SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Reader Request: Womanhood Initiation Ritual

Womanhood Initiation Ritual

Earlier this week I asked my readers what they wanted me to write about. I have some of my usual posts lined up for later in the month, but wanted to know what you witches really wanted from me. I got answers and ideas across the board, and promise I will cover as many of them as I possibly can. Some may take a little longer to answer, like the person waiting since January for me to post about office magic, but I promise, I am getting there. Haha!

So the first post I want to cover because it seems the most time-sensitive comes from a reader via Facebook: "Humm.. what am I about to pick up I need help with... initiation rituals. I need something for a serious, not tv stupid menarche party for my Tinkerbutton. I've got her fabric pads. I've got her a tree of life necklace, we've had loads of talks! Now I'm just waiting for aunt flow to show! Lol"

What a wonderful suggestion! After doing a bit of research, and I mean deep digging research, there isn't a whole lot available for women regarding initiation rituals. The whole "Period Party" is as close to modern initiation into womanhood as we currently get, and it's pretty exclusionary as not all women have periods! Because of this, I wanted to write an initiation ritual that all women could use, whether it be when they start their period, when they turn 16, have their first baby, or transition. I didn't want to leave anyone out. Simone de Beauvoir said in best in The Second Sex, "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman."

This particular ritual is best performed on the Full Moon when the Divine Feminine is strongest, but any important day will work as your Divine Feminine is strongest within yourself. So if your period begins in the middle of the Waxing Moon, go with it. Your official transition date is the New Moon? Do it! Pick a day that works best for you.

What You'll Need

  • white veil or shroud
  • table to sit objects on
  • red candle
  • lighter/matches
  • a bowl of purified water with a pinch of salt
  • red apple
  • knife/athame
  • a chalice of red wine or juice

What to Do

This ritual is best completed with at least 2 people but can be modified to do alone, on the Full Moon or any other special occasion. Begin by cleansing, charging, and/or blessing your items. Whatever method you chose is up to you. Personally, my go-to is always sage, because I have a ton of it. I also really enjoy blowing on an object and imagining all the residual energy blowing away with it. Prior to the ritual whoever is being initiated should take a purifying bath or shower. Once cleansed, they should either dress in all white or wear at least a white veil or shroud for the beginning of the ritual.

Womanhood Initiation Ritual

When ready, lay out the objects on the table with the candle at the top center, the bowl of water to the left, the chalice of red wine/juice to the right, and the apple in front of the candle. Then create sacred space in whatever way you wish. Feel free to cast a circle and call quarters, but do not invoke any deities at this stage. Skip that step for now. Once sacred space has been established light the red candle and invoke the goddess Artemis by saying,

"With this red candle, I ask Artemis, Goddess of Sovereignty and Young Women, to join our ritual to bless this young woman as she transitions into womanhood of her own volition. May you watch over us all and bring strength and courage as we march forward into the future."

This can be said by the initiator if working with more than one person or by the initiate if alone. Next, bless the water. The initiator should hold their hands over the bowl and say,

"I bless this water in the name of Artemis, Divine Huntress and Protector of Young Women. May it be cleansed and purified in Her name."

Dip 2 fingers into the blessed water and place your fingers on the initiate's forehead. The veil or shroud should still be covering their face at this time. Say,

"With this water, I cleanse and purify [insert name here] before me. May she be blessed by Artemis as she transitions from a child into womanhood."

Next, have the initiate pick up the knife and apple. Then the initiator says,

"The blade symbolizes the last roadblock between [insert name] and womanhood. The apple represents the Divine Feminine, the Forbidden Fruit, the life-giving gift of women. By cutting through the apple, [insert name] will make the final transition into womanhood."

The initiate should then cut the apple in half while saying,

"I break the chains of childhood and recognize that now I am a woman. I accept my Divine Feminine and vow to honor her daily. I will allow no one, including myself, to devalue me. I will stand tall as I walk this path and ask that Artemis continue to bless me in the future."

