A witch’s initiation will look different for each witch. Maybe you’ll be initiated into a coven by another member or High priestess. Maybe you’ll be initiated by the spirits when you’re just a child. A god or goddess may call out for you to walk the path. OR an ancestor or familiar. Maybe something traumatic happened to you that led you to the craft. Whatever way you’re initiated is unique and sacred to your path. But if you’re curious as to what a witch’s initiation entailed, here’s a real witch’s story of initiation by spirits as a solitary witch AND initiation into a Wiccan coven.
Back in the day, all the books said you had to be initiated into witchcraft by a High Priest or Priestess of a coven. Where I lived in rural America, there were no covens. At least none that I could find. Yet I was pulled to the craft as a teenager and wanted to learn all I could. I wanted to be a real witch. Years later, I came to realize I had always been a witch…and that I’d been initiated by the spirit world at a young age.
The first part of my initiation process started as a little girl in the form of dreams. I didn’t just dream every night, I had earth-shattering, frightening dreams that didn’t go away when I opened my eyes. Wolves chased me in my dreams and when I woke, they stared at me from the shadows of my room. These wolves were actually spirit guides trying desperately to get my attention. I had shapeshifting dreams, flying dreams (which I now know was astral projection), and dreams in which I flew to other worlds and spoke with creatures that were half human half animal.
Illness, near death experiences, and trauma often seal the initiation process for a new shaman. I believe it’s the same with witches. I never had a near death experience, but unfortunately, I dealt with trauma as a child. At one of the most tumultuous times in my life, around the age of 13, I recall having a dream in which I was taken into a cave. There, people and creatures I didn’t know cut open my stomach, removed my bowels and sewed me back up. Another common shamanic motif is dreams and visions of being mutated or disemboweled by spirits or otherworldly creatures.
I believe children have a natural ability of sensing and seeing spirits and otherworldly creatures. But I believe witches have an even heightened ability as children that continues into adulthood. As a girl, I had multiple experiences with the spirit realm. In addition to sensing ghosts and dark spirits in places, I was also visited by the faerie realm. These visits weren’t always fun. In fact, they were mostly disturbing. Spirits are everywhere, but I believe they know when someone can sense them and they are attracted to that.
Something I’ve noticed with most witches – they always ask questions. They question everything. And they are particularly inquisitive as children. I remember as a child I would ask why things were the way they were. I quizzed my grandmother on questions about Heaven, angels, God and much more. In Sunday school, I was the kid asking the teacher why God made mosquitoes and why God made Hell and the Devil. My questions stumped adults. Witches are seekers and they are wise beyond their years.
After being solitary for the majority of my teen years, I moved out of state and met a girl who was part of a Wiccan coven. She invited me to check it out and so I did. There were twelve people who all claimed to be Wiccan yet they all followed a different tradition. Because of this, this coven said it was an eclectic Wiccan coven. They offered me the thirteenth position and on Beltane, May 1st 2007, I was initiated by the High Priestess into the Circle of Ash. It was a beautiful ritual, outside and under the stars. As I said my part, it began to lightly rain as if the Goddess was raining tears of joy. I’ll always remember that moment.
Unfortunately my coven disbanded not long after my initiation. I’ve been solitary ever since (for the past 13 years). Even though I had an “official” witch’s initiation ceremony, I believe a witch’s true initiation is an incredibly personal and multi-layered process. This process lasts years and typically begins when the witch is a child. And it’s not a pretty process. It’s sad and its brutal, at least at first. But we always comes out whole on the other side. Once we walk the witch’s path with conviction and love, the path becomes something majestic and truly enlightening. And if you choose to ignore the call to witchcraft? It’ll come back again and again until you have no other choice by to heed its call.
People say you become a witch, which I believe is only partially true. I believe we are born witches. We were witches, medicine men, shamans, healers, cunningfolk, midwives, monks, conjurors, priests and priestesses in past lives and this energy never leaves us. It’s a mark on our souls we carry into each incarnation. We are born witches but we are also made witches by our connection to the spirit world, by our interest in things unseen, and by our undying love for nature and life’s great mysteries. In conclusion, witches are born witches and yet we also choose to walk the path.
The mist filled path leading to an ancient moss-cloaked graveyard. The feeling of your soul …September 24, 2023