The Second-Degree Initiation – Gardnerian Book Of Shadows

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The Second-Degree Initiation

Form Circle in usual manner, invoking the Mighty Ones at the Four Quarters. The Initiate should be properly prepared and bound with the Cords.

All are purified, including Initiate.

Circle once, proclaiming at the Four Quarters: “Hear Ye Mighty Ones, . . . (N), a duly consecrated Priestess and Witch is now properly prepared to be made a High Priest and Magus (High Priestess and Witch Queen).”

Circle three times, with dance step and chant.

Initiate then kneels before the Altar and is secured with the Cords.

Priestess or Magus: “To attain to this sublime Degree it is necessary to suffer and be purified. Art willing to suffer to learn?”

Initiate: “I am.”

Priestess or Magus: “I purify thee to take this great oath rightly”.

Strike three strokes upon the bell. Scourge 3, 7, 9, 21. “I now give thee a new name: . . .” [kiss]

“Repeat thy new name after me, saying, ‘I, . . ., swear, upon my mother’s womb and by mine honour among men and my brothers and sisters of the Art, that I will never reveal to any at all any of the secrets of the Art, except it be to a worthy person, properly prepared, in the center of a Magic Circle such as I am now in. This I swear by my hopes of salvation, my past lives and my hopes of future ones to come and I devote myself and my measure to utter destruction if I break this my solemn Oath.'”


Place Left Hand under Initiate’s Knee and Right Hand on Head, thus forming Magic Link, saying: “I will all my power into thee.”


Loose, assist to rise.

Consecrate: “I consecrate thee with oil [on genitals, right breast, left hip, right hip, left breast, genitals), I consecrate thee with wine, I consecrate thee with my lips, High Priest and Magus (High Priestess and Witch Queen).” Loose remaining cords. [kiss]

“You will now use the working tools in turn, “First the Magic Sword (Form Circle) [kiss]

“Second the Athame. (Form Circle) [kiss]

“Third the White-Handled Knife (use) [kiss] “Fourth the Wand. (Wave to 4 Quarters) [kiss]

“Fifth the Pentacle. (Show to 4 Quarters) [kiss]

“Sixth the Censer. (Circle, cense) [kiss]

“Seventh the Cords. (Use) [kiss]

“Eighth the scourge: for learn, in witchcraft you must ever give as you receive, but ever triple. So where I gave thee 3, return 9; where I gave 7, return 21; where I gave 9, return 27; where I gave 21, return 63.” (Use, 9, 21, 27, 63; i.e., 120 in all [kiss])

“Thou hast obeyed the law. But mark well, when thou receivest good, so equally art bound to return good threefold.”

The Priestess or Magus is then loosed from the cords and says: “Having learned thus far, you must know why the Wicca are called the Hidden Children of the Goddess”.

Then the Legend of the Goddess is either read or acted out. If it is possible to act it out, the new Initiate may take one of the parts. One of the Coven should act as Narrator, and another as Guardian of the Portal. The Priestess, or another woman, may act the part of the Goddess, and the Magus, or another man, may act the part of the God. The Priestess — or whoever is taking the part of the Goddess — takes off her necklace and lays it on the Altar. Then she goes outside the circle and is dressed in a veil and jewellery. The Magus — or whoever is taking the part of the God — is invested with a horned crown and girds on a sword, which he draws and stands in the God position with sword and scourge, by the altar.

Narrator: “In ancient times our Lord, the Horned One, was, as he still is, the Consoler, the Comforter; but men knew him as the Dread Lord of Shadows — lonely, stern, and hard. Now our Lady the Goddess had never loved, but she would solve all mysteries, even the mystery of Death — and so she journeyed to the Nether Lands. The Guardians of the Portals challenged her:”

(The Priestess — or whoever is taking the part of the Goddess — advances to the side of the Circle. Whoever is taking the part of the Guardian of the Portal challenges her with the Sword or Athame.)

Narrator: “‘Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels, for naught may ye bring with ye into this our land’. So she laid down her garments and her jewels and was bound, as are all who enter the realms of Death the Mighty One”.

(The Priestess takes off the veil and the jewellery and lays them down outside the Circle. The Guardian of the Portal binds her with the Cords and brings her inside the Circle.)

Narrator: “Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and laid his sword and crown at her feet and kissed her feet.”

(The Magus — or whoever is playing the part of the God — comes forward and lays the Horned Crown and the Sword at the Priestess’s feet and kisses her feet)

Narrator: “Saying, ‘Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways. Abide with me, but let me place my cold hand on thy heart’. And she replied, ‘I love thee not. Why dost thou cause all things that I love and take delight in to fade and die?’ ‘Lady,’ replied Death, ”Tis Age and Fate, against which I am helpless. Age causes all things to wither; but when men die at the end of time, I give them rest and peace and strength, so that they may return. But you, you are lovely. Return not; abide with me.’ But she answered, ‘I love thee not.’ Then said Death, ‘An you receive not my hand on your heart, you must receive Death’s scourge.'”

(The Magus rises and takes up the Scourge from the Altar.)

Narrator: “‘It is fate, better so,’ she said, and she knelt.”

(The Priestess kneels before the altar, and the Magus uses the scourge 3, 7, 9, 21.)

Narrator: “And Death scourged her tenderly, and she cried, ‘I feel the pangs of love’. And Death raised her, and said, ‘Blessed be,’ and he gave her the Fivefold Kiss, saying, ‘Thus only may you attain to joy and knowledge’.”

(The Magus raises the Priestess, gives her the Fivefold Kiss and unties the cords)

Narrator: “And he taught her all the Mysteries and gave her the necklace, which is the Circle of Rebirth.”

(The Magus takes the Priestess’s necklace from the Altar and replaces it about her neck. The Priestess takes up the Sword and the Horned Crown from the floor, where the Magus placed them, and gives them back to him. Then he stands as before by the Altar, in the position of the God, and she stands by his side in the pentacle position, as Goddess)

Narrator: “And she taught him the mystery of the sacred cup, which is the cauldron of rebirth. They loved and were one; and he taught her all the Magics. For there be three great mysteries in the life of man — love, death, and resurrection in a new body — and magic controls them all. To fulfill love you must return at the same time and place as the loved one, and you must meet and know and remember and love them again. But to be reborn you must die and be ready for a new body; to die you must be born; without love you may not be born — and these be all the magics. And our Goddess ever inclineth to love and mirth and happiness, and guardeth and cheriseth Her hidden children in life; and in death she teacheth the way to have communion, and even in this world She teacheth them the Mystery of the Magic Circle, which is placed between the worlds.”

The Priestess or Magus then replaces the Sword, Crown, Scourge, etc., upon the Altar, and taking the new Initiate by the hand and holding the Athame in the other, passes once round the Circle, proclaiming at the Four Quarters, “Hear, Ye Mighty Ones, . . . hath been duly consecrated High Priest and Magus (or High Priestess and Witch Queen).”

Next: The Third-Degree Initiation

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