Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I've just returned home from our godson's Wiccaning ceremony. It was the culmination of thirteen months of study on his part, and thirteen months of planning and worrying on my and his mother's part. I have practiced the religion of Wicca since I was sixteen, and though I clearly perceive its many shortcomings, I have a strong belief in its potential to evolve into a deep and beneficial religious framework for exploring the human condition.

But how does that evolution happen? At midlife, I have come to think that the evolution happens in the transmission of the toolkit from one mind to another. By necessity, when I think about the Craft, theorize about it, tease apart the syncretic underpinnings, I am doing so within the closed system of my own life experience. When I transmit it to another mind, though, something truly mysterious happens. It changes somewhere between my mouth and the learner's ear. In that leap, the Gods can reach down and give the sound a spin to reveal some further nuance of their reality before it lands in the next cochlea.

The Craft has almost no permanent structures. That means that each time we want to perform a ritual or ceremony, we must create a temple in which to do so. This has had an enormous impact on the evolution of our religion in that we have become really good at creating sacred space. That's the first thing that our young man was to learn, and learn it he did.

I assembled a council of five advanced practitioners of the Craft to observe him creating sacred space.  They were all people dear to me, whom I respect and admire as fellow Witches. They each also brought a unique perspective and role to the Council:

She From Afar: My husband-to-be's sister-in-spirit, so I suppose she is my sister-in-spirit-to-be-in-law drove down from Vancouver, bringing the both the Dianic and explorative mystic perspective. I find that having someone who traveled far to an event lends an sense of importance that nothing else does.

He Of My Own: My best friend, business partner, and someone that I myself introduced to the Craft. Having him there meant that as the ritual progressed, there was a member of the Council who knew all the chants and joined in quickly showing our godson that he was becoming a part of something that is bigger than just us two.

She On Her Own: My voice teacher, who is what in my tradition is called a natural Witch. She has come to her practice through her own explorations, but in a way that is very much in line with more formal Craft. She is evidence that our religious framework is a human reaction to our spiritual reality and not an invention of ego. Being a practitioner without external training, she also responded purely to what she saw and heard without preconceived ideas about the right way to do things.

She Of Great Renown: The priestess who created a new form of Goddess worship right here in Seattle. Our godson has seen her stand up in front of very large crowds and lead them in the veneration of the Divine Feminine, and she was there tonight just for him.

She Of Deep Tradition: One of the founders of the Windblown tradition of Witchcraft. A close colleague of some of the most influential Witches of this and the previous generation, and someone to whom I, his teacher, bow as an Elder. Perhaps most importantly, though, someone unknown to our godson; introducing mystery and the unpredictable to the ritual.

After performing the various parts of the ritual to create sacred space, he faced questioning by the Council. Their questions were thoughtful and probing, but also kind and took his age into consideration. After a period of quiet meditation, each also offered advice for him going forward and gave their assent to his affirmation as a practitioner of the Craft of the Wise.

Snacks, cake, presents, and coffee followed. It was lovely.

1 comment:

Rev. Judith Laxer said...

It was an honor to be included in this deeply spiritual ceremony of such great importance. I could feel the Ancestors smiling down on us throughout and I feel a pride for Sebastian that, perhaps, I have no right to feel as he is not my own son, but a son of the Gods and therefore somehow in all of our charge. My admiration for you, Seumas, is solid and strong and I feel soothed knowing the Craft is being carried on through your magnificent instruction, and so willingly embraced by your Godson. I see the God in you and I love Him. Blessed Be!