When a newborn is presented to the coven or to the Deities. The Rite of Passage is usually added into the Sabbat or Esbat ceremony, with the actual wording and actions is preformed by priest or priestess of Wicca.
As Avril, her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother approached, they saw others were dressed in colorful peasant blouses and long skirts that flowed smoothly to earth. The maidens had flowers and beads woven in their hair. They prepared themselves in their finest. The elders of each family were being offered warm blankets to keep the slight chill of the night at bay. Avril and her mother chuckled when they saw the rainbow-colored wigs the youngest ones wore to cover their natural hair, bob to and fro in the crowd. Avril’s mother, her mother and Avril’s great grandmother decided upon their seats and sat leaving room for Avril to join. A light wind from the south blew tender kisses of love as Avril scanned the crowd. Generations of women and children waited in anticipation to be formally introduced to the newborn. Jean and Jade, two elders, rested comfortably away from the group and close to the bonfire. They wore traditional capes that drifted loosely off their shoulders. The starched hoods matched with bright blue satin and shimmered in the firelight. They noticed Avril and motioned to come closer. Avril stood before the two Elders.
“So many of the coven have come. All who are here adhere to a custom that has been practiced for many moons. The traditional ways of our society are once again being reinforced,” Jean said delighted so many females had chosen to attend.
Avril sat close to Jade who added, “Once the infant is introduced to her community and her basic values are set the infant will take her position amongst the whole. The newborn’s environment is expected to provide a sense of security. There would be rules of conduct for her to learn so social order could be maintained. Innocent, unskilled of all knowledge, the wise women, young and old, would join in the responsibility to raise the child. They would counsel her to perform in the world with the intent to do well.”
Jean leaned forward to look past Jade and spoke direct to Avril. “The world’s ideology is each individual would share with one another in a humanitarian relationship. Morals, ethics and manners govern how people perceive and respond to their environment. There are mutual expectations, unwritten policies for each individual to behave towards one another. Each person in society is assumed to react in certain ways to create a sense of stability. Humans are obligated by morality to be loyal and kind to one another. Morals are the doctrine or practice of the duties of life. It allows each individual to distinguish between right and wrong according to society’s guidelines. Manners,” she said, “are a personal style of acting. Society is based on politeness and one should always remember to say please and thank you.”
Avril looked at Jade who nodded in agreement. “Ethics relate to morals, yet are a product of one’s own experience. The theory states ethics is a person’s own conscience and responsibility for chosen actions, it instigates moral action, an individual choice,” she exclaimed.
A child is a clean slate and requires assistance. How she proceeds depends upon those circumstances. Patterns and behaviors she observes will be mirrored. Time and training are needed for the child to acquire many basic human skills. The slow process enables one to learn that which is essential. Most lessons concerning conduct taught will take place in the first six years and will remain there throughout the child’s lifetime. The elders agreed, children hold unique abilities to learn. There is an openness to absorb and a true want to understand. When strong bonds occur within the newborn’s environment the child would master and know she can handle the ups and downs in life. The frustrations, anxiety or uncertainty that are triggered by unusual, unexpected or unfulfilled circumstances she will be able to balance with self-confidence. Jade appeared distressed. She said, “When a child is not cared for properly the neglect can cause deep insecurities and a loss of trust in others as she becomes older. There may even be a lack of drive missing to take their position as a productive individual within society. Parents are the child’s primary institution and will teach the child rules of behavior. Parents are first to handle problems and decide upon punishment according to seriousness. It is important that the child learn rules so she could cooperate with her environment in a safe and peaceful existence.”
Jean glanced over her shoulder and acknowledged the new arrivals then continued the conversation. “The universe, she said, “is a well-ordered system in which all events are related and the result of a specific cause. To live in harmony like the universe, extreme behavior must continually be balanced not only in one’s life but with the surrounding environment.”
The ceremonial space burst with dazzling bright light. Upon the altar an array of red and white candles in varying sizes burned brilliant while radiant golden halos glided into one another. The flowers that represented the month of May, Lily of the Valley - to cleanse the heart; Foxglove - to realize true friends, and roses - a blessing from the Goddess consumed the land. Colorful combinations of birthstones and love stones symbolizing May laid in six separate rings around the altar to offer the newborn their special powers.
