The following comes from several rituals and discorses on Wiccan Oriented Druidisim passed

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[The following comes from several rituals and discorses on Wiccan Oriented Druidisim passed on to me by a friend and are not ADF-based. They are uncopyrighted and public domain, feel free to use them and to distribute them to those they might serve of value to. Joe Teller, SYSOP, Wonderland BBS (508) 663-6220, Billerica MA; home of the Pagan Information Network where community & sharing amoungst pagans are our main concern, not profit. Call and see the difference!] FIRST DEGREE INITIATION DRUID OAK CIRCLE The Circle is cast, Initiate is brought to the gate of the circle and challenged by the priestess. DISCOURSE: AN initiation is a symbolic death and rebirth, a rite of passage that transforms each person who experiences it. In the craft, it marks acceptance into a coven, and a deep, personal commitment to the Goddess. It is a gift of power and love that coveners give to each other : The experience of those inner secrets that cannot be told because they go beyond words. For the individual, it becomes a change that causes revelation and understanding and sparks further growth and change. When one confronts the Guardian of the threshold, one must be willing, in spite of fear, to go on, not to run away, and to face (her/his) defenses even though the process may be painful. The candidate for initiation must realize that it is (she/he) and no one else, who controls (her/his) progress in the craft. An intiation creates a strong emotional bond and a deep, Astral tie between coven members, so the candidate must be considered very carefully. Death and rebirth are the theme of initiation. Death is the root of our deepest fears, and the true face of the Shadow. It is the terror behind vulnerability and the horror of annhiliation. What pulls us to our risk that confrontation is desire and longing, for those splitoff parts of ourselves that lie on the other side of the Abyss, which alone can complete us and free us to love. We must strip ourselves of our defenses, pretentions, masks, roles, of our "clothing and jewels" in order to cross that threshold and enter into the inner kingdom. Death is seductive, for once the frightening threshold is crossed, there is no more fear, and hope are both dissolved; All that is left is rest, repose, relief, blessed nothingness, the void. But know you that in the void is the "mother state" so the crown of death becomes the circlet of rebirth. Death precedes new life, and we learn the great mystery - not as a doctrine, not as a philosophy, but as an experience : There is no Annihilation. PRIESTESS : Stranger, you who stand at the gates of night and day, the gate of Death. To enter you must wear the clothing of your birth. Remove your garments and cleanse yourself in the sacred waters of life, then come again with your defense. Take initiate to the ritual bath. After bath is over bring intiate to the gate of the circle. Priestess steps forward with Athame and says: "WHo Comes to the Gate?" Initiate : "It is I, (name), child of Earth and starry Heaven." Priestess : "Who speaks for you?" SPonser : "It is I, (name), who vouches for this one." Have intiate blindfolded and bound and then lead inside the gate of the circle. The Priestess holds the point of the blade to the initiates heart and says: "You are about to enter a vortex of power, a place beyond imagining, where birth and death, dark and light, joy and pain, meet and make one. You are about to step between the worlds, beyond time, outside the realm of your hum,an life. You who stand on the threshold of the dread mighty ones, have you the courage to make the essay? FOr know that it is better to fall on my blade and perish than to make the attempt with fear in thy heart!" Initiate : "I enter the circle with perfect love and trust." Priestess grounds the point of her blade to the Earth, kisses initiate and draws initiate into the circle, saying: "Thus are all first brought into the Circle." Bring initiate into the circle. Priestess reads while coven members spin the inititate around. "Naked and helpless, bound and blind, were you born from the womb of the Earth. Naked and helpless, bound and blind, will you be claimed at the end of your days. Naked and helpless, bound and blind, will you be born again. Experience now the flow of life and feel joy within your confusion. For life and death are here one, as joy and sorrow are one, as the many herein are one. We offer to you perfect peace" STOP INITIATE FROM SPINNING ABRUPTLY, Remove blindfold and cord. The priestess now leads the initiate to each of the four quaters, desoil, saying : "Hail, Guardians ofthe watchtowers of the (North, East, South and West) and all the mighty ones of the craft. Behold (name) who will now be made a priest and witch." Bring the Initiate back to the Northern altar