3rd Degree Initiation

Ritual Preparation

This ritual requires 5 priests in the following roles:

  • The Sword, who stands in the East and carries a sword. This person will take on the god form of The Morrigan.
  • The Shield, who stands in the North and holds either a copy of the coven seal or a pentacle. This person will take on the god form of Hecate.
  • The Cup, who stands in the West and holds a goblet of water. This person will take on the god form of Cerridwen. As part of the assumption of the form. The Cup will perform Kala on the water.
  • The Flower, who stands in the South and holds a red rose. This person will take on the god form of Lilith.
  • The Teacher, who is in the Center (there is a chair for each at their respective places with a small altar next to each), leads the candidate through the ritual, and takes on the god form of Kali-ma. The Teacher will drape the candidate’s black initiatory cord around their neck before assuming god form, and until the cord is tied around the waist of the candidate. It is preferable that the person taking on this role be a 3rd Degree as well, but, if circumstances are such that that is not possible, then allowances can be made. Also, if a couple is initiating to 3rd together, they can do this role for each other.

The candidate must write their own ordination vows and have it with them before entering the circle.

The Ritual

The Teacher casts the circle in the usual way. The candidate waits outside the circle, but is present for the casting and calling in of the deity. They are to wear all their cords and can be skyclad or not. They can also wear jewelry, as no flogging is involved.

The Teacher Calls in Kali-Ma. The sword, shield, cup, and rose are in the center on a small altar’

The Teacher: I, Kali-Ma, call upon my Sisters! Come, join me for we have work that must be done!

The Teacher picks up and pulls the sword from its sheath. She moves to the east and hands the sword to one who is The Sword. Kali takes a step back and The Sword Calls in The Morrigan (in their own words).”

The Teacher returns to the center and picks up the shield. She moves to the North, hands over the shield, and The Shield calls in Hecate (in their own words).

The Teacher hands over the cup in the same manner, and The Cup calls in Cerridwen (in their own words).

The Teacher hands over the rose in the same manner, and The Flower calls in Lilith (in their own words).

The Teacher returns to the center and faces towards where the candidate stands outside the circle.

The Teacher: We are the givers of wisdom. Is there one here, who would learn what we have to teach?

Candidate: May I enter the circle to learn?

The Teacher: Who are you to ask for this Teaching?

Candidate: I am [$candidate], High Priest and Magus, and I ask to enter the circle!

The Teacher: Why should you enter Our space?

Candidate: Teach me, Kali Ma! What is my purpose?

The Teacher nods and opens the circle to allow the candidate to enter the circle. At the edge of the circle, she challenges the candidate as in 1st Degree.

The Teacher: You who stand on the border between the worlds, have you the courage to learn what We are about to teach you? For it would be better to impale yourself upon my blade than make the attempt with fear in your heart!

Candidate: I do.

The Teacher (putting down her blade): Very well. This is a journey you must make on your own, I cannot lead you, only guide you on the journey. Start in the East, and when you have learned from all of the Teachers in this circle, come back to me.

The Teacher moves to the Center while the candidate moves to the East. The Sword blocks her way.

The Sword: You are a sword. Swords can cut, swords can cleave, swords can divide, swords can block, swords can control, swords can lead, swords can command. Are you willing to wield the Sword, remembering that Swords can never truly help?

Candidate: I will.

The Sword taps the candidate on each shoulder (as if knighting).

The Sword: Very well, you may continue to the North.

The candidate does one complete circle, passing the East, and then The Shield stands in her path.

The Shield: You are a shield. Shields can protect, shields can reflect, shields can return force as like unto its source. Are you willing to be a Shield, remembering that Shields can never truly help?

Candidate: I will.

The Shield holds the shield to the candidate’s heart and gives blessing.

The Shield: It is well, you may continue to the West.

The candidate does one complete circle, passing the North, and then The Cup holds out the goblet in front of the candidate.

The Cup: You are a cup. Cups are the repository of power. They hold strength and space for others, never for themselves. Are you willing to be a Cup, remembering that Cups can never truly help?

Candidate: I will.

The Cup gives the candidate the goblet and the candidate drinks from it.

The Cup: You are doing well, you may continue to the South.

The candidate does one complete circle, passing the west, and then The Flower approaches the candidate, holding the rose by the stem horizontally in front of them.

The Flower: You are a flower. Flowers carry beauty and truth, and thus they illuminate the worlds. Are you willing to be the Flower, remembering that Flowers can never truly help?

Candidate: I will.

The Flower gives the rose to the candidate.

The Flower: I give you this flower as a symbol that you have accepted the lessons We have taught you. Give this to my Sister, so that she may know you have completed the journey.

The candidate moves to the East and then moves to the center to stand in front of The Teacher.

The Teacher: I see you have received all of the lessons of the Wise. What is your question?

Candidate: Who, Teacher, can truly help?

The Teacher: Yourself, child, only yourself. [slight pause] Do you understand the lesson?

Candidate: I do.

The Teacher: Then, priest, what is the vow you give to Me, the gods, and all those present as a Teacher of the Craft?

Candidate reads the vow they have written, and then hands out the rose to The Teacher. The Teacher takes the rose and touches it to the candidate’s forehead like a wand.

The Teacher: In the name of all of the gods and spirits of the Universe, I accept your vow and name you as one of the Wise. I charge you to remember the vow you have taken here, and all the vows you have taken on your journey, and to use your power wisely and well. So mote it be!

The Teacher kisses the candidate on the forehead, and gives the rose back to the candidate. She removes the black cord from around her own neck, and ties it around the waist of the candidate.

The Teacher: I now bestow upon you the black cord. It is a symbol of your power and authority as a teacher of our Tradition, but it is also is a symbol of the knowledge you have gained on your journey as a witch and as a human being. This cord is also a reminder that you have vowed to teach and lead others responsibly. It is now your right to lead a coven of your own, if you so choose, and add to the body of work that is the Open Source Alexandrian tradition. May you find joy, life, and light in all that you do!

Now, [$candidate], High Priest and Teacher of the Tradition, take your place among the Wise and proclaim yourself to the Powers!

Candidate: Hail to the spirits of the [East, South, West, North] I, [$candidate], who is now ordained as High Priest and Teacher of the Open Source Alexandrian Tradition, greets you and thanks you!

Welcoming of the new High Priest/Teacher, mystic repast, thanking of the gods, and then close the circle as usual. Or the circle can be closed in the usual way, and a party be held afterwards.


The 3rd Degree Ritual is based upon the poem The Sword by Sarah Thompson and written by Rev. Gina Pond