Quietly, Avril thanked the Higher Powers for the opportunity to make a difference in the newborn’s life. Both Jean and Jade heard and replied with a Blessed be. Jade then said, “The child will know by the close kinship with the wise women, that she is wise, an enchantress with the ability to contact nature’s spirits and will change like the cycles of the seasons: young, beautiful, passionate, fertile, pregnant, mother, wise and sage.”
An enchanting aroma of incense burned. Different herbs that had been crushed, powder or oil were ignited to create a captivating scent. The first to appear was Mary. She held her newborn with pride. She lay her child asleep inside a large white wicker bassinet that sat center on the altar. She then stepped back to the right and stood within the stone rings. Ann, her mother, joined, dressed in black evening wear including cape and pointed hat. She bowed to her granddaughter and daughter out of respect and then stood left of the altar. High Priestess Ceserea came into the light. She chanted as she walked clockwise to clear the energy within the ring. Once she was behind the altar with the child before her, she spread her arms and legs to design the five star stance, centering herself. The High Priestess was in a trance. Her eyes appeared in a dreamy hypnotic state. She was draped from head to toe in a faint light blue fabric. As the tender breeze blew the delicate material caressed her womanly figure. Her aura was one of complete tranquility. She spoke with a clear tone as she moved deosil around the ring stopping at each of the four corners to request the guardian for their presence.
A vibrant, electric blue light followed her path. When she returned to the north position the ring appeared to be sealed with an amazing surging color and energy.
The High Priestess faced the crowd. The wise women were silent. Two guardian angels appeared. They drifted downward with their wings wide open behind Ceserea’s shoulders. Both looked sweet and innocent like the angels of virtue. The three women joined hands, closed their eyes, and recited a silent prayer. Not a cry was heard from the child who lay in the middle.
Jade spoke in a whisper to disturb none other than their tiny group. “The infant is too young to choose a path of faith. Ann and Mary have brought the child before us and the highest of powers to request protection, a blessing and guidance as she matures and grows until she can decide with free will her own belief. The only way she will know is by searching, investing researching and living to find the truth for herself. The child will for now surrender to God and the Goddess will, of course, with the touch of their delicate hand.”
High Priestess Ceserea spoke, “We have all met within sacred space to request spirit guides, angels, gods, goddesses and ancestors who have passed on to come hither and bless and protect our newest arrival’s heart, mind, body and soul.”
She requisitioned the child to be given the knowledge to know she is watched over, never alone and that assistance would always be there.
The three in the center ring raised their heads and arms high while they stayed connected by a human clasp. The white light of the triangle rose upward matching the women’s movement and faded into the rich blue night sky. The winds blew inward from the four corners. The tree branches knocked loudly together as the gusts grew. The two angels remained effortlessly in their positions. Avril moved quickly away from the bonfire when the flames exploded upward. The crickets’ song could be heard and it allowed them knowledge that spirits were here. Ghostly transparent grayish-blue figures danced within the ring. The figures swayed wildly above the three women’s head. The sight was truly awesome. Ceserea stood behind the altar while flashes of energy sprang around the newborn. Not a sound was heard from the wee one.
The High Priestess wished for the ones from the other world to release the newborn’s fairy name. The one she would answer to until Naming age when she would receive her name by description. Avril wasn’t sure which apparition spoke, but the name Seelie, the Blessed, was spoken. Ceserea agreed, the child would be addressed as Seelie, the Blessed.
As rapidly as the ghostly figures had come, they disappeared.
The child’s limbs could be viewed as they sporadically moved above the rim of the bassinet. Her reflex action showed her joyous approval. Jean and Jade both, with glee in their voices, explained that the newborn must be a descendant from ancient vanquished gods and goddesses known as the Seelie Court. A privileged class of trooping fairies who, on Midsummer’s Eve, under the light of the moon, the royal court would appear side by side with the fairies they ruled and parade through the meadows of Connacht in Ireland. Leading, a mighty king, his son, the prince, and the noblest knights, would ride on miniature steeds with strength of heart. The lady, the Queen and her refined daughter, the princess, rode close with the loyalist handmaidens. Gold and silver and beautiful stone jewelry sparkled in the moonlight like fireflies racing through the tall grass. The fairies raised their spirits by playing flutes, drums, harps, fiddles and bows. With enthusiasm they danced, clapped and stomped to the energetic music. All was done to give thanks for the new life begun at the beginning of the light season.
