First Degree Goddess Initiation Essay
Silver Wind Woman 9/10/05

I am Silver Wind Woman, new to the path in this lifetime but as old as one soul can be. I have always had a spiritual connection like many, called beyond traditional teachings of the man made church. I have struggled with my self since I was thirteen years old between being a “good” Christian and following what I have felt inside, not realizing until now, they are the same once dogma has been removed. I am a witch, a healer, a mother, a maiden on my path and very much a crone as well. I had a hard time writing this essay because I wasn’t sure if I should go into a history of how I got here, not to write all of that and was just not sure of a direction. So I have decided not to go into my struggles of spirituality but to share my first experiences with Goddess, totems and where I see myself now and how I see Goddess today.

My first remembered experience with Goddess was at the age of thirteen. I began to have dreams that I didn’t understand. The dreams would go like this:
Always on a night of a full moon, I would find myself in a mountain meadow near a cabin and I was afraid of something, but did not know what I was afraid of. From my left a lone silver wolf would come out of the forest and I would begin to follow him down a path out of the meadow. There was a sense of urgency to get away from the meadow. The wolf and I would walk together throughout the night until, right before dawn, when the path would meet the road. The wolf would stop and we would wait in silence until the sun came over the mountain and a bay stallion would come up the road on my right. Once the stallion would appear, the wolf would leave and I began to follow the stallion down the mountain road. We would start at a walk, then a run, then it was like we were flying. We flew a long distance until on a bend of the road was an entrance to a cave. We would stop at the entrance and the stallion would leave me and I would enter the cave. After a few hundred feet, the path would widen and eventually I would enter into a large multi level cavern. The cavern was cool and smelled ancient or old. On the different levels of the cavern were sleeping wolves; my entrance never disturbed them. A brook ran through the middle of the cavern and near the center was a little old woman sitting on the ground near a fire. She would beckon me to sit across from her and I felt safe, like I had reached sanctuary. We would never verbally communicate, but she would tell me many things.

Since then, whenever I am in danger, and this danger usually is of myself, not taking care of myself and neglecting my spiritual health, Grandmother brings me to her. She has shown me many things when I chose to listen. Unfortunately, for the greater part of my adult life, I ignored her and eventually she went away. I put my husband in place of my higher power, my divine, and lost myself in the process. But like a mother, a grandmother, when I realized I needed her and chose to listen again, she was right there like we never parted, for I know though I wandered away she was always there, watching.

For me now, Goddess is everything in my life. The air that I breathe, the food that sustains me, the good and the bad. I know without a connection with Her, I am lost and void. To borrow a line from the movie, “The Mists of Avalon,” she is in everything, “Goddess is balance, the balance between predator and prey, father and son, without her is chaos and destruction.” (pardon the paraphrasing). For I have seen in my life the chaos and destruction of self and those around me when I have not acknowledged her or welcomed her in my life, whether I was working with Her as Goddess as I do now or as God as I did for so much of my life. Without the Divine Essence, there has been no balance whatsoever.

She is the Goddess of a thousand names and for me that includes all that is male too, because though there is difference in energy of sexes, my Divine is all combined. I work with my Divine as Goddess because to be honest after the hatred filled doctrine of the man made church, a father who abandoned me, a step father who tried to molest me and a husband who wasn’t always that nice, though looking back on my relationship with him, now see my own insecurities and inhibitions that effected that relationship, I simply cannot pray or commune with “God”. But, oh how can I commune and talk to Her. She who is loving, nurturing, protective, vengeful, mothering all in one. I feel her in the earth, hear her in the wind, burn with the passion of her desires and am washed with the waters of her womb. I am Goddess and She is me. To love Goddess is to Love me, to respect Goddess is to respect me, to abuse Goddess is to abuse me, to neglect Goddess is to neglect me. How can I not understand that simple relationship? The more I work with Goddess, the more I work on me, to do her work as she has called, to share her love and light to this world which is surely filling more and more with darkness.

The Holy Trinity:
Unlike most pagans, witches, I do not wear a pentacle or pentagram. I wear a triquetra. This is a Celtic symbol originally symbolizing the Maiden, Mother and Crone as well as Air, Earth and Water. Later, as Christianity took over in the Celtic regions, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were all associated with this symbol. *(It is now widely seen as the Power of Three symbol on the TV show “Charmed”). To me this symbolizes my view on the trinity, united as they should be but sadly are not.

