First Degree Goddess Initiation Essay
Kambrielle Twilight 1/27/06

I have always walked the path of the Goddess, though at first I did not truly realize it was Hers. I had dabbled in Her craft previously, mostly due to the fact that my high school clique was sporting pentacles, and they looked pretty. I accumulated a few books, only to stash them on my shelf a few months later to collect dust.

But something called me back. I experimented with various faiths, reading about Buddhism, Christianity, attending the Unity Church. Nothing was quite right. Then, in August of 2004, I met two of the most amazing women who have shown and taught me so much since our friendship began – Estella Willowroot and Sif Redeagle. Maybe I returned to the path because of their support, maybe because I longed to study the mystery and magick of paganism again. It probably had to do with both.

The coven slowly gained more friends and sisters. I tried simultaneously learning about the Goddess in other places through formal “training” and classes, but found these approaches to be too hierarchical, too formal, and honestly, containing too much masculinity and not enough of the Goddess’s feminine mystery, reminding me too much of the lessons of the Christian church that were shoved down my throat (not by my parents, but by others around me, and the Christian school I attended for 6th and 7th grade). Though I received no acknowledgement or farewell when I announced I was leaving, I gently, and appreciatively, let this group go, for they still had taught me important lessons. I knew it was time to go. I began to focus my attention more on the Coven of the Goddess.

With every ritual, Sabbat, and Esbat I perform with the coven, I am reminded of what the Goddess is to me. She is everything that we lay our eyes and our hands upon. Her force flows through everything and everyone. I see her most in my cat, my family, the smiles and eyes of my nephews, my coven sisters, and most profoundly, in the glittering night sky. She captivates me every night with her Moon. I believe that her energy can be tapped into to bring about what is desired. She has granted me many things I have asked for and healed me and others, all through ritual and prayer. I see her teachings, mysteries, and energy as loving, healing, destructive, powerful. Her planet, our Earth, and her Nature shine with these aspects.

The planet and its wellbeing is something I have become very involved in since before my discovery of the Goddess’s Craft, but more so recently. Since she formed this Earth so many years ago, our habits and actions have become more and more destructive. The Earth is our home, one of the many manifestations of Goddess we have, and one of the most precious. I feel that every positive, or negative, action I take part in comes back to me. By respecting the Earth, and fellow humans around me, I feel I am doing Goddess’s work and walking her path with truth and dignity. I take my part in protecting the Earth by recycling, eating organic food as often as possible, driving with alternative fuels, and not eating meat (very rarely eating fish).

Karma is a very real thing to me, as mentioned before. As a child of the Goddess and a student of her Craft, I feel it is my duty to spread respect and awareness to all walks of life, whether it is in large actions or small. I treat everyone as I would like to be treated, knowing that this kindness will return to me like a boomerang. If I know I have wrongfully, without justification, purposefully hurt someone, I literally have a hard time sleeping at night.

I feel that this path has caused me to grow into a young woman with a good head on her shoulders and a respect for the planet, her surroundings, and the people of the Earth. I am fully prepared to initiate into this coven. The following segments of my essay will prove that I have studied and learned all that is to be learned when initiating. I would like to note that there are many techniques and ways for doing the following, but I am outlining the accepted technique of the Coven of the Goddess that I have learned.

Preparing Sacred Space/Casting Circle
Before casting circle, it is important to cleanse oneself of the day preceding the ritual. I will admit, I have had many days coming to circle straight from work and have not had the means, or the time, to take a proper ritual bath and cleanse myself with oils and change into ritual clothing. Normally, one could take a ritual bath by putting cleansing oils and herbs (such as chamomile, birch, cedar, lavender, cinnamon, peppermint) in the bath and cleanse themselves of the negativity from the day, literally washing it down the drain. But if the means to do this are not accessible, a good grounding (pulling the energy from the earth to cleanse and rejuvenate oneself) before ritual is also a good way to cleanse. Smudging with sage or incense or anointing oneself with oils are other ideas.

To prepare sacred space before casting circle, take a broom and “sweep” the negative energy from the space, walking widdershins, or counterclockwise. The broom does not even have to touch the floor, instead, you can state your intent of cleansing the room of negative energy as you sweep. Since the space has been cleared of negative energy, it is a good idea to bring in the positive. This should be done by walking clockwise (deosil) around the room and saging.

