Punk Prayers

Blessed Be and Five-fold Things

Recently here on Tumblr, there was a heated debate regarding the use of the phrase “Blessed Be,” with the assertion being made that it is unequivocally a reference to the Five-fold Kiss used in sex magick. While this origin is no doubt true, there is more to the phrase “Blessed be” than its origins.

At my first degree initiation into the Open Source Alexandrian Tradition of Wicca, a form of the Five-fold kiss was indeed used, but OSAT doesn’t use a different version for male and females. Rather, a gender neutral version had been created. On the one hand, this was great for me as a pre-op/non-op trans woman. But, the seemingly sexual nature of the Five-fold kiss made me uncomfortable. When I mentioned as much to my coven elders after my initiation, they asked why I didn’t say so before hand.

“Because I felt it wasn’t my place to challenge this,” I replied.

“Then we failed you,” came the reply from one of my elders.

This led to our coven redacting the Five-fold kiss even farther to how it exists now, the Five-fold Blessing:

  • Blessed be thy courage, that has brought you to these ways.
  • Blessed be thy faith, that will worship at the sacred altars.
  • Blessed be thy body, that shall enact thy will.
  • Blessed be thy heart, formed in strength and beauty.
  • Blessed be thy breath, the emblem of life.

This is the blessing as it has been used ever since.

So while “Blessed Be” might have its history in sex magick, that is not the be-all-end-all of that phrase as the various traditions within Wicca are free to adapt, redact, and change things as they see fit.

I’m an ordained third degree priest. I will always strive to be sure that my ministry is respectful of people’s boundaries, mine included. Additionally, as I promised in my ordination vows, I will be the teacher that is not afraid to learn from the student.

Be blessed.