I see all three aspects of Goddess in myself. The maiden, new, learning, the essence of youthful expression and still amazed by the little things shown to me. Like a child, and teenager discovering whom they are. I will admit through my life I have never felt young, so to begin to experience “maidenhood” in my life now has been refreshing and amazing and confusing all at the same time. More willing to take chances and feel the desires of my heart and go for them. Like the freshness of spring and a new beginning, coming out of the darkness or underworld, bringing light and beauty. That is the maiden aspect I have discovered and love.

I am mother myself of two beautiful girls and I tend to be the one who everyone runs to. It was a joke in the old group of friends of my husbands and mine, everyone called me “mamma”. I took care of everyone, they came to me for advice and I was at least 10 years younger that everyone in our little group of friends. I have always felt mothering, a need to take care of everyone. Unfortunately, my harvests were usually bad, or never reached maturity, because I tended not to weed out the “ick” and totally neglected myself. Finally the mother in me is listening and taking care of me, so that I can truly in time of need, be the mother to those who need me to be.

I have always felt like a crone. Old, like I have lived a million years. A wealth full of knowledge I had no idea where it came from or worse, what to do with it. Like a huge disorganized library. Now, working with the Crone aspect of Goddess, taking time to go into myself, into the dark time of the year, am learning to listen to my old crone self, share with others, and be humble enough to know when I need help.

We as women are all three and to learn this has been a freeing experience for me and to be able to share that freedom with others, I just can’t wait.

ELEMENTS
The element work to get to this point has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have always been more at peace in the mountains communing with my Divine, but never understood the significance until I did the totem work.

I never knew or realized how refreshing the early morning air was. It is exhilarating, awakening, not only to the physical body, but the spiritual. Air, oxygen, without them physically, we cannot survive, but spiritually, without the awakening of new ideas, intellect and understanding, one cannot have an enlightened spiritual life. There is always something new to learn, a new perspective on an old ideology, a new understanding of self. My air totem is made of tree branches off birch and quakey trees. The quakey tree (Aspen tree), shimmers and moves in the wind making music, it sounds like air. These branches are woven together in a dream catcher shape, but instead of the web in the middle, there is a fairy looking into a mirror, reflective, introspective, seeking and looking for something new. Off of the dream catcher hangs white and yellow ribbons adorned with crow feathers and bells. These represent the creatures of air and music.

To be purified by fire. Fire burns out impurities in metals, working with fire, I found also burned out impurities or self doubts in self. Fire sometimes destroys whole forests and lands, but the ash left behind is fertile and the most beautiful, luscious greens grow from the ash. While most books I have read associate fire with passions and desires on a sexual basis, for me from the ash of flame has sprung passions and desires of life, of love of self and of others. Passion is a wonderful thing, to feel it grow and bloom, burn within ones soul. Fire is also very male in nature and very protective. I have had recently, while some adversities have come my way seen the protective nature of fire, not only I visions, but in circle. While casting circle, several times with all new candles, my fire candle has burned ¾ more than the rest. I know I am protected.

Being a woman, connected with the moon is also to be connected with water. The fluid of the mother, another element of which physically we cannot live. Lack of water, pure fluid caused dehydration and illness in ones body. Dehydration can also happen in our spiritual being. The element of water connects us to the essential fluid of Goddess, like the umbilical cord in a mother’s womb provides nutrition to the baby. Water allows us to tap into Goddess with intuition, psychic ability, and emotions. Water is also cleansing and pure. Sometimes a good cry is a very cleansing ritual. To wash out pain, misunderstanding, hate, hurt, love and to leave the raw open wound, now cleansed, not allowed to fester, but to been seen clearly. I have always been afraid of water, until I realized I was afraid of what lied deep inside and did not want to face the emotions and be “clean” of those things which enable me to hang onto hate and discontent. I allowed Goddess to cleanse me with her water, faced the dark festering things inside and honestly, I absolutely love water now. I love wading in the creek, no longer afraid of falling into a deep hole and drowning or being swept away. (kinda silly huh)

Finally earth. Mother Earth, Gaia, Danu, where we all came from. I love dirt, it is refreshing, grounding, it smells good. In dirt a small seed can manifest and grow into a gigantic tree. That is how I see earth in my spiritual self. The fertile ground in where all the other elements are necessary to promote growth and life. Dirt, earth has many healing qualities, minerals, gems and stones. Mother earth is just that, the heartbeat of self, a solid foundation to put ones feet and a safe place to ground and be connected.

