Wiccan/Pagan Rites of Passage

Rites and Rituals of the Desert Wind Coven

     Copyright © 2003 Gray Seal

Rites of Passage recognize and celebrate the various transitions of our lives and are turning points or markers by which our lives are shaped. In the Turning of the Wheel and Spiral Dance of life, Rites of Passage are the doorways through which we pass from birth to death. Some of these transitions are naturally caused and some are voluntarily chosen, but all mark distinct changes in how we and others see us. By recognizing these times of change, we honor all phases of our lives as natural and valuable to our journey.

Many Pagans celebrate their personal Rites of Passage with rituals to celebrate the changes they have experienced or are about to experience. These rituals help to feed our spirits and make our lives richer and deeper. Our modern society, with its fast pace and stress, has helped to eliminate recognition of many of our personal Rites of Passage, and as a result some have been lost to obscurity or labeled "quaint." By reclaiming these rites, we can begin to fill a spiritual void in our modern lives and fully realize and honor our connection and place in the Spiral Dance of life. 

Wiccan/Pagan Rites of Passage

* The Wiccaning (Birth) Rite

* A Handfasting (Pagan Marriage) Ceremony

A ritual is a ceremonial set of actions usually repeated in the same way over time to produce a desired effect—union with the divine or the state of consciousness necessary to perform magick.

The Wiccaning (Birth) Rite                         

Generally speaking Witches are very open-minded people, especially where religion is concerned. They have no hard and fast “Commandments”; no catechisms. They feel that all should be free to choose the religion that best suits them. It would seem obvious that there can be no one religion for all.

Handfasting is the Wiccan word for the marriage ceremony. Unlike the Christian form, where the man and woman are locked together “till death do us part” (even if they later grow apart and eventually come to almost hate one another), the Wiccan ceremony joins man and woman “for so long as love shall last”.

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