On a summer night, when the moon was full, I started my walk along the path to becoming a Pagan Priestess. The first step on the path was a self-initiation ritual where I would dedicate my body, mind and soul to the God and the Goddess. Not everyone who follows a Pagan or Wiccan path will go through a self-initiation process. Some will join a coven in which they will study under a high ranking witch or warlock. Often these high ranking members of a coven are considered the High Priest and High Priestess. I chose a solitary path and thus my rituals, spell casting and education into the world of Paganism done alone.
My ritual was based on guidelines set forth by witches who came before me. It involved setting up an altar properly, casting a circle, candles with color associations, herbal offerings to the God and Goddess, learning to call to the four corners and elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) and other items added for my solitary practice. I did my ritual skyclad (nude) although it is not necessary. I cannot describe the feelings associated with the self-initiation onto the path of paganism except to say that it was very spiritual, uplifting and humbling. I would compare it as akin to being baptized by a Christian faith.
Books on the subject of witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism will give you guidelines to performing a self-initiation ritual. It should be remembered that these are guidelines and not steps that are necessary. Raymond Buckland’s book The Complete Book of Witchcraft covers Rites of Passage, Circles, Self-Dedication and Coven Initiation in chapter 4 which is useful for anyone new to witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism.
Walking the Path
Learning is the next step along the path. After dedicating myself to the God and Goddess, I devoted myself to learning different things. I read books on Crystal Magick, Tarot Cards along with Tarot Spells, Gypsy Magic, Earth Magic and everything in between. A favorite was American Folklore by Silver RavenWolf because it delved into a history and culture of people I felt connected to. I began my first Book of Shadows and started writing spell recipes. It should be remembered that anyone who walks the path of witchcraft will follow a different path than any other with many twists, turns and experiences.
A few books that can help as a guide to walking the path for a solitary pagan practioner are Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft by Rae Beth, A Witch Alone: Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic by Marian Green and Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation by Silver RavenWolf.
Becoming a Pagan Priestess
The walk along the path to becoming a Pagan Priestess is a long one. It takes love, open mindedness, caring, learning and wisdom to achieve. Many women who dedicate themselves to the path of becoming a Pagan Priestess do not achieve the title and ranking until they have passed maidenhood, motherhood and entered into the world of the crone. Some however may achieve the title of Priestess at an earlier age due to natural circumstances, devotion and choice.
After choices and circumstances dictated I would no longer bear children, I performed another ritual dedicating and devoting my life to the God and the Goddess. This ceremony was a yearly one for me done on the day my self-initiation ritual was first done. After 13 years of following the path, I was raised to the ranking of Priestess. I cannot explain how I knew this but there was change that overcame me during the ceremony. I understood the cycle of life, the balance of nature and did not fear. I knew what I was and that the path never ends.