A Wiccaning Ritual 
OakGrove! Family Pagan/Wiccan Resource Pages
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Copyright Zephyr Lioness, 1997. This document may be used and distributed freely, so long as the copyright remains attached. This ritual was modified for our occasion on July 9, 2005, at Moonpath CUUPS.
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Goal: 

This ritual is for the purpose of formally naming a child, and
presenting her or him to the universe. It is a first rite of
passage for a new life, called "christening" in Christianity. Other
names are "saining" or "quickening."

For this ritual, we call upon the Goddess Yemaya. For another
family, we might call upon another goddess and perhaps a god.

Websites about Yemaya:

http://www.geocities.com/annafranklin2/blueandwhite.html
http://www.angelfire.com/wizard/whitemagik/gods/yemaya.html
http://www.ace.net.au/darkmoon/yemaya.htm

Preliminaries: 

Do this ritual when the parents are sufficiently recovered from the
birth that they feel like contending with people again! Rushing
this can spoil the joy of it for exhausted families. Some
traditions chose to do this at a specific time, for example the
first new moon after the birth date, the equinox or solstice of the
season in which the child is born, etc. Pick when you feel would be
most appropriate. 

Invite people who care about this child, and will be watching over
it. Family (by blood or chosen), Goddess Parents, if any, and
friends. Advise people that they may bring a small, symbolic gift
to the child if they so desire. This need not be costly or
traditional things like toys or clothing, though that is okay too.
It could be a poem, a gemstone, a collection of photographs or
something the person made for the child. Ideally many of these
things can be saved so that the child can have them again at age 18
or so, to see all the wishes people had for them. Some examples
might be "I bring this book and candle to {child's name}, in hopes
her intellect will burn brightly." "I bring this teddy bear to
{child's name}, in hopes that he will feel safe and comfortable
throughout his childhood." "I bring this song to {child's name}, in
hopes she will be blessed with appreciation of music." etc. 

If the baby cries through this, no problem. She/he is just
participating! Announcing their presence, just go with it in the 
ceremony, and do not become frustrated. 


Supplies:

Traditional altar set up, and a candle to match the color of the
zodiac sun sign under which the child was born. Guests and their 
symbolic gifts, parents and siblings of the child and their
symbolic gifts. If the name has a visual symbol, you may place
something on the altar to symbolize it, in our example, a 
{child's name} feather for {child's name}. 


Ritual:

Set up the altar, call the quarters, cast the circle and invite the
deities. A sample deity invitation is below, use appropriate
invocations for other deities of you choice:


Welcome: 

Priestess: "This ritual is for the purpose of formally naming a
child, and presenting her or him to the universe. It is a first
rite of passage for a new life, called "christening" in
Christianity. Other names are "saining" or "quickening"."

Cast the Circle: 

Call the Quarters: 

HP: "Join us Elementals of the East! Bring to us all the airborne
powers of your domain."

HPS: "Join us Elementals of the South! Bring to us all the burning
powers of your domain."

HP: "Join us Elementals of the West! Bring to us all the flowing
powers of your domain."

HPS: "Join us Elementals of the North! Bring to us all the solid
powers of your domain."


Invite the Deity:

"Great Goddess Yemaya, protector of the young. We ask that you
attend this rite, and welcome this child to the moonlit earth."

Parents approach altar with baby. 

Priestess: "Who is this new traveler?" 

Parents: {child's full name} 

Priestess: Raise cauldron of water and draw pentacle in the air
before the child. "I bless you {child's name} with the power of
water and earth."

Draw pentacle on child's third eye with salt water on finger. "I 
bless you, {child's name} by the power of earth and water."

Priest: "Yemaya is the Goddess of Creation, well known in West
Africa among the Yoruban, and in the Caribbean and Brazil. She is
often depicted as a mermaid and is associated with the moon, the
ocean, and female mysteries. Typically portrayed as a beautiful
woman, Yemaya governs the household and intervenes in women's
affairs. She is a merciful goddess, invoked by women for aid in
childbirth, love, and healing. She rules over the conception and
birth of children and ensures their safety during childhood." 