“The town folk believe the march took place to bless the fertile land hence gave the wee ones their title,” Jean said with conviction.
Ceserea raised a clear, gold-rimmed chalice that contained holy water. The gold cross representing the balance of male and female energy could easily be viewed within. She dipped her first two fingers of her right hand into the liquid and then she drew the blessed pentagram symbol upon “Seelie’s” physical frame. As she circled the star all could hear Ceserea say ‘A CHILD OF UNITY AND COMPLETENESS.’
The radiant white moonlight shot like a rocket down to connect with Seelie’s third eye. A pentagram symbol branded itself between her two eyes. The coven could view only for a brief moment. The infant wiggled gleefully. Jean, Jade and Avril contentedly watched a radiant golden halo of light surround the angels suspended in mid air. The angel stationed to the south wore a red and green robe and stood in a warrior stance to create an aura of a guardian against evil and a protector of humanity. The second stationed north wore a robe that varied in color of citrine, russet, olive and black.
Avril turned toward Jade, and with curiosity wanted to know who the angels were. Jade, in a cheerful tone, answered, “They are two of the four archangels who guard the four corners, north, east, south and west. Archangel Michael is positioned south.” Jade explained, “He is the chief of the four. He is a sun god. He offered the child the faith and the support to conquer earthly temptation. Michael, tonight, will bless Seelie with the power to love more openly and to receive the bounty fully. Positioned north is Archangel Uriel.” Jade said , “When Michael hears our call usually Uriel will accompany him. He is the guardian of the mind, the angel who represents the light of mind. Uriel is the the divinity of love and a protector. He has come to offer the child illumination, both physically and mentally, so she will have a clearer understanding of the cycle of birth, life and death.”
Avril watched as Jean searched the sky east and west and then drew Jade’s and Avril’s attention to the east high above the cedar tops. Archangel Raphael floated as he watched the ceremony.
Jean smiled. “He is a healer, a rescuer who offers charity. Seelie will be blessed with know-how to build, repair, tear down and re-build her physical being. She will be able to tune in to the physical world and heal the ills.” To the west a tranquil mist of an angel flew. The energy felt more feminine than the other three. Jean announced, “The visitor is Archangel Gabriel who represents strength. He is the trumpeter of the last judgment and offers hope. He will fill the child with the power to endure.”
The sight was totally breath-taking. The angelic energy empowered all with a desire and a zest for life.
The heavenly powers held their positions at the four cardinal points. They floated free and tranquil high above in mid air; a partnership between heaven and earth, the physical and spiritual, a continual synchronized movement of creative energy. Jade cleared her throat before she spoke. “In earth time and space, humans have a way of deteriorating unless they strive to improve. Angels deteriorate and improve in a timeless, spaceless realm. The Angels arrival brings heavenly messages of hope, faith, love and charity to come in the next generation. They remind all that they are never alone.” Avril was told that, as the child grows and matures she will know of the connection she has to the supernatural world. Seelie will be introduced to the wise woman’s beliefs, attitudes and customary rituals. Once spiritually fed, hopefully, Seelie will have faith in something greater than her ego. She will have courage and strength to stand firm in her beliefs and, with the power of charity, to think of others in a humanitarian way not just for her own needs and wants.”
Before Jade could finish her speech Avril politely interrupted her train of thought. “Why can I not remember the time spent in energy form in the other world or my past lives? Why are the memories not quick and fresh like events that happened only yesterday? Why must I seek and dig deep within her mind to recall a past needed to live in the present, to evolve into the future?
