The following ritual is for use in initiation by a group. Obviously, while it serves as a useful template for your particular coven, you may need to change things. For example, if your group honors a particular god or goddess, you may wish to include their names in the ceremony. Also, if there are parts of this rite that simply don't apply to your coven's practices or beliefs, eliminate them as necessary. Remember, this is only a sample ritual, and can be adapted or adjusted as you see fit. It is designed to be led by a High Priest or High Priestess, who is assisted by an already-initiated member of the group, referred to as the Guide. The person being initiated is referred to, for this ritual, as the Seeker.
Many covens choose to have their Seekers wait in a room outside the initiation area. If you opt to do this, you may want to light a fire, or create an altar space where the Seekers may meditate or make offerings to the gods of your tradition. It will be the job of the Guide to escort each Seeker to the initiation area.
For this particular rite, upon arrival at the covenstead, the Seeker should give the Guide his or her magical tools so that they can be consecrated by the High Priest or High Priestess. The Seeker is escorted to the waiting area, where they are asked to remove their clothing cover themselves completely in a black sheet. If you don't feel comfortable with ritual nudity, the Seeker may wear a ritual robe and be blindfolded instead.
In the initiation area, the HPS should create a sacred space in the manner of your tradition. If this involves casting a circle, do so at this time. The Guide should bring in each Seeker's magical tools to consecrate. Once all items have been consecrated by the HPs, she will signal the Guide to lead the Seeker into the initiation area. If more than one Seeker is being initiated, each should be led in individually, and the initiation area should be far enough away so that Seekers who are waiting cannot hear what is taking place. As the Guide and Seeker approach, they will pause before entering the initiation area.
The HPs says: Who approaches this sacred space?
Guide: I bring you one who wishes to know the mysteries of this coven, and who wishes to honor the god and goddess.
HPs: Seeker, by what name will you be known within this sacred circle?
The Seeker responds with his or her magical name.
HPs: The gods have deemed you worthy. Please enter the sacred circle, and kneel in their presence.
Once the Seeker has entered the initiation room, there's not much for the Guide to do but wait. After the last Seeker has entered the initiation room, the Guide should quietly enter the room as well and take his place in the circle.
HPs: Seeker, before you are initiated as a Dedicant, are you ready to be purified?
The Seeker is then ritually purified with earth, air, fire and water -- salt or sand, incense, candle, and consecrated water.
HPs: By joining this coven, you become part of a greater spiritual family. As such, you are part of an endless circle of kinship and hospitality. Hail ye, Gods and Goddesses! Hail to kinsmen and clan, to the ancestors who watch over us, and to those who may follow. Here before you kneels [Name], the Seeker, soon to be a sworn part of this coven.
Seeker, the mysteries of the gods are many. We can never hope to learn them all, but we can indeed follow them on our journey through this life and the next. As a Dedicant, you will learn and grow and evolve every day. You will seek new knowledge, and attain it in direct proportion to your efforts. Let the Gods and the Ancient Ones guide you on your travels.
Are you willing and able to uphold the values and principles of this coven?
Seeker: I am.
HPs: Are you prepared, Seeker, to be born anew, to begin this day a brand new journey, as part of your new spiritual family, and as a child of the Gods?
HPS: Then rise, [Name], and emerge from the womb of darkness, and be welcomed into the light and love of the Gods. You are no longer a mere Seeker, but a Dedicant of this coven.
At this time, the Dedicant emerges from the covering, and is covered in his or her consecrated ritual robe. If your group has allowed the Dedicant to wear their robe for initiation, at this time remove the blindfold.
HPs: This robe represents your role as a Dedicant within the coven. It marks you before the gods as one who wishes to follow their path.
At this time, the HPs should present the newly-initiated Dedicant with his or her consecrated magical tools.
HPs: I give you these tools, and bid you use them wisely, and always in accordance with the mandates and guidelines of our tradition.
HPs kisses Dedicant.
HPS: Welcome, [Name], to your new family. May you be blessed by the Gods.
If you wish, the HPS may give the Dedicant a certificate of initiation at this time. After each Dedicant is initiated, they should take their place in the circle with the other members of the group.
When the entire group has been initiated formally into the coven, end the ritual with a salute to the gods and goddesses of your tradition.