A Wiccaning is comparable to a 'christening' in the Christian Tradition. During a Wiccaning the child is formally named, and presented to the world. If possible, all members of the family, or at least the immediate family, should be in attendance with various branches of the family tree represented as well.
In addition, anyone who will love or care for the child should also be invited. Guests are allowed to bring small gifts which are symbolic of their wishes for the child, for example a rose, for beauty; stock certificates, for wealth; a book, for intelligence, etc
Before the age of modern medical care, the community would wait until they were sure they child was going to survive before performing any form of Wiccaning. For this reason, there is no specific timeframe for this ritual to be performed. However, below are a few guidelines:
- At the first Full Moon Esbat after the child is born.
- At the first Sabbat after the child is born.
- A year and a day after conception.
- Three Days to Three Months after birth.
Obviously the time that you choose to perform the ritual is entirely up to you. The only requirement is that both the parents and the child have recovered enough from the birthing experience and have adjusted enough to the changes that a new child brings into a household. The day of the ritual all participants, including the child should be well rested.
Place a small basin of water on top of a flat stone. Flank the basin with a pink candle on the left and a blue candle on the right, and before this burn incense. In addition, have a dish of salt on hand as well.
Light the candles and incense. Cast the Circle
Mother& Father of us all,
we ask that you now hear our call;
we invite you into this sacred space
to help us bring this child to grace.
Invoke the Ancestors
I now call forth from space & time,
honorable spirits of our bloodline;
to join with us who’ve gathered here
and help us bless this child so dear
HP addresses the crowd:
“We are gathered here today to welcome the next generation into our family. Today we will point this child down the path of his destiny, and give him not only our name, which is his legacy by birthright, but his own name and his own identity. He will be blessed by our Lord and Lady, shielded by the elements, and loved by us all.
As witches, we know that to name a thing is to have power over that thing. Therefore, in accordance with our tradition, the parents of this child have given him/her two names. The first will be the name by which the world will know him in this life. The second, known only by his Mother and Father, will be his true name.
What name have you given your son/daughter?
Parents: We have named him/her _______________.
Parents hold child facing North. HP moves to the North and Sprinkles some salt on the child saying:
I call the powers of earth and creation
to bless (N) & give him a foundation
built upon strength and health,
growth, stability, and of wealth.
Parents hold the child facing East. HP moves to the East and censes the child with the incense saying:
I call the powers of air and mind
to bless (N) that he may find;
patience, wit, intelligence,
discretion and eloquence.
Parents hold the child facing South. HP moves to the South and passes the fire candle over the child saying:
I call the powers of fire and soul,
to bless (N) & make him whole;
Grant him a spirit grounded yet free,
bless him with passion and bravery.
Parents hold the child facing West. HP moves to the West and sprinkles the child with water saying:
I call the powers of water and heart,
to now bless (N) and impart;
unto him compassion & love,
& all of the blessings thereof.
The HP and Parents Return to the Altar. HP says,
“Family and friends, I present to you (N). S/he is born of our flesh and of our spirit; and because of that we vow to be his strength when he is weak, to guide him/her when s/he is lost, to feed his/her mind when s/he is curious, to nurture his/her body when s/he is hungry, to lift him up when s/he is downtrodden, and to exercise patience as we journey together from child to adult and beyond, and finally to love and respect him/her always. So Mote it Be!
Everyone in attendance repeats: So Mote it Be!
HP: Welcome into the family (name of child).
The child is then passed around to be greeted, blessed and kissed.