Wicca: Initiatory Traditions

The third type of initiation in initiation into a spiritual, magical or religious tradition; for example, initiation into Gardnerian Wicca, the catholic priesthood, the Freemasons, Druidry or initiation into a particular occupational craft, each of which held its own lore and secrets.

Most of these occupational crafts have been lost to us, through there are some remnants in Freemasonry and also amongst Gypsy horse traders. The initiatory processes of the priesthood are practised by some Pagan paths including Wicca.

The fourth type of initiationinitiation into a particular order, lodge or coven – is closely related to the third, but may be separate from it. Some Wiccan covens will be membes of a particular tradition such as the Gardnerian or Alexandrian traditions. In these groups, the initiation into the coven will be an initiation into that coven’s group mind.

It will also be an initiation into the group mind of the greater family, that of the tradition of which that coven is a part. This creates an inner kindship with what is in effect a widespread family or tribe.

Other covens may be stand-alone groups. The group may be a closed family tradition. Other stand-alone groups are established as the result of a particular leader or leaders drawing students to them, or because a group of friends decided to form their own coven.

The quality of stand-alone groups will vary according to the spiritual and magical development of those who establish them.

In Wicca and the Western Mystery Tradition generally, we speak of properly contacted groups. These are groups whose group minds have strong inner contacts to the Gods and whose leaders are advanced in their own initiatory processes. In Wicca, groups in properly contacted traditions will have the accumulated initiatory power of many generations of initiates. Coming into contact with such groups can speed up our inner development; not only because of the amount and level of teaching they can offer, but also because they contain a power house of spiritual energy.

Initiation into a properly-contacted tradition can precipitate or speed up the second type of initiation – the inner growth process which returns us to the Godhead.

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This post was last updated: Jul. 7, 2006    
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