With working with the elements I understand how they all work together. If one plants a seed in the dirt, but does not give it adequate water, it will not survive. With out purging of old, dead underbrush, new growth cannot occur. Without oxygen, many things cannot survive. Balance of all is necessary in our physical world; with out the balance we see droughts, disease, flooding, etc. In one self, without balance of these elements new ideas, new desires, new seeds of inspiration, will only be able to grow so far before being drowned by to much emotion, die due to lack of understanding and awakening, or become old and overgrown, hidden in the darkness.

SACRED SPACE
Until joining Coven of the Goddess, I never really enjoyed sacred space, creating it. I saw it as just unnecessary ritual propaganda written in a book. Why could I just not commune with Goddess anywhere in any manner I wanted too? But, now sacred space is just that, a special place for me to commune with Goddess very personally and intimately, without fear of interruption or negative bombardment of thought.

I am very spontaneous with communing with Goddess and do most of my workings outside. Thus, very seldom have access to tools. When I find space I feel like communing with Goddess in, I still now create sacred space to dwell with her in. I will do this by facing north, taking in deep cleansing breaths, until I feel balanced and centered. I usually do a short grounding and centering meditation. Once I feel right within self, I will cleanse my space by walking winddershins or counter-clockwise, using my hand in a sweeping motion visualizing all negative energy being swept away. Once satisfied with the cleansing, I will again ground and re-center. When I feel ready, I will cast circle. I again use my hand, extending my index finger directing my energy to cast circle. For whatever reason, when I cast my own personal circle, the energy I see is not blue, but red. Like flame. Once my circle is cast, as I usually do not have tools of water and earth, and air and fire, so I will ask the elements to bless and protect my circle, building a wall of protection. Then I will call quarters and proceed with whatever it is I have decided to do.

However, on nights of Full Moon or if I am gathering with others for ritual, I take time to mentally and spiritually prepare myself. For example, when it is Full Moon with the coven, that morning, I will take extra time in the bath or shower to commune with Goddess, ground and center myself, balance my chakra’s, etc. I pick out my “witchy” clothes, because wearing them keeps me in mind of what is to come that night and helps me to stay focus throughout my day, not allowing extra stressed to interfere with the workings to come later that night. I will put on oil instead of perfume, wear jingly things. This is all for mental preparation for the upcoming ritual puts me in my witch persona so to speak.

TOOLS
I have never really worked with tools other than my book of shadow, journals, book of mirrors, etc. Now having acquired my own tools, have a connection to them and see them as and extension of myself. A tool does not a witch make, but a witch makes the tool.

WAND
This is my favorite of my tools. I had a vision in my mind for months of what it would look like, but every time I sat down to make it, it never felt right. But then during a week of my life where I was turned upside down and every which way, a magpie decided to commit suicide by flying into the grill of my car. And I stopped to pick it up, which is something I never do. I asked for its tail feathers and wings, then left it outside to dry. I had plucked the tail feathers and set them beside the carcass of the bird. I intended to make fans out of the wings. But when I went out the next day the carcass was completely gone and the tail feathers were still there. That night I just HAD to make my wand. Everything fell in to place. My wand is made from a red barked water shrub that grows by my house (I do not know what kind of tree it is), the tip is a dark purple fluorite tip that has a light green line in the middle running up and down. On the front are 9 gems. The tip is bound by leather and the leather criss-crosses down the front of the wand. There is a stone in the middle of each criss-cross. Off of the top of the wand, attached to leather strands are three tail feathers from the magpie. The wand I associate with air and energy. It is a pointing tool, used to direct my energy where I destine it to go. Very powerful, used to bless, consecrate and invoke.

ATHAME
Forged by flame, the athame represents fire to me. Purified by the heat of flame, the metal is strong and pure. Another tool for directing energy, being also a “weapon” or tool of protection.

SWORD
I use my sword to cast circle if I am in my house. Like the athame, it is forged by flame and strong, protective. To direct energy with the sword, it making the statement “you will not disturb me in my time of work”.

CHALICE
My chalice has special meaning and I do not use it, but it sits on my altar. I had a vision with Cerridwyn allowing me to drink of her cauldron, to learn her wisdom and magic and it was my chalice I saw in the vision and in the vision it was left on Cerridwyns altar. My chalice represents the knowing, wisdom, intuition and calling on my life. My connectedness with Goddess on a personal, intimate level. Connected with water, the mother’s fluid, it sets in the west side of my altar.

SENSOR/INCENSE
Representing air and fire, I burn incense on and around my altar. A way of purifying and consecrating items and surroundings. I burn incense also as an offering of fragrance to Goddess.

