I was reading an excellent post on how you don’t have to be initiated and reasons why working solitary is great this morning and I started thinking about how every so often you see the round of “Do you have to be initiated to be a witch?”
I have worked in both non-hierarchical, non initiated groups and initiated, hierarchical groups. I’ve also been solitary. I’ve been around the witchy block as it were.
I’ve written before about initiation and how powerful it can be. I understand the yearning to feel like you are part of something. However, people need to think about the reason they want it and sit with that feeling to figure out if it is actually the right course of action for their spiritual path.
I had a friend who wanted to be initiated. She was determined to have someone else do it to have that experience and rushed into it. A very chaotic, disorganized person agreed to initiate them and it did not go the way they had hoped. Over the course of the next year she was very unfocused, could not settle, and was frustrated. She finally said to me one day “I think I made a mistake in having so and so initiate me”
When you are initiated you share energy. This is not something to do lightly. It is not something to rush. You want to really be sure you want this, be sure of the reasons for why you want this and be prepared to do the work. Research groups and their style of worship. Ask questions, learn all you can. Many groups have a dedication period first and that allows you to spend a year working with them to figure out if your energy meshes, if you like the people, if you like the way they work, if their group’s style actually works with your belief system and so on.
Be aware that not everyone is going to be on the same page as you. Not all witches are the same, not all covens or groups worship the same, sometimes it will take time to find the people that work with you. Don’t let someone else rush you into making a decision either. This is something that should mean something to you. Give it the time it deserves.
Initiation can be an amazing and powerful experience, but with it also comes a cleaning of the spiritual closet and a changing in your energies around you. You are putting an intention out into the universe and have to be prepared for the possibility of change.
It also doesn’t have to be done by another witch. There are many rituals out there to walk you through initiating yourself. If you aren’t sure of the groups around you and are sure it is the step you wish to take, then maybe self-initiation is the way to go. You can then create a ritual that really speaks to you and is going to work for the path you are on.
You also don’t have to be initiated to practice. Don’t let books, or blogs or other people make you feel your faith is lacking because you walk a different path. If you are satisfied and feel spiritually fulfilled then ignore anyone who tries to make you feel less. Your path is yours, walk it the way that feels right to you.