When do we know we want to walk a Witch’s path? The answer to that question can only be found when you are ready. Often a calling to walk a Pagan path comes to someone and they find themselves in the middle of dozens of traditions and paths. How can you choose? It is hard to find the path you want to walk, especially if you come from a strict tradition that tells you there is one way. It can take a great deal of time to find the path that is correct. Sometimes we find that after we walk one path that we must go on to another. Although your path may change, never forget that there may be many paths but the destination is the same.
A dedication can be made if you are seriously interested in learning about Wicca. This doesn’t mean that you will have to become a Witch. It simply means that you are a serious student that will try their hand at the Witch’s path. If at the end of your time as a student, you wish to choose a different way, you can. A dedication can be either formal or informal. Either way it is a serious commitment. If you decide to dedicate a period in your life to learn Wiccan ways, then you must take it seriously.
During your dedication period, you should actively study Wiccan traditions. This doesn’t stop you from learning about other traditions, but you should by now want to focus on Wicca. The intensity of learning can change depending on your interest in the area and other commitments. It is also natural to have periods of intense learning followed by slower times where you reflect over what you have learnt. Your learning can be as structured or as chaotic as you want. It is a good idea to list what you want to learn. As you go along you can add areas you want to study. Don’t forget that you never stop learning! Even Pagans that have walked their paths for a long time still seek knowledge.
Often the traditional period of dedication is a year and a day. This is a symbolic period of time that reflects the wheel of life and seasons. After a year and a day, the initiate has symbolically seen the change of seasons that symbolize that stages of life. Of course the period of dedication can be longer or shorter as needed. Some people learn quicker than others or can focus more intensely. Some need more time due to a busy schedule or because they choose to be really sure about what they want. How long you spend is up to you. I spent three years learning about Wicca. Each year symbolized a face of the goddess. The first year I learnt what the Maiden could teach me. The second, I focused on the Mother aspect and finally the Crone or Mistress.
How you dedicate yourself should reflect your personal goals. You can create a ritual or simply write a prayer and say it. Some covens and traditions will have their special rituals already made. Some covens will also guide your period of dedication. If you are solitary, you can make your own if you wish.