Wicca in New Zealand

Rites of Passage

2010 Sabbat & Esbat dates

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      Eldering is a relatively new tradition and rite of passage in Wicca. Modern western society has relegated older people to positions of obscurity. Wicca is openly and consciously honoring and valuing those who have lived and learned and are now valuable resources for the greater Wiccan Community. Perhaps because Wicca is for the most part a chosen religion, there are currently few Elders who have gone before and had the same experiences the younger Wiccans have. Those who do exist and who have been in the Craft for 20 years or more, are being valued. They become the wise counselors to the active leadership. They tell the stories of the times before and what it was like for them when they were young. They share their knowledge and insight.  They are honored for the achievements and accomplishments.

      A ceremony of Eldering is sometimes done for those who have been around for a long time and who have gravitated to the role of Elder. Sometimes the Eldering ceremony happens at menopause for women, and a similar age for men. Retirement used to be a good societal marker, but with the changing society, few can actually count on a full retirement at a set age anymore. An Eldering ceremony is similar to a Wiccaning, a party celebrating the individual and the  individual's place in the family and community of Wicca. Eldering is also seen as an Initiation of sorts, though not a Degreed Initiation. Eldering can mark the time when a person gives up active leadership and gains a seat around the council fires.