Within Wicca and some witchcraft traditions, initiation occurs with the ritual process to bestow the first degree. (After the first degree initiation, other rites to bestow future degrees are elevations.)
There has been controversy within the Wiccan community about whether it is possible for an individual to initiate themselves. The argument in favor of self-initiation stems on the idea of "Who initiated the first Wiccan?" or "Who initiated the first witch?" The argument against self-initiation is is based on the notion that it is impossible for someone to be brought through a doorway into a new world of experience if they are on the outside of that doorway.
Stages of InitiationEdit
Initiation is often comprised of several distinct stages, which vary largely by tradition and personal spiritual needs. Often times the person seeking initiation will be mentored in some way, through which the person becomes familiar with the lore and teachings of the particular tradition. Many times there will be one or more personal ordeals that the person who has petitioned for initiation must go through. Finally, after completion of the requirements for initiation, a formal ceremony confers the rights and responsibilities that initiation brings, plus engages some form of energetic shift or transfer of power from the initiator to the initiate.
Although the details of most initiation ceremonies are kept secret to non-initiates, many abridged versions of initiation rites are available in printand online.