The altar needs to be cleansed next. On the altar will be water, salt, and incense for cleansing and purifying. Take each tool and use a representation of the elements to cleanse them; anoint them with oil, cleanse with salt and water mixed together, draw each tool through the smoke of the incense. Say something to the effect of: “Creature of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, I cleanse and consecrate thee from all negative influences. So mote it be.”

The circle is then ready to be cast. Stand at the north, holding the coven ritual sword to the sky and draw in the energy of the Goddess. Walking deosil (clockwise), visualize energy of any colour (I choose blue) streaming from the tip of the sword as you chant, “I cut this circle thrice around to keep love in and evil out,” until you are back where you started in the north. This is literally cutting the boundaries of our circle, separating it from the outside world.

Next, add salt to the water and stand again at the North, drawing in the energy that was cut from the sword. Then walk again deosil, sprinkling water with every step, and chanting, “Water and Earth, where thou art cast, no adverse spells nor purpose last, hear my words, accord with me, and as I will, so mote it be.”

When you have returned to the starting place in the north, take the incense and hold it to the sky, once more drawing in the energy of the circle. Then again, walk deosil, this time guiding the incense smoke around the circle, chanting, “Creature of Fire, this charge I lay, no phantoms in thy presence stay, hear my words, accord with me, and as I will, so mote it be.”

It is then time to cut the watchtowers and invite the Elements to join the circle. Take the coven’s athame in your hand and pull energy into it. Then walk to the East and carve a pentacle in the air before you to open the portal so the Elements may enter freely. Pierce the center of the pentacle, then hold the athame close to your chest and wait while the Watchtower is called. Move to each direction and repeat. When invoking each Element, let your heart move you to say whichever words come most easily. After each watchtower has been invoked, the candle representing that watchtower should be lit.

Once this is finished, bless the circle by saying: “O sacred circle, let thou be a meeting place of love and joy and truth, a shield against all evil and wickedness, a rampart of protection and shall preserve and contain the power that we shall raise within thee. O sacred circle I do bless thee and consecrate thee in the name of the Goddess, so mote it be.”

Then invoke the Goddess, using whichever words come freely to you. An example would be, “Dear Goddess of a thousand names, we gather in your presence and the power of your Moon tonight and we honor you. This circle is cast. Blessed be.”

When the ritual is done, dismiss the watchtowers using your own words, then thank the Goddess for being present in the circle. The circle is then open, but the magick stays within us and is processed by the Universe.

The invocation I intend to use for my initiation will follow at the end of the essay.

A Witch’s Tools
In order to cast circle, one must have an understanding of a Witch’s tools and how they are used. While tools can be found almost anywhere, the most meaningful and powerful tools, I believe, are made by the Witch herself. Tools are used as an extension of the Witch to bring what is intended into being. The basic tools and what they stand for are:

The Pentacle: This is a five-pointed star inside a circle. Each point represents one of the five elements, and many believe the center of the star represents the Goddess.

The athame: This tool is a knife, used for any type of magick involving cutting. Its element is fire, probably because fire is used to forge the blade.

The wand: The wand is for drawing in and directing energy. It can be used to direct energy at a certain point. Its element is air.

The cord: The cord is a representation of the weaving together of sisters in a coven, uniting them together.

The chalice: This tool represents the womb of the Goddess. Its element is water. Drinking from the chalice is a way to unite with Goddess and enter intent into the body.

The cauldron: The knowledge that Goddess gives us is held in the cauldron, providing warmth and enlightenment to us.

The broom/besom: As outlined in creating sacred space, the broom is used to sweep negative energy from an area.

The sword: It is used to channel the intent of the coven while opening and closing circle.

The Elements
Another very important part of ritual and spellcasting is using the elements. The elements are a sure way to bring about what is intended. We are constantly surrounded by the elements: the breeze, the grass and ground, the sun, the rain/rivers/ocean, reminding us that Goddess is all. The elements have correspondences, which are used for ritual and spellcasting:

The element of Earth stands in the north, and represents money, prosperity, fertility, healing, and employment magick. The mystical creatures that Earth embodies are gnomes. The element is represented by the earthy colours of green, brown, black, deep blue, and rusty reds. The herbs and plants represented by Earth are amaranth, barley, buckwheat, comfrey, grain, hops, ivy, corn, millet, oak, oats, root vegetables such as carrots, wheat, alfalfa, allspice, blackberry, chamomile, clover, ginger, High John the Conquerer, lavender, mandrake, moss, poppy, rosemary, tea, almond, pecan, pine, benzoin, peppermint. Its stones are agate, aventurine, crystals, emerald, geodes, hematite, iron, jasper, lead, malachite, obsidian, onyx, smoky quartz. Earth’s archangel is Uriel. The zodiac sign is Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.

