First Degree Initiation
* Hierophant (H) (Initiator)
* Candidate (C)
* Hierophant's Working Partner (P)
* Summoner (S) (Hierophant does his part if S unavailable)
* High Priestess (HPS) (actually H or P, depending on gender)
* nine foot red cord
* short white cord
* all ordinary esbat requirements
C stands outside Circle to NE, blindfolded and bound by members of the oppositegender.
Wrists are bound together in back by middle of a nine-foot red cord, knotted infront at throat with ends hanging down front as cable-tow.
A short white cord is fastened to the right ankle with ends tucked in so as notto trip C up, saying:
"Feet neither bound nor free"
HPS casts Circle. Opening ritual is followed to the end of Drawing Down The Moon, but the Charge is not yet declaimed.
S fetches Sword (or Athame) from the altar, and opens a gate in NE.
S, H and P face C, and S issues the Challenge:
S: "O thou who stand on the threshold between the pleasant world of menand the dread domains of the Lords of the Outer Spaces, hast thou the courage to make the assay?"
Placing point of blade against C's heart, S continues:
S: "For I say verily, it were better to rush on my blade and perish, than make the attempt with fear in thy heart."
C: "I have two passwords; Perfect Love and Perfect Trust"
S: "All who have such are doubly welcome"
H: "I give thee a third to pass thee through this dread door."
H grasps C above waist with H's left arm, kisses C on the lips, and swings Cinto the Circle with H's body, from behind.
S (or P if no S) closes the gate.
H leads C to each Quarter in turn, saying:
H: "Take heed, ye Lords of the East (South/West/North) that N... is properly prepared to be initiated a priest[ess] and witch."
H leads C back to centre of Circle (via East) while coven dances around singing:
"Eko, eko Azrak, (etc)..."
...over and over, meanwhile pushing C back and forth among them, until H callsa halt.
P then rings bell three times as H turns to C to stand before the altar, withC's back to the altar (i.e. facing South if altar is in North).
H stands in centre of Circle, facing C (and altar). H says:
H: "In other religions, the postulant kneels, while the priest towersabove. But in the Art Magical we are taught to be humble, and we kneel towelcome her/him and we say:[kneels]
'Blessed be thy feet, which have brought thee in these ways;' [kiss right foot,then left foot]
'Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar;' [kiss right knee,then left knee]
'Blessed be thy womb/phallus, without which we would not be;' [kiss abovepubes]
'Blessed be thy breasts/breast, erected in beauty/formed in strength;' [kissright breast, then left breast]
'Blesses be thy lips, that shall utter the sacred names.' [kiss on lips][rises]
'Now we are going to take your measure.
H, aided by another witch of the same gender, stretches a button thread from the ground by C's foot to the crown of C's head and cuts it there with Athame or bolline.
Measure C once about the forehead with the cut thread and knot at the point o foverlap, again about the heart starting from the same end [knot], and lastlyabout the hips across the genitals knot]. The measure is wound and placed upon the altar.
H: 'Before thou art sworn, art thou ready to pass the ordeal and be purified?'
C: 'I am.
H, aided by another witch of the same gender, helps C to kneel, head andshoulders bowed forward. The loose ends of the short cord are unwounded and C'sankles bound securely. The cable tow is fastened to the altar. H fetchesscourge from altar as P rings bell three times, saying:
H: scourges C firmly, but tenderly, thrice.
P says, but doesn't ring bell:
And each time H scourges C with the number of strokes P has names, and allshould be light, yet firm, save only the very last which may sting somewhat asa reminder that H has been deliberately restrained. H then says:
H: 'Bravely thou hast passed the test. Art thou ready to swear that thou wiltalways be true to the Art?'
C: 'I am.'
H: 'Art thou ever ready to help, protect and defend thy brothers and sisters ofthe Art, even though it should cost thee thy life?'
C: 'I am.'
H: 'Then say after me: I, N..., in the presence of the Mighty Ones, do of myown free will and accord, most solemnly swear, without any reservation in mewhatever, that I will ever keep a secret, and never reveal, the secrets of the Art, except it be to a proper person, properly prepared within a Circle such as I am now in. This I swear by my hopes of a future life, mindful that my measurehas been taken; and may my weapons turn against me if I break this my solemn oath.'
H and other witch of same gender help C to feet. P fetches anointing oil and chalice of wine. H moistens fingertip with oil saying:
H: 'I hereby sign thee with the Triple Sign. I consecrate thee with oil...'
H touches moistened finger to just above pubes, right breast, left breast, and above pubes again. H moistens fingertip with wine and anoints the same threeplaces, saying:
H: 'I consecrate thee with wine...'
H: 'I consecrate thee with my lips... [kiss as above]
Priest[ess] and witch.'
C is now unbound and the blindfold removed by H and assistant of same gender. The New Initiate is welcomed by coven, then presented with the Working Tools. As each tool is names, H takes it from the altar and passes it to the Initiate with a kiss. As each tool is finished with, the assistant takes it from the Initiate with a kiss and replaces it upon the altar.
H: 'Now I present to thee the Working Tools.
First, the Magic Sword. With this, as with the Athame, thou canst form all Magic Circles, dominate, subdue and punish all rebellious spirits and daemons,and even persuade angels and good spirits. With this in thy hand, thou artruler of the Circle.
Next I present the Athame. This is the true witch's weapon and has all thepowers of the Magic Sword.
Next I present the White-hilted knife. Its use it to form all instruments usedin the Art. It can only be used in a Magic Circle.
Next I present the Wand. Its use is to call up and control certain angels andgenii to whom it would not be meet to use the Magic Sword.
Next I present the Cup. This is the vessel of the Goddess, the Cauldron of Cerridwen, the Holy Grail of Immortality. From this we drink in comradeship,and in honour of the Goddess.
Next I present the Pentacle. This is for the purpose of calling up appropriatespirits.
Next I present the Scourge. This is the sign of power and domination. It is also used to cause purification and enlightenment. For it is written: "To learn you must suffer and be purified." Art thou willing to suffer tol earn?'
C: 'I am.'
H: 'Next and lastly I present the Cords. They are of use to bind the sigils of the Art; also the material basis; also they are necessary in the Oath.
I now salute thee in the name of Aradia, newly made priest[ess] and witch." [kiss]
H and P now face the new Initiate and deliver the Charge.
The Initiate may consecrate her/his Athame here; [s]he must consecrate itbefore using it.
Cakes and wine.
The Initiate is now presented to each Quarter in turn by the H, saying:
H: 'Hear ye Mighty Ones of the East [South/West/North]; N... has been consecrated priest[ess], witch and hidden child of the Goddess.'
[to north declaim: 'Hear ye Mighty Ones of the North; Boreas, thou guardian ofthe Northern portals; thou powerful God, thou gentle Goddess; N...(etc)]
A 'graduation' party should follow.