This Paganing/Wiccaning ritual is essentially a naming ritual that welcomes a new member to the family. It was used for the baby girl in the red dress in her Daddy's arms and earlier for the other two children in the picture, but you can replace gender pronouns/nouns of she/her/daughter with he/him/son as appropriate for personal use. This ritual allows the option for the godparents to perform a greater part of the ceremony. For a female, the godmother plays a slightly greater role, for a male the godfather. The tradition is that females represent the feminine for a girl and males represent the masculine for a boy. A priestess can do the ritual for either a boy or girl, unless asking a Priest to preside over a boy's wiccaning seems appropriate, or adapt it to allow a duel role. For the couple who live away from family, clan or coven, one can customize the ritual for a private ceremony of just the parents, father representing the masculine and mother representing the feminine. Adjust the ritual as you like. The gods will still smile.)
My family tradition for blessing a newborn child was a blessing of the elders; one or more of the grandparents, godparents did a quiet informal blessing. I was actually christened in the Episcopal Church first; and later rechristened Catholic I never considered my godparents to be anyone but the first couple which the Catholic church did not recognize. Although I lost my godmother at an early age, her blessing left an indelible tattoo on my personality and inclinations. And my godfather and I were very close.
As, one by one, my clan openly chose to follow a pagan path, it was evident that no welcoming ceremony would exist for their children unless I wrote one. So, I offer the following. You can cast a circle, we do not believing the earth alone is sacred space enough to hold this celebration. We honor the elements, as is my family tradition and address divinity as a duality; as Sun & Moon, Earth & Sky & Mother & Father and Lord & Lady.
I make small keepsake booklet of the ceremony adding art and extra prayers, then bind them with colorful silk cords that I order from Hallmark (used on wedding invitations and programs). I change font colors to identify when someone other than the HPS/HP should respond. The program allows the ceremony to flow without instruction from the priestess and gives a comfort level to the participants by letting them know exactly what they need to do or say. (Some of my clan are not pagan.) And I weave a tri-colored wiccaning cord as a magickal memento that can be hung over the bed, tied to the bedpost or otherwise used as a talisman of protection.
PS ~ I never hold a ritual where laughter or spontaneous reaction is not welcome. I do not hold solemn rituals. Solemnity is for those religions that live within stone walls. My rituals are all casual, relaxed, and joyful.
Setting: outdoors, the altar, circle dressed any way you like
2 oils: one to represent the Lord/solar/masculine energy, one to represent the Lady/moon/feminine energy.
Holy water: Sea water, salted spring water
Wiccaning cord: tri colored for protection.
The father is holding the child
We gather today to welcome a new member to our clan. Thank you all for coming to celebrate this joyous day when we acknowledge life, continuity and the enrichment of our family with this bright spirit.
Calling the Elements
Spirits of air, From breeze and breath
and thundercloud we call thee;
Spirits of fire, From light and heat
and warmth we call thee;
Spirits of water, From river and lake
and ocean we call thee;
Spirits of earth, From field and
cavern and mountain we call thee;
Cast your blessings upon our child
And become a friend to her!
Presentation of the Child
It is said that a child is the meaning of life. It is never more obvious than today, when we welcome a new Daughter into our family before this company, both seen and unseen,
We welcome her with love,
We welcome her with gifts,
We welcome her with a name.
Who stands for this child?
Parents reply: Her parents
Counsel to the Parents
You, who come before us now as the parents of this child, are already learning what it means to be a parent.
It is to love and nurture
To heal and teach
To comfort and listen
As you help them grow
It is to encourage them
To walk in your laughter,
But know they have smiles of their own.
To give them your gifts
But seek out the gifts they bring with them.
It is to take in and cherish all that they are
So that one day you might let them go.
For your children do not belong to you
They belong to themselves and to the future.
It is the greatest responsibility we take
For they will not wait until you have time to teach
They will learn with you or without you.
Your love has become manifest in this small being
Remember all of creation is sacred,
This small spirit is sacred
Even when she doesn't want to go to bed.
Who stands with these parents?
Godparents say: We do
Counsel to the Godparents
It is a great responsibility to guide a child to wisdom.
It is to open as many paths as you can to her
And lead her to her own path
of light and wisdom
That she may know goodness
And knowing it, choose it.
Neither for the promise of Reward
Nor the fear of Punishment,
But because it is the wise thing to choose.
And having chosen
It is to be second parents to her.
Ready to council, ready to love,
Ready to be there when needed.
In other words, you have the right to butt in.
Are you prepared to make this commitment?
Godparents answer: Yes
Blessing on the Godparents and Parents
May the Lord and Lady,
whose love gave birth to the world,
guide you in your responsibilities
Naming the Child
To the ancients, naming was no slight thing,
for it was said that to name a thing
was to make it real.
The father now lifts the child high in the air...
The father says: This child's name is _______.
The father hands child to mother
Blessing the Child
Godmother anoints forehead with Moon Oil (solar cross, pentagram or simply touches to forehead thrice)
HPS (or Godmother) says:
Lady of Night our celestial mother,
We ask your presence here among us now.
Bless your Daughter with Wonder, with Laughter and with Joy.
Godfather anoints forehead with Sun Oil(solar cross, pentagram or simply touches to forehead thrice)
HPS (or Godfather) says:
Lord of Light and King of Day,
We ask your presence here among us now.
Bless your daughter with Strength, with Courage and with Joy.
HPS (touching lightly or hovering over each)
Blessed be your eyes that you might see clearly and deeply.
Blessed be your ears, that you might hear truth and music.
Blessed be your lips that you might speak with kindness and wisdom.
Blessed be your feet, that you might walk
the path of Beauty and Balance
all the days of your life."
Godmother now makes a silent wish/prayer for child and seals it with a kiss
Godfather now makes a silent wish for child and seals it with a kiss
Godmother (or godfather if the child is a boy) introduces the child to each family member and each family member touches the child in some manner and makes a wish or blessing for them and places a kiss. (on hand, foot, head, where ever)
The child is given back to mother
The godfather places the Wiccaning cord over child (touching child)
HPS (or Godfather) says:
Receive the Blessing of our Father Sky
May he protect you all of your days,
Guiding your steps as you go your way.
HPS (or Godmother) says: (touching child)
Receive the Blessing of our Mother Earth
May she comfort you all of your days,
Wrapping her arms around you
as you go your way.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Mother , Father,
We thank you.
For the gift of Life
And the beauty of the world in which to live it.
For the gift of Love
And the wonderful people
with whom we share it.
But most of all for (name of child). . .
Who is both life and love.
And we ask your blessings on her today.
Godmother (or Godfather if a boy) dips fingers in holy water and draws a solar cross over the heart of Child.
Little one, receive the blessing of the Spirit,
Which binds us all together
From which we are formed
And through which we are made manifest
The mother then gives child to the father. The mother take off child's shoes (if child is wearing shoes). The family squats down and the mother ritually pressed child's feet onto the earth.
You came to us from the Summerland. . .
A child of Tir Nan nOg,
Now, you are a child of the Earth.
All say happily:
The family stands again.
Thanksgiving to the Elements
Spirits of the Earth, Air Wind and Fire
We thank you for your help
Never be far away from our children
and answer quickly when
(Name of child) calls for you
that you might aid her in her need.
Final Blessing of the Child
HPS (touching child or signing over the child)
May the Lady and the Lord
Smile gently upon you
May you choose your path wisely
And walk it well.
May you be gentle and strong.
May you be loving and wise.
And may you be happy...
For the world is good.
Blest be the children
Blest be the day
Blest be the family all.
© 1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Ardriana Cahill
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