Air’s direction is east. Its mythical beings are sylphs, faeries, angels, griffins, Pegasus, sprites. Its colours are yellow, sky blue, white, lavender, pastels. Herbs: Violet, lavender, pansy, meadowsweet, bittersweet, caraway, citron, clover, dill, mastic, mint, parsley, sage, vervain, anise, marjoram, ash, aspen, maple, palm, primrose, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, patchouli. Stones: Alexandrite, citrine, jasper, labradorite, mica, pumice, quartz, topaz, fluorite, amethyst. Air’s archangel is Raphael, and its zodiac signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Air rules ideas, air travel, astrology, atmosphere, beginnings, change, clarity, comedy, communication, concentration, contemplation, creativity, information, justice, intellect, mathematics, mental agility, new beginnings, planning, psychism, studying, teaching, telepathy, truth, words.

Fire is to the south. Colours: Red, orange, gold, bright yellow. Its mystical creatures are salamanders, dragons, phoenix, sphinx. Herbs: Carnation, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, red poppy, snapdragon, chamomile, damiana, ginseng, onion, oregano, rosemary, thistle, allspice, black pepper, cayenne pepper, holly, laurel, pine, witch haze, cactus, flax, mistletoe, yucca, cedar, dragon’s blood, frankincense, juniper, ,white sage, cinnamon, musk. Stones: Agates, amber, bloodstone, coal, fire opal, flint, gold fluorite, hematite, jasper, lava, obsidian, pyrite, rose quartz, ruby, serpentine, tiger’s eye, topaz, tourmaline, zircon. Its archangel is Michael. Fire rules aggression, anger, attraction, authority, brilliance, candles, changes, cleansing, competitions, conflict, defensiveness, creativity, healing, lust, drama, passion, orgasms, inspiration, leadership, sex, sexuality, transformation, sports, willpower, violence.

Water’s direction is west. Its mythical creatures include undines, merfolk, sirens. Herbs: Aloe, belladonna, burdock, duckweed, flag, hemlock, henbane, licorice, moonwort, mugwort, spearmint, tamarisk, valerian, watercress, wintergreen, wolf’s bane, wormwood, heather, hibiscus, iris, jasmine, seaweed/algae, morning glory, orchid, peony, poplar, willow, witch hazel, bamboo, cattails, hemp, reeds, rice, sugar cane, cypress, eucalyptus, jasmine, vanilla. Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, azurite, blue calcite, blue florite, blue lace agate, celestite, coral, jade, lapis lazuli, moonstone, mother of pearl, pearl, sea salt, sodalite, turquoise, silver. Its archangel is Gabriel. Water rules cleansing, transformation, change, compassion, dreams, hormones, cycles, emotions, motherhood, music, the subconscious, receptivity, reproduction, intuition, sensuality, secrets, feelings, scrying, tears, the unconscious, wishes, divination, nurturing, motherhood, healing.

My Plan For Casting on Initiation Night:
After cutting the circle, I will invoke the Elements, starting in the East. Before invoking each Element, I will cut the portal with the athame. Then I will say:

Vast Element of Air, Join us in our witchy lair
Grant us your intuition And clarity of mind
As we leave the mundane world behind
Hail and welcome!

Warm Element of Fire, Instill in us passion and desire
Bring us transformation And lust for life
As we bathe in your firey light
Hail and welcome!

Fresh Element of Water, Enter these hearts of the Goddess’s daughters
Guide us in tonight’s wishes As we swim in your energy
Like the fishes
Hail and welcome!

Strong element of Earth, Gather with us in our hearth
Ground us so we all connect, Shield us from foe or hex
With your branches and deep roots
Hail and welcome!Great Goddess, She who is All, with a thousand names and many more mysteries
We gather together, amidst your powerful elements
Bound together as coven sisters in perfect love and perfect trust
We honor you, dance in the light of your fire
We are humbled as we learn your lessons
Be with us tonight, Keep us safe from any outside harm
Be here now, for you are here always! Blessed Be!