Jade and Jean quietly discussed who would share the knowledge. Jade nodded to Jean who spoke, “Deep within the mind lives experiences of prior incarnations. Buried material of sensations of lives we lived hides in the unconscious of our minds. Memories of past lives are universal. The layers of the mind work in an amazing way. It will retain good experiences easier and more willing than the bad ones. Our minds can forget anything that is unpleasant or painful. It is able to recall details of positive things quicker than negative ones. This is a protective feature to help keep humans mentally sane. Misery, bad or harmful situations happen to everyone. The brain can forget the details of those experiences, bury the episodes deep within and block out any traumas including physical death. It is a great survival skill. The birthing process is a traumatic experience for newborns and the soul. For nine months the baby laid in an environment that was protective and safe. The baby fed, slept, dreamed then suddenly the mother’s body triggers time to leave the comforts and enter a new and unknown environment. The shock activates the mechanisms in the brain and the experience is forgotten. The same applies to the experience of death. Fear of the unknown or the traumatic event leaving the physical body creates anxiety, a feeling of crisis, and again we forget.”
Jade gently, with her aged but perfectly manicured hand, tapped Avril’s. She motioned for her to pay attention to the ceremonial circle. Avril heard Ceserea say to Seelie, “HERE’S YOUR LIFE - EMBRACE IT.” She then kissed the child’s third eye. The child was stretched out toward her grandmother who kissed her granddaughter’s brow. The High Priestess placed the child before her mother who followed suit. The coven rose to their feet and stood proud as the child was extended so all were face to face. The group pledged their allegiance to Seelie, the daughter of all, allowing their newest member knowledge of their support for the years to come. The angels of the four corners dematerialized. Avril stayed with the two elders as the energy was cleared around the altar. The women and children scattered. Some approached the bonfire to toss poppy petals on the flames. Each requested the Moon Fairies to recognize and place a blessing upon the child’s fairy nickname. Once done Avril watched the bright blue sparks fly up to the heavens. Before she left the elders to sit by the warm flames, Avril thanked both for their time and consideration.
Mary spoke briefly. She thanked the many sisterhood family members who had come to pledge their allegiance to her newborn daughter. Mary was sure with their support Seelie would grow with a strong sense of internal integrity and inner security. Healthy self-esteem would be born to her child due to the wise women’s wisdom. As an adult the beautiful baby girl will be productive to the world.
Ceserea spoke in a bellowing voice, “We honor the strengths of the mighty oak, a symbol to live with strong natural conditions of body, heart and mind to reassure good health. The family tree was a remarkable reminder of the ones who once lived and now watch over, guide and listen to our prayers.” The ring of wise women grasped hands to seal the circle. They raised their arms upward toward the early morning sky.
The land was quiet during a silent prayer. Moments later simultaneously, “Blessed Be” rang outward from the voices of the wise women. A young maiden stepped out of the crowd and walked to Ceserea. A carving knife was placed in her artistic hands. Ceserea gave Seelie’s first cousin, May, the honor to carve Mary’s child’s fairy name into the sacred wood after a protection blessing.
The wise women feverishly danced and sang a song from the old land as May climbed. Avril watched the girl’s fearless feat and did not hear mother and grand approach the fire. After they announced their arrival Avril’s mother wanted to know if she and her great grand were ready to go. Jade and Jean offered to keep Avril near with them yet Avril truly wanted to lay her head in her own bed. The four left the grounds in their buggy while the festivities continued. Squawks could be heard from the tree tops. The power of the sun crept in and allowed a view of the black crows’ silhouettes in their central roosting spots. Averill’s Great grandmother and grandmother sprinkled bird seed on either side of the dirt road. Her Grandmother reminded Avril that when one prays, one must give something back. It is not out of duty but out of love. The crows that gathered in the trees were a sign our prayers were heard and would be answered. Avril requested to know why some prayers are heard while others go unanswered. Her Great grand replied, “All prayers are acknowledged by the higher powers. You should only have one expectation and that was that their will would be done. Never,” she said, “should you underestimate the power of prayer. The unseen powers know what is wanted even if you think you do.” As they continued home Avril was to stop and think of something she had prayed for in earnest and then found the need was only an ego want. With an open heart Avril was to be thankful for the prayer she believed went unanswered.