Coming to the Edge of the Circle: A Wiccan Initiation Ritual by Nikki Bado

By Nikki Bado

This booklet bargains an ethnographic research of the initiation ritual practiced by means of one coven of Witches situated in Ohio. The contributors are contributors of the non secular group that describes itself as Wicca, the previous faith, or the Craft. inside this neighborhood, initiation is obvious either because the rite in which somebody turns into a member of the neighborhood and as a valuable transformative spiritual adventure, expressed via functionality and physically praxis. as well as contributing to our wisdom of this secretive non secular circulate, Nikki Bado-Fralick's research of the Wiccan initiation rite deals an immense problem to the widely approved anthropological version of "rites of passage." As a excessive Priestess in the coven in addition to a pupil of faith, Bado-Fralick is in a special place to give a contribution to our knowing of this rite and the culture to which it belongs. Arguing the price of her twin position as scholar/participant, she additionally bargains a considerate and perceptive self-analysis of the dilemmas this position comprises.

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Candles burned at every direction, their light and heat a spiritual and physical comfort in winter, but oppressive in summer. They flickered in the haze produced by the heavy smoke of the incense. The walls of the old church rang with singing, the call and response of Priest and Cantor with the voices of the Choir in their loft upstairs. The fact that the entire liturgy was sung in Serbian—a language in which I was not then and am not now fluent—certainly never lessened its potency for me. The Priest, mysterious in robes of black and sometimes of gold thread, disappeared occasionally behind the rich and ornate decorations of the altar doors.

Both the Mysteries and the Craft emphasize initiatory processes that lead to a widening of perceptions. Neither emphasizes theology, belief, or the written word. (italics in the original)11 Although her distinctions are perhaps a bit too cleanly drawn, Adler’s comparison of Wicca to Western mystery traditions is helpful to both scholars and practitioners in that it gives us other Western religious models that foreground transformational religious experiences and processes over text or dogma. Witches often describe the Craft as a nature religion, although precisely how this term is to be understood is contested both by scholars and Witches themselves.

He introduced me to all the classics of Craft writing. In the early seventies, books by Gerald Gardner, Margaret Murray, Janet and Stewart Farrar, Sybil Leek, T. C. Lethbridge, Charles Leland, and Justine Glass were practically mandatory reading for those interested in initiation. Some of the readings were a bit dry, especially the books on comparative mythology or anthropology. ” Many of these books were some of the first to talk about Wicca as an old religion of nature that survived but was driven underground during Christian times.

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