Strophalos of Hecate Initiation


Candidate will decide on who their initiator and sponsor is. The sponsor is the person that will ensure the candidate has what is needed for initiation, perform the Blessing of the Hands ritual, bring them to a separate room for meditation while the rest of the coven is casting the circle, and will be the one to bring them into the circle and give them the passwords (and help with any other answer prompts in circle). The initiator performs the Initiation Ritual proper and blesses the cords.

The candidate will bring a white cord and a black cord to the ritual (unless it is made for them by their coven members). 

It is preferable to begin the initiation blindfolded (and this ritual is written as such), however, the ritual can be performed without the candidate being blindfolded if this is their preference

Blessing of the Hands

This ritual is performed by the sponsor, then the candidate is brought to another room to meditate while the coven opens the circle. The Sponsor can give explicit meditation instructions or tell the candidate to meditate in their own way. 

The Initiation

The circle is cast in the usual way and deities are called in. If there is a particular deity or deities that the candidate wants called in for the ritual, they should let the initiator know prior to the ritual.

The initiator asks the sponsor to bring the candidate to the circle. The sponsor will go to the candidate, blindfold them, and tell them the passwords “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” They will then bring them to the edge of the cast circle. 

The initiator cuts a door into the circle and stops the candidate with their broom (or staff, or wand). 

Initiator: You who stand on the border between the worlds, have you the courage to undergo this rite? If not, it would be better for you to leave now than make the attempt with fear and doubt. 

Candidate: I do.

Initiator: And what are your passwords?

Candidate: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. 

Initiator: Very well. I welcome you into this Circle of the Wise! Let us begin the journey!

The Initiator takes the candidate by the arm and leads them to the East

Initiator: Hail to the Spirits of the East! I present [candidate’s name or candidate’s witch name] who is properly prepared to be initiated as priest and witch. 

Initiator says same at South, West, and North, and is stopped by the Challenger before they reach the East again. The Challenger and Lessons may be done by other members of the coven or others the candidate invites to the initiation. If it is just the initiator and the sponsor, the sponsor will take on these roles.

Challenger (holding up wand, athame, broom, or staff): Stop! (pause)  Many witches, when they come into their power, forget that the purpose of their magick is to serve others with compassion. I cannot let you pass without knowing what guides you in your magickal life. 

Candidate: Compassion and Service are my guides. 

Challenger: It is well, you may continue to the First Lesson

Air: East is the direction of Air, intellect and will free of ego. 

In the East lies the power of the Sword. 

Swords can cut, swords can cleave, swords can divide, swords can block, swords can control, swords can lead, swords can command.

Use the Power of the Sword wisely, for it can cut you just as easily as it can your victim.

The initiator moves the candidate to the South

Fire: South is the direction of Fire, passion and desire.

In the South lies the power of the Flower.

Flowers are the Bodhisattvas, both real and pretended.

Flowers are leaders by spirit, not by force of arms.

Flowers carry beauty and truth, and thus they illuminate the worlds.

The power of the Flower is the most dangerous of all, because Flowers can guide without truth.

The initiator moves the candidate to the West

Water: West is the direction of Water, emotion, mutability, flow.

In the West lies the power of the Cup.

Cups are the repository of power.

Cups can both purify and make manifest.

Cups can hold strength and space for others, never for themselves.

The power of the Cup is irresistible, but it can never operate alone.

The initiator moves the candidate to the North

Earth: North is the direction of Earth, protection, immovability.

In the North lies the power of the Shield.

Those who wield the power of the Shield by their Will place themselves between the darkness and the light.

Shields can protect,

shields can reflect,

shields can return force as like unto its source.

We must warn you that Shields are never invulnerable.

The initiator moves the candidate to the Center

Initiator: In the center lies the balance of the Powers.

A Witch seeking to make manifest effects upon the worlds would be well advised to seek the center as their Place of Power.

Heed now the Warning:

Swords, alone, can never help.

Flowers, alone, can never help.

Cups, alone, can never help.

Shields, alone, can never help.

Sponsor, behind the Candidate: Who then, can truly help?

Initiator: Yourself, child, only yourself.

Initiator (taking off blindfold): Now that you have had your lessons and taken your vows, I take off your blindfold, because, if it is still your wish to take the final vows of a fully initiated priest and witch, you must do so with your eyes open. Is it still your wish to proceed? 

Candidate: It is. 

Initiator: Then, as you are willing, repeat after me your final vow: I, [candidate’s name or witch name] in the presence of the Gods and Spirits, do of my own free will, swear that I will keep sacred and holy the Mysteries of the Art. That I will use my will and moral compass in the practice of my Art, always remembering that all beings are part of the Divine, and that all of my actions are sacred and holy rituals. This I swear by my guides of Compassion and Service, and knowing that my magick may turn against me if I break this, my solemn oath.

Initiator: We now will our power into you and connect you with the egregore of our tradition. 

Initiator signals all coven members to lay hands on the candidate. Initiator starts a tonal hum or chant that ends when the Initiator feels it is ready to be finished. When done, the rest of the group moves back to their places in the circle. 

Initiator (picking up the incense): I sanctify you with Air. (Circles candidate with incense)

Initiator (picking up candle): I cleanse you with Fire. (Circles candidate with candle.)

Initiator (picking up bowl of water): I anoint you with Water. (Anoints forehead of candidate with Water)

Initiator (picking up salt): I purify you with Earth. (Sprinkles salt on each shoulder of Candidate)

Initiator (picking up white cord): I now bestow upon you the white cord, the symbol of your initiation, a symbol of your power, and a symbol of the Light of Knowledge. Let this cord remind you of the vows you have taken here and that you have dedicated yourself to the path of a priest and witch. 

In the name of all the Gods and Spirits, I salute you, [name], newly made priest and witch!

All the other coven members and people in the circle congratulate the initiate. Then the initiator takes the initiate by the arm and goes to the East. 

Initiator: Hail to the Spirits of the East, and hear ye that [name] has been consecrated priest and witch! (Initiator brings initiate to the other directions in turn.)

Initiator brings initiate back to the Center. 

Initiator: We offer you one final choice. (Picks up the black cord.) In our tradition, the Black Cord is a symbol of your power and authority as a leader, and it is also a symbol of the knowledge and wisdom you have gained in your journey as a witch and a human being. This cord is also a vow that you will teach and lead others responsibly, with compassion and service as your guides. 

If it is your wish to claim this responsibility here and now, we will bless this Black Cord and bestow it upon you. 

If you wish to claim this responsibility later, you will then bless this cord and claim your responsibility, with the help of those you are leading, in sacred space. 

Which do you choose?

The candidate states their choice. If they choose it then, the cord is blessed by all in attendance and bestowed upon the initiate, otherwise, the initiator wraps the cord in a cloth, ties the bundle together, and hands it to the initiate saying, “Take then, this cord, and claim your power when you are ready to wield it.”

Then the coven has a mystic repast, Sacred Bullshit time, and a tarot reading for the new initiate if they so desire.

The circle is closed in the usual way.