Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Wicca 10: Rites Of Passage


We have come full circle. This is the last post in my Weekly Wicca series. I hope the topics I chose have given you the basics of Wicca, and inspired you to do research!

This time I will talk about a certain type of rituals. Wiccans tend to do a lot of rituals; the eight Sabbats, Moon Esbats and spells. Some are more important than others, and the ones I'm going to tell you about today are even more special - They are the life-cycle events. Like in most other religions, we also have our own naming ceremony, marriage and funeral rites. So today I will tell you how we celebrate those!

NAMING CEREMONY
Incense is lit and a circle is cast.
Officers for each element welcomes the element and wishes the baby to be blessed with traits and gifts associated with each element.
The parents welcome and name the baby, and place a flower crown on their head.
A guest places a bread crumb in the baby's hand and wishes upon them that they will never starve, always have enough to share and that everyone present honors the trust the child will have on them as they grow.
Another guest wets the baby's lips with water from a chalice and wishes upon them that they will never thirst, always have enough to share and that everyone present see to that the child is raised with love.
All the guests go up to the baby in turns and wishes gifts for them while lighting a candle. The candles are placed in the middle of the circle as they step away.
The parents thank the guests, the officers thank the elements and the circle-caster disperses the circle.


HANDFASTING
Pagan weddings are called handfastings, and is traditionally for a year and a day, but in Wicca it's common for as long as love lasts. We don't promise that we will stay together until we die or forever. It doesn't matter what sex / gender you are. Friends and relatives can contribute of course. Rings aren't necessary, you can just exchange promises.

A circle is cast.
Officers for each element welcomes the element and wishes the marriage to be blessed with traits and gifts associated with each element.
The partners pledge their commitment to each other.
A guest breaks a piece of bread in half and gives each piece to each partner, while wishing upon them that they will never know want and always share what they have.
Another guest gives them a chalice with wine or juice, while wishing upon them that they may always drink from the same cup and always remember the love they expressed for each other on that day.
Rings and / or promises are exchanged.
The couple wrap a cord around their joined hands and while looking at each other they say in unison: ''I bind myself to you of my free will, I will honor your right to change and to grow, and I will support and love you in the best way I can, for as long as love lasts. So mote it be!''
They jump over a broomstick, and now everyone can party!


FUNERAL CEREMONY
A circle is cast around the deceased.
Officer welcomes Air and asks that their memories of the dead one stay true and do not alter with the passing of time.
Officer welcomes Fire and asks that they remember the dead one as they were in life and keep that in their hearts.
Officer welcomes Water and asks that the love the dead one brought to their lives will stay with them forever.
Officer welcomes Earth and asks that the dead one's presence among them, and what they left behind, is honored in death as it was in life.
Officer for Spirit says ''*Name*, we send you on your journey from this world with our memories, with our cherished thoughts, with our love and with our hands''.
Mourners contribute, and then leave bunches of rosemary on the body.
Officer for Spirit says ''*Name*, may the sweet birds of Rhiannon guide you on your journey, may your spirit fly as straight as an arrow to the heart of the Sun, may your spirit be still and know rest. Blessed Be.''
The body is lifted on a pallet by mourners of several height and carried to the place where it is to be buried or burned.


Those are the main ceremonies of rites of passage. Aren't they beautiful?
There are others too, such as circle name, initiation, (often combined), severing (''divorce''), croning (becoming a wise elder), and self blessing.
All of these things are a part of the cycle of life, and we accept and celebrate them. It's natural, and we are all connected! When we die we go into the earth and give it nutrition with our physical bodies - So new life can spring forth again. Our spiritual selves go to the Summerlands. That's what Wiccans believe. Some probably believe in reincarnation as well.

So that's it, everyone. Thank you so much for reading my posts! I have gotten so much good feedback, especially in Gothic Amino, and I'm really happy that I've been able to help people! I wasn't at all aware there were so many interested in Wicca, but didn't know much about it and didn't know where to start. Hope you enjoyed this little journey! Do you maybe have suggestions for things I can write about? Cause I'm not sure what I will post on sundays now, haha. I'd be happy to do another series. Just let me know! Blessed be everyone.

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