Priestess: "Lady Yemaya, protect {child's name} with your
vigilance, let her breathe in your fresh air of the forest. Let her
be strong, free and independent as you are. Guide her hunt for her
own path. Protect her through the darkest of nights, and help her
ponder the infinity of the deep blue sea." 

Parent: One of the parents takes baby and faces him/her in each
direction, starting with east. Once Priest/ess has made the
blessing for that direction, the walk slowly clock wise until they
face the next direction, where they pause for the next statement. 

Priest: "Welcome Elementals of the East! Recognize this person
{child's name}. Help her to soar in the limitless sky of thought 
and imagination. Send {child's name} gentle breezes to guide her on
her path. Bless {child's name} with all the airborne powers of the
East."

Priestess: "Welcome Elementals of the South! Recognize this person
{child's name}. Warm her, strengthen her Will with your energy.
Send {child's name} light to help her prevail in the challenges
that await her. Bless {child's name} with all the burning powers of
the South."

Priest: "Welcome Elementals of the West! Recognize this person
{child's name}. Help her to swim the deep seas of emotion and
empathy. Send {child's name} cleansing waters to cleanse her of
doubts and confusion. Bless {child's name} with all the flowing
powers of the West."

Priestess: "Welcome Elementals of the North! Recognize this person
{child's name}. Help her to stand firm on mother earth. Send
{child's name} rich soil to root in, and connect her with all that
is. Bless {child's name} with all the solid powers of the North."

Optional God/dess Parent Component:

The Goddess Parents should be brought forth then to the center of
the circle, and the parents as well. one parent should hold the
baby. 

Priestess: "In times past, children were not the sole
responsibility of the biological parents. This responsibility is 
too great for any one or two people to bear alone. I hope that all
in the community would help a child in need. As a reminder that
children need many sources of support, the tradition of the goddess
and god parents arose. These chosen people will have a special
relationship with {child's name}, will be there should she need
someone outside the home to talk to. To share experiences, and to
be a 'neutral' and loving third party should the family need help."

Priest: "{God/dess parent's name or names} will you participate in
the upbringing of this child, {child's name}. Will you be there to
listen to her, and help and advise us for her welfare if
necessary?" 

God/dess parents answer: "We will!" 

Parent passes the child to the god/dess parent. If there is more 
than one, the goddess parent holding the child repeats:

"Bless and keep you {child's name}. I will be here for you."

and then hands it to the other or next god parent. Then the parent
takes the child back.

Here, all might join together to share cakes and wine.

Priestess: "Perhaps there are some presents, some symbolic gifts
for {child's name}?

As part of the celebration, make a time to let each person present
their symbolic gift to the child, and state their wishes. It is
best to go around for this so everyone can hear and join in this 
portion of the ceremony. This may be done inside the circle before
if desired. 
  
Priestess: "Thank you great Goddess Yemaya for your presence here
today. Thank you for your love, your healing, your protection of
children, and your never ending blessings. Stay if you will, go if
you must, go in peace."

Thank the Elementals of the Quarters for their energy:

Priest: "Thank you Elementals of the North for your solid powers
and joining us today. Go if you will, and do not tarry along your
way."

Priest: "Thank you Elementals of the West for your flowing powers
and joining us today. Go if you will, and do not tarry along your
way."

Priestess: "Thank you Elementals of the South for your burning
powers and joining us today. Go if you will, and do not tarry along
your way."

Priest: "Thank you Elementals of the East for your airborne powers
and joining us today. Go if you will, and do not tarry along your
way."

Priestess: "Our Circle is open but unbroken. merry meet, merry
part, and merry meet again!"

Priest: "It is my tradition that we hug one another following a
Ritual."
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