.
Standing with feet and arms outstretched: I seek to connect the threads and weave my magic in the world. As I stand in this place, in the presence of the sacred, I declare that my body, my blood, my spirit—are that of the Witch. From this day forth, this Witch is known.
Take a few moments to listen and feel around you, noting any changes or visions. When ready, open the space and prepare for bed. Record your dreams in the morning.
Ultimately, I think the best rituals are the ones you create yourself, so consider this a guideline for inspiration. Feel free to add or subtract to it as you need.
Our thanks to Laura for her guest post! For more from Laura Tempest Zakroff, read her article, “5 Ways to Improve Your Witchery.”