Initiation is an important part of the rites of passage. For the most past, initiation does not only indicate a stage of learning or achievement, but also accompanies or inspires inner change. Initiation bears a somewhat mystical nature, and it is performed when the person shows signs of inner discovery or a deep inner change.
Initiation rites may differ slightly from tradition to tradition, but the rite is just the outer manifestation of the initiation. Personal experience is what counts, and this must be experienced personally. Since the name-giving alone does not guarantee that the person will become a witch/ wizard, it is necessary for the person to opt to “practice” in order to receive initiation. The first stage in initiation is consecration. This is the obligation to learn about the wicca that the person applies to himself, to the community, and to the goddess and god. If the person is committed to consecration, it attests to a certain level of commitment, but does not yet attest to total membership, as initiation does. It is generally accepted that at least a year and a day must elapse between consecration and initiation. This time is devoted to studying the principles and practice of wicca, including the practice of (white) magic. An important part of initiation is learning the group’s technical “language,” so that the person can communicate easily with others of the same tradition.
There is no specific age when initiation is permitted, even though many groups do not permit minors to join a group that practices wicca actively. A 15-year-old may be knowledgeable and mature enough to choose a religious or spiritual path, but his parents and society are liable to forbid him to implement his will actively.
When the person studies wicca, there are three stages or three possible initiations. It is commonly said that “the initiates of the first stage are responsible for themselves; the initiates of the second stage are responsible for the cell/ coven or group; and the initiates of the third stage are responsible for the community, for the whole.” Every group and tradition has its own definitions, levels of study and specialization for each stage. The minimum time for progressing from the first stage to the second stage and from the second stage to the third stage varies, but it is accepted practice to wait at least a year and a day between stages.
Not all witches and wizards attain all three stages, but ideally a wicca practitioner has practiced and studied at least for the first stage. Wicca is a religion of “priests,” that is, everyone who gets through initiation is considered to be a priest or priestess as a right and not as a favor, and is fully capable of communicating with the god directly.
In various wicca traditions, the title “High Priest” or “High Priestess” is given only to people who have attained the third stage of initiation. In other traditions, the title is used for the leader of the cell/ coven.
Day-by-Day Wicca: A complete guide to Wicca from Beliefs and Rituals to Magic and Witchcraft (Astrolog Complete Guides)