Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pagan Values - Wiccaning

A Wiccaning.  A presentation of a child to the Goddess and God for protection and blessing.  This is something that has grown in popularity in recent years, as more and more of us suddenly find ourselves not as solitary we once were.

It used to be that all Wiccans wanting to join a coven had to be adult.  Any underage person who came to a Witch and asked to learn was turned away.  This is understandable from a legal standpoint, you don't want to be seen as being inappropriate with someone's child, regardless of how the word inappropriate will be interpreted.  Things have come a long way, though we still have to be careful of the legalities.  If an underage person wanted to join a Circle or Coven I was heading, I would absolutely have to meet with their parents first and get express written consent, as well as I would invite them to any meetings or rituals their child would be attending.  As much as I hold education and learning of so much importance, parents always must have the final decision until their child reaches the age of majority, and I'm not going to ever suggest that I know better than someone else how to parent their child.

Lately, more and more of us have been having families, and what do we do with the little Witchlings that we've borne?  Especially for those of us coming from Christian backgrounds, we wonder what we should do.  Christening, of course, attempts to set a child on the path of God right at birth.  Which, as so many of us can attest to, obviously has nothing to do with our actual path.  So what about Wiccaning?  A Wiccaning, or Naming ceremony, doesn't say that the child should follow the path of it's parents.  It simply introduces them to the divine, and blesses them.  There are many different variations of course, as many variations as there are Wiccans.

As Pagan parents, should we shy away from such ceremony, or embrace it?  On the one hand, some of us who were baptized or Christened are children resent it.  Those that do may see Wiccaning in the same light, a blessing  of the child specific to one Religion.  Personally, I think it is important for a child to be blessed by Deity and the elements.  Such is the world they will grow up in with their parents, where the Goddess and God are ever present.  Nowhere does it say in the ceremony that the child will belong to the Goddess and God for all their days, and so the option is always open for that child to follow whatever path they see fit to them.

Do you agree with Wiccanings?  Have you had a similar ceremony for your children?

Goddess Bless,



  1. Thanks for the post, Stacy.

    I wrestled with this subject for a while before my husband pointed out to me that if I refused to have our boys circumcised on the ground of not making very personal choices for them, why would I dedicate them to a particular deity without their permission. Right there, I had to face the fact that the wiccaning would have been more for me than them. I see no reason why a child can't be blessed (by as many deities as is possible or desirable), but wiccaning crosses the line of choice for me. Should they desire some sort of dedication ceremony as they get older, I will oblige with their wishes.

    I can't speak for other pagan parents, but these are my views.

  2. As Pagans, we see the value in ritual and traditions. We see how those things draw us closer to Deity, and can bring us together as a community. Traditions and rituals act on a part of us that is deeper than words.

    Every religion has some way of welcoming into the world, a new child. Because we see the Magic in birth and new life. We see the gift, and we want to acknowledge it.

    Why should we, as Pagans, be any different? We may see that gift as from the Gods instead of God. We may believe that we have a duty to raise our children knowing that there are many ways to experience the Divine, and that they don't have to do that the same way we do. But we still see that it is a big deal that a new person has come into the world. A person who will grow, change, learn, develop, and affect the world in so many ways! We absolutely should feel comfortable in taking some time to acknowledge the power of that and the gift that child is.

    I might be a little emotional about this right now. When I can finally take this baby home, I'm going to be so grateful for the chance to share the gift of his life with family and friends.

  3. My husband and I had a Wiccaning for our daughter because it felt like the most natural and beautiful thing we could do for her as a newborn. She was born in hospital but I couldn't wait to get her out into the wide open world. I wanted to show the Goddess what I'd made and ask that she help her to grow strong and happy in her life.

    For us a Wiccaning wasn't a way of securing our daughter's future faith, which is entirely for her to decide upon, but on asking to all the blessings and protection she could receive in life.

  4. My little one is nine and a half now and I was very happy to have her blessing ceremony. I can't imagine not having done that if for no other reason than to show this new person that we made to the community and the gods. We celebrate the cycles of the season and the literal fruits of the Earth that come about from the union of God and Goddess. The union of two persons to create a new person is no different and cause for at least as much celebration as the harvest (if not more!). We see the hatch, match, dispatch cycle in both human life and the wheel of the year and I can't see celebrating one and not the other.

    I tend to use the term "Baby Blessing" over "Wiccaning" because it seems more accurate and more widely applicable. This year, we've had a few more babies born and I've been asked to co-officiate the blessing of one of them! I'm extremely honored by this and look forward to showing my love for this new baby by asking the blessings of the gods.

  5. Thanks for all the opinions, everyone!

    I think that as more of us have children, this will be a growing concern. It helps immensely to examine the reasoning for it, whether or not we decide its something for our families to do.

    Goddess Bless!