Womanhood Initiation Ritual

Lift the veil and allow the initiate to take a bite from one half of the apple. The other half should be given to Artemis as an offering. Next, the initiator should dip 2 fingers into the red wine and place them on the initiates forehead, now uncovered, and say,

"With this red wine, I anoint [insert name] with the life-giving gift of women. May it spark creativity, strength, and perseverance."

Finally, snuff out the candle and say,

"We thank you, Artemis, for your grace and protection during this initiation ritual for [insert name]."

Remove the sacred space and go party! This is a time to celebrate!

Why You Did It

For this spell, I drew heavily on mythological representations of women from the red candle to the red apple to the chalice of red wine/juice. Let's begin with the veil. Veils are commonly used to represent a transition from one life to another. During a wedding ceremony, the white veil represents purity prior to the transition into marriage. In the case of this ritual, it means the same thing, but not in a patriarchal sense. Children, by definition, are pure beings. The veil represents that purity, not that it suddenly goes away when one becomes a woman, but instead, it changes form, which is represented by the lifting of the veil. The lifting symbolizes the transition from childhood to womanhood.

Next, we have the red candle. Candles, in general, attract spirits and deities which is why there is a candle in the first place. It's red to symbolize blood or menstruation. I mentioned in the introduction, however, that just because a woman doesn't menstruate, it doesn't mean she is less of a woman. The candle allows us to symbolically represent blood and menstruation, the life-giver of all animals, even if the soon-to-be-woman is not menstruating or cannot menstruate.

If you have been following my blog for any period of time, you know that I don't believe in any deities, but I felt compelled to include Artemis into this ritual based on her mythology alone. One of the most famous initiation rituals for young women involved the Cult of Artemis at Bruaron. Furthermore, Artemis is said to rule over all biological transitions of women, from before puberty to the first childbirth, which makes her the perfect goddess to invoke when we are talking about initiation into womanhood.

Next, we have the blessed water, later followed by the red wine/juice. The blessed water acts as a final purifier before the transition into womanhood. At the same time, it blesses the soon-to-be-woman with the blessing of Artemis. The now woman is finally touched with the red wine/juice, which also symbolizes menstruation and the life-giving properties of blood. This is the finally blessing of Artemis and is meant to infuse the now woman with a "woman's life force." Women, by nature, have the ability to bring forth life, but that doesn't always mean bringing about a child. It also means creating artwork, poetry, businesses, and the like. Basically, anything that involves the act of creating. The water and red wine/juice are presented in a bowl and chalice respectively, again symbolizing the "womb" or life-giver, even if you don't physically have one, you still have a location for creation. Both of these were touched to the forehead or third-eye to awake the innate Divine Feminine all women possess.

And finally, we have the red apple, the ultimate symbol of womanhood in my opinion. Again, the red symbolizes blood and the shape of an apple conveys the womb, but it is the Biblical tale of the apple that resonates with me. I don't care what your current beliefs are, the story of Eve plucking an apple from the Tree of Knowledge is known around the world, and still holds sway within the witch community. Eve taking a bite of that apple was the ultimate act of rebellion; it was her initiation into womanhood, despite the Bible framing it as a sinful act that led to the downfall of man. Screw that! It was a woman taking possession of her Divine Feminine. The act of slicing and biting into the apple recreates this act of rebellion, solidifying the transition into womanhood. I knew the moment I was asked to write a womanhood initiation that I had to include the famous apple as the final act. There was no avoiding it.

Unfortunately, this is not a spell you break. However, you can choose to no longer recognize the initiation. Simply light a black candle, thank Artemis for her grace, and let her know you no longer wish to recognize the initiation. Make sure you leave Artemis an offering when finished. And, as always, remember to record your spell in your Book of Shadows or use my spell/ritual worksheet to keep track of the spell.

Have you been initiated into something before? How about womanhood? Share your stories in the comments below, and if you tried this ritual yourself, I would love to hear how it went!

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