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Spiritual Connection => Wicca Q and A => Topic started by: sophia on April 03, 2018, 11:43:38 AM

Title: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: sophia on April 03, 2018, 11:43:38 AM
Hi,

I was reading through some message boards and on a discussion about Scott Cunningham, there was a comment that suggested that you cannot be self-initiated. Can someone clarify why this is so? I'm reading Cunningham's Living Wicca at the moment and even though I haven't gotten that far yet I gather he advocates it for solitary practitioners and so does Kate West.
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: arrowolf on April 03, 2018, 10:54:42 PM
I believe that would depend on the context of the initiation. If you are regarding a particular group, coven, grove, etc. then there might be certain initiations that can't be done solo. If you are a solitary practitioner, then you would be self-initiating into the craft or whatever path you have chosen to follow. Just my thoughts, but hope it helps.

May the stream ever flow.....
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Canis on April 04, 2018, 02:36:34 AM
Initiation is the process of being accepted into a group, whether it be a sorority/fraternity, religious group, coven, etc. Technically speaking, a person cannot self initiate. Self-dedication serves the same purpose (minus the group dynamic) as being initiated into a coven. You're dedicating yourself to follow a spiritual path, to follow certain guidelines, etc.
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: sophia on April 04, 2018, 10:35:33 AM
Thanks for this. It was helpful. So, just to clarify initiation and dedication are two different things? Dedication can be done solo but initiation must be with a group?
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Canis on April 04, 2018, 03:56:39 PM
Basically, yes.

From Wiktionary:

initiation (countable and uncountable, plural initiations)
1.The act of initiating, or the process of being initiated or introduced
initiation into a society

initiation into business

initiation into literature

2.The form or ceremony by which a person is introduced into any society; mode of entrance into an organized body; especially, the rite of admission into a secret society or order.

An initiation is essentially a ceremony accepting/introducing a person into a society or group. In regards to Wicca, a large part of initiation is dedicating yourself to following the Wiccan (or other Pagan path) way. Self-dedication serves the same purpose and is between you and the Goddess/God. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire.
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: oldghost on April 12, 2018, 02:00:26 PM
This can also be said about self-initiating , that if you follow a path that differs from all the rest and you self train to master your own way then you can be the only one to self - initiate yourself ;D ;D .
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: arrowolf on April 12, 2018, 10:10:14 PM
I joined the OBOD, and started Bardic grade the last week and a half of March this year. Ideally you want to do the grade initiation in a group setting, but in the states (especially the bible belt) it is a lot harder to do so. This is so true where I live. If you are in a situation like mine, self-initiation is your option until said time that you can be in a group setting. So hope to go to one of the gatherings this year.
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 07, 2018, 02:59:44 PM
You can absolutely dedicate yourself to your path and to the god(s).  That is a contract between you and the Powers That Be.  That said, you can't initiate yourself.  Initiation is an introduction to the Mysteries done is a specific way, usually involving a challenge that the initiate must meet or overcome. This must be performed by someone who has her/himself already been initiated, and knows how to perform it for that tradition. "Self initiation" is a conflict in terms.  I'm not placing a value judgment here, dedication and initiation are just different processes that achieve different spiritual goals.  I'd point out that later editions of Scott Cunningham's book for Solitaries  were changed by the publisher to say "self dedication" rather than self initiation. 
 
To complicate things, I personally believe that the gods themselves will occasionally initiate someone.  But that's unverifiable, and it's only valid to that individual.  It's what we call an Unverifiable Personal Gnosis, and one cannot reasonably expect that others will accept it. 
 
This controversy has been raging for years.  If you DO decide to do a self initiation, think of it as a personal achievement and don't take offense if many in the Wiccan community don't see it as valid.
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: C_A on May 07, 2018, 03:03:26 PM
ON the "off-chance" that I just MIGHT have to say this again, (after all, if people would either READ EARLIER threads or USE THE SEARCH function, I really SHOULDN'T), YES!  You CAN "self dedicate"!!  Have at it!  Yay!  Good for you!  Well DONE!

CAN you "self initiate"?

No.  You can't. 

To "Self initiate", you'd need SOMETHING to initiate yourself INTO. 

You don't. 

Next?
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 07, 2018, 03:06:23 PM
This can also be said about self-initiating , that if you follow a path that differs from all the rest and you self train to master your own way then you can be the only one to self - initiate yourself ;D ;D .
If you are the only one on that path, then what are you initiating yourself into?
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Draconis Rex on May 09, 2018, 10:09:59 AM
The definition of an initiation is basically a rite of passage marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components. This implies that the initiation process is with or within a group. To be solitary one cannot be welcomed or entranced as there is no one else there to do so. Initiation and dedication are very easily and frequently confused with each other.
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Firesong on May 15, 2018, 09:54:41 PM
ON the "off-chance" that I just MIGHT have to say this again, (after all, if people would either READ EARLIER threads or USE THE SEARCH function, I really SHOULDN'T), YES!  You CAN "self dedicate"!!  Have at it!  Yay!  Good for you!  Well DONE!

CAN you "self initiate"?

No.  You can't. 

To "Self initiate", you'd need SOMETHING to initiate yourself INTO. 

You don't. 

Next?

Yep, I quite agree.  It would be a little like anointing your own head with oil...
Title: Re: Self-Dedication - yes or no?
Post by: Draconis Rex on May 16, 2018, 10:44:05 AM
ON the "off-chance" that I just MIGHT have to say this again, (after all, if people would either READ EARLIER threads or USE THE SEARCH function, I really SHOULDN'T), YES!  You CAN "self dedicate"!!  Have at it!  Yay!  Good for you!  Well DONE!

CAN you "self initiate"?

No.  You can't. 

To "Self initiate", you'd need SOMETHING to initiate yourself INTO. 

You don't. 

Next?

Yep, I quite agree.  It would be a little like anointing your own head with oil...


Boiling oil? I can think of a few that would be preferable for.... :o :o   Not here of course ;D