Blessing of the Hands
It’s a written custom that before our initiations, particularly our First Degree Initiation, the candidate takes a ritual bath prior to the initiation. While this can be a really nice practice, it is not always practical due to either a person’s schedule or the fact that most houses and apartments don’t really have usable bathtubs (particularly for larger adults). This ritual was developed to be more accessible and fulfill the role of water purification.
The following is to be performed when the candidate arrives at the place where the initiation is to be performed, prior to a period of meditation before the initiation proper.
Since our coven is big enough, we usually have both a sponsor and an initiator for the candidate. The sponsor is the one who usually prepares the candidate and leads them to the door of the initiation room, while the initiator performs the initiation proper. This sponsor and initiator can also be the same person if the candidate wishes, or if there are not enough people to allow for this.
- Container with water that can easily be poured that can hold enough water for each coven member to pour some water out
- Dish of salt
- A large bowl
- A small, clean handtowel
The tools are placed on a small table prior to the ritual and set up prior to the arrival of the candidate. When the candidate arrives, the candidate’s sponsor positions the candidate in front of the table, and the rest of the coven stands in a circle around them.
Sponsor (holding the container of water, sending energy into the water): By the powers of Water, and the Spirits of the Universe, I consecrate this Water, and cast out all impurities and uncleanliness.
Sponsor (The Sponsor puts down the water and lifts up the dish of salt): By the powers of Earth, and the Spirits of the Universe, I consecrate this Salt, and cast out all malignity and hinderance.
The Sponsor adds the salt to the water. The Initiator then takes up the large bowl and stands in front of the candidate. The candidate is instructed to hold their hands over the bowl.
Sponsor (pouring some of the salt water over that candidate’s hands): May these hands that are to work with the Powers of the Universe be purified.
The Sponsor hands the blessed water to the next covenmate. They start with “May these hands that are to work with the Powers of the Universe…” and add a blessing to the candidate’s hands as they feel appropriate.
Sponsor (taking up the towel, wrapping it around the candidate’s hands, and holding their hands): May these hands that are to to work with the Powers of the Universe be consecrated and ready for the work that shall come to them. (The Sponsor finishes drying the candidates hands.)
Sponsor: Now, duly consecrated and purified, we send you to meditate and reflect on the step that you are about to take. (The Sponsor leads the candidate to meditate in solitude.)
The Initiator pours the bowl of salt water that was used to purify the candidate’s hands outside onto the Earth (preferably) or, if that’s not possible, into the sink. The coven then begins the preparations for the initiation proper.