CAULDRON
I have two cauldrons; one is a green Dutch oven type pan I bought at a garage sell. I first used it at our Cerridwyn Full Moon where we mixed herbs. It now sets on the extension of my altar and I put various flowers and herbs in there to make potpourri and incense. My other cauldron is cast iron, pot bellied. To me the cauldron represents the knowledge and wisdom of Goddess as well a symbol and tool of rebirth.

PENTACLE
The pentacle is a tool associated with earth. Honestly I do not use a pentacle on my altar, though there is a small representation on my chalice. I do use the symbol of the pentacle though. I will draw a pentacle when I am working to connect my self with the other world, as when one cuts pentacles in circle to pierce the veil between worlds. I see the pentacle also as a sign of Goddess, a way to identify oneself with Her in a symbolic fashion and a symbol of unity. The pentacle is a five pointed star representing Spirit, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

BOOK OF SHADOWS
My Book of Shadows is a three ring binder almost already full of information. It also contains my Book of Mirrors, so that I can work with both of them together, because often time, I am writing both at the same time. I everything important to me in this book. The writings of my meditations and visions, lessons on sabbats, Full Moon Rituals, New Moon Classes, Reiki. I like having it all together in one place. It is an extension of my brain, my memory.

BOLINE
I have a white and red handled knife I use as a Boline or working knife. It has a nice feel to it; it called to me when I saw it.

I also work with various stones, herbs, pendulum, dowsing rods and a staff. But I truly believe a witch’s most important tool is herself. Allowing her self to be an example and portrait of the goodness of Goddess is the best and most impressionable tool a witch has.

Now I have written this, I hope I have not ranted and raved too much or gone on side journeys, as I tend to do sometimes. I know in my heart, that there is a calling from Goddess on me that I have to fulfill. To show those who hurt and need healing Her love. To take on and help people through their pain and suffering, to change the world by simple kindnesses, listening to Grandmothers direction. It is a calling and a responsibility at times I have not wanted, but now know is important, a destiny. And I don’t mean this in and arrogant manner, like I am to be this mighty great person, but each of us by simple doings, simple kindnesses, a little sacrifice and listening, can truly change the world around us.

I am Silver Wind Woman. I am a Witch. I am a priestess in Goddesses honor to shine love and light into a world, shrouded by hurt and darkness.

Initiation Ritual for Silver Wind Woman
September 10, 2005
Cast Circle with Wand and Sword:
With wand and sword this circle I lay, mighty winds and sacred flame, in honor of Goddess, here proclaim. That I may come before you a humble priestess and servant, to the work laid hence, protect this rite and my sisters within.
Water and Earth:
Water and Earth, Earth and water, sprinkled on this holy ground, in your presence no ill will or spell abound. Build the wall, come join with me, as I will, so mote it be.
Air and Fire:
Air and Fire, Fire and Air, fuel this circle, your protection here. Casting shadows out of sight. Forged together we sisters here tonight. Build the wall, come join with me, as I will, so mote it be.
Calling Watchtowers: (With Athame)
Hail to the Ancient Guardians of the East. I, Silver Wind Woman, summon you to protect and witness this rite. May your blowing winds bring enlightenment and new beginnings. I bid thee Hail and Welcome.
Hail to the Ancient Guardians of the South. I, Silver Wind Woman, summon you to protect and witness this rite. May the heat of your passion burn in our souls to achieve our Goddess given desires and goals. I bid thee Hail and Welcome.
Hail to the Ancient Guardians of the West. I, Silver Wind Woman, summon you to protect and witness this rite. May your water of life bring us your knowledge of the ages. I bid thee Hail and Welcome.
Hail to the Ancient Guardians of the North. I, Silver Wind Woman, summon you to protect and witness this rite. May our foundations be rooted deep within your healing dirt, may the manifestations of our work be done. I bid the Hail and Welcome.
BLESS CIRCLE
Mighty Goddess, Grandmother, you have come to me in many forms, shed light into my darkness, given me the ability to no longer be the sparrow but to become the cat. For you are the Goddess of a thousand names and face.
You are:
Grandmother, my sanctuary and guide;
White Buffalo Calf Woman, who led me to vision of freedom and a path to take;
Cerridwyn, who allowed me to drink of your cauldron, to know your wisdom and knowledge, to know who I am and what I am to be;
Hecate, my patron Goddess, one who gave me my name, helped me out of the underworld of my mundane life, the holder of the key of mysteries, Queen of Witches and so much more..
As I enter the next phase of my journey, may I be your humble servant, shining forth your live and light.
I invite you to witness this rite here tonight and bless this circle.
I bid thee Welcome.
(INITIATION)
THANK GODDESS AND DISMISS WATCHTOWERS



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