and place (her/him) far enough away from the altar to be thrust forward. The priestess asks the question "Are you ready to pass the ordeal?" Initiate : "I am" (THRUST intitate toward North ALtar) PRIESTESS : "In like manner were you trust forth from the womb. From death comes rebirth by the gifts of the great mother. By the Gifts of her consort, the horned one by our beliefs, have you been guided to this point, be awakened, be reborn." PRIESTESS : IN other religions, the initiate kneels while the priest towers over them. In the traditions of the wise, we are taught to be ever humble and so I kneel to you and say to you - Blessed be thy feet that hast brought thee in these ways Blessed be thy knees that shall kneel at the sacred altars Blessed be thy (phallus/womb) without which we would not be Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty and strength. Blessed be thy lips, that shall speak the sacred names. After the Fivefold kiss the priestess takes the initiates measure. Take the length of the body first, then head, and then the chest. PRIESTESS : Are you willing to swear the oath? INITIATE : I am. PRIESTESS : ARe you willing to suffer to learn? INTIATE : Yes [If desired, prick finger and put blood upon the cord] PRIESTESS : Repeat after me. - I (name) do of my own free will, most solomly swear to protect, help, and defend my sisters and brothers of the craft. I will always keep secret all that must not be revealed. THis I do swear on my mothers womb and my hopes of future lives, mindful that my measure has been taken, and in the prescence of the mighty ones. Have initiate crouch and bind one hand and foot lightly for scourge : 3 times, 7 times, 9 times, 21 times - this makes forty in all. PRIESTESS : YOu have bravely passed teh test. Are you ready for your new life? Inititate : I am. PRIESTESS : "Arise, (name), newly made (priest/priestess) and witch. Join us and all who travel our new path. Three bells are rung. initiate is unbound and helped to rise. The measure is now given back to the priestess. PRIESTESS : In the burning times, when each member of the coven held the lives of the others in her hands, this would have been kept and used against her should she endanger others. But in these more fortunate times, Love and trust prevail, so take this, keep it or burn it, and be free to go or stay as your heart leads you." Priestess then consecrates initiate with oil, wine and lips saying: I consecrate thee with oil. I Consecrate thee with wine. I consecrate thee with my lips. So mote it be. PRIESTESS: I present you the meaning of the working tools of the craft. The Athame and sword - in ages past, it meant many things to many people. For the ALchemist, it was a symbol of purifying fire. In the Magicians Handws, it was a protection against malevolent spirits and hostile enchantments. For the Lusty Pagan it represented virility, victory and fertility. There were legends that said the sword or Athame possed a prescence all its own and could shine like the moon and emit lightning bolts. We witches and pagans today, think of teh sword and athame in these sundry ways and use it to cast the circle with the blue flame which expands into a protective sphere of light. We should add our generations symbol to the list of the ancient ones by depicting the edges of the blade as love and wisdom, with the point being power. As you cast your circle with these working tools, think of these three things in perfect balance and so shall be your sacred space. The Scourge - It represents the school of severe lessons to remind the witch of the trials and tribulations one must go thru to reach the source of life. If one desires to grow and change for the better one must know it is not done without pain. The Pentacle - It represents the union of the elements with the spirit. Pagan kelts like the Egyptians, revered the pentacle as a sign of the underground goddess known as Morgan. In her honor, the solar her gawain carried a pentacle on his blood-red shield. The center of the apple cut side ways symbolized kerridwens cauldron womb. The Censer - The Censer is a minature altar on which sweet essances are burned to prepare a sacred space and provide a suitable atmosphere for magical workings. Incense is a very subtle substance which vibrates on many planes of existance, thus carrying our supplications to higher realms." PRIESTESS : We salute you, (name), in the names of Kerridwen and Kernunos, newly made (priestess/priest) and witch." Now Priestess presents initiate to the four quaters by leading (her/him) to each altar saying: "Hear oh mighty ones of the (NOrth, East, SOuth, West), (name) has been consecrated a (priestess/priest) and witch of the Druid Oak Circle." Now coven dances spiral dance around initiate, charging (his/her) aurua. Cakes and wine, sing, chant-whatever. `Close the circle in the usual manner.'

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