Initiation into Witchcraft

by Brian Cain

Walk the Path of Magic! 

This is a book about the religion of Witchcraft. It honors the old Gods, the ancient mysteries, and the secrets of magic. It will immerse you into the magical arts of Witchcraft and is an enchanted window into what Witches practice and believe.  

Initiation into Witchcraft is an exploration of the timeless traditions, essential ethics, and the awe-inspiring power of our Craft as well as providing basic practices that will help you to embrace the deeper ways of the Witch. It is a signpost for those seeking the path that begins the journey of initiation into Witchcraft. It is also a primer of occult techniques and rituals to prepare you for that journey.

Witchcraft is a survival of the ancient mysteries. It is a force of significant power—and initiation is the key that unlocks that power. Initiation transcends culture. It transcends religion. It takes a community to manifest to priesthood and it takes initiation to become a priest … and a Witch.

Witchcraft is personal empowerment magnified through a relationship with the old gods. Through it, you can direct the course of your life and find a path to your most powerful self.

Praise for Initiation Into Witchcraft

“Initiation is one of the most difficult statures to reach in our Cabot-Kent Hermetic Temple tradition. It’s like getting a degree from college, but it is only the beginning of the path to enlightenment. Initiation into Witchcraft is the only book I know of that truly addresses the importance of initiation, which hasn't been done before. Brian Cain’s work will enlighten many people in their own traditions as to how initiation changes your entire world. They say that there is no hierarchy in Witchcraft. Well, there certainly is, because you've got the High Priestess and the High Priest, and they are initiated. That means they will carry on that tradition through thick and thin, until death do us part. Some go from one tradition to another, seemingly thinking that belonging to all these different paths is making them something better. I think it waters down the traditions. You must come into Witchcraft with a sincere dedication and devotion—and with an academic mindset as well. Witchcraft is still the fastest growing religion in America. It needs to be addressed in a serious and educated manner, and that's what this book offers. Its academic research has far surpassed nearly any Witchcraft book being published today. Witchcraft becomes a fervor in your heart and your mind. You are drawn to it, and this book is for such people who are truly serious about becoming a Witch. Because of that alone, Initiation into Witchcraft is a book that has been needed for ages.”

“Witchcraft is the fastest growing spirituality in America. The seeds of this remarkable growth were transplanted here by British Traditional Witches like Ray Buckland and others, and cultivated within hidden covens. Profound and life-transforming rites of initiation and the sincere training of priestesses and priests were offered to those fortunate few granted entrance to this concealed spiritual community.

“In the midst of accelerating popularization driven by public information ranging from the wise to the witless, the history and practice of modern Witchcraft are worth remembering, honoring and preserving. Brian Cain has done all of these and more, demonstrating in this thoughtful, thorough and generous book the divinely magical reasons for initiation and for disciplined training. He offers the gifts of a genuine priest of the initiatory path, sincerely guiding those with the courage to make the assay, simultaneously revealing and concealing the Great Mystery that, ultimately, can only be known through personal experience. It is a unique and worthy contribution to the literature of the Craft of the Wise.”

“Brian Cain's Initiation into Witchcraft isn't just an excellent introduction to initiatory British Witchcraft, it also re-establishes the Witch-Cult as a religious and spiritual practice. More than just a "how to" book, Cain has crafted an excellent resource for both beginners, and long time practitioners. Highly recommended for anyone looking to join a traditional coven or simply seeking to take their practice to a deeper and higher place.”

“This perceptively crafted tome reflects the knowledge and experiential perceptions of a 21st-century Alexandrian Witchcraft Initiate on the history and development of British Traditional Witchcraft, its practices and tools. As such, it delivers a unique perspective on how his tradition is perceived and imparted by contemporary adherents today. The chapters on Magical Weapons and Folk Magic from Antiquity provides a further treasure-house of insights for readers of all magical traditions. Brian Cain’s Initiation into Witchcraft should be added to the recommended reading list for all seeking insights into initiatory traditions of Witchcraft today.”

“Brian Cain has written a brilliant new book on traditional Witchcraft that details our history and rituals in a concise manner. Too many people are being taken in by loosely-created magick circles and this book defines the difference of why it’s important to go through the trouble to find a good traditional teaching coven. I highly recommend it to all who seek the initiatory pathways into the Craft.”

Initiation into Witchcraft is a truly refreshing and honest offering throughout—a rarity among today’s books on Witchcraft and magic. Brian Cain has provided a book that has been sorely needed in this modern era of the occult, written on a subject and presented in a style that I cannot remember seeing the likes of in a very long time. When in the presence of large amounts of pagans at festivals and events, I often lament to myself just how few of them have undergone the sacred rites of initiation when such gatherings were once filled with the voices of initiates. What Brian has done is provide a valuable book and inspiring guide for the seeker, and he has helped preserve tradition in doing so. Brian Cain demonstrates his high priesthood by offering something inclusive, encouraging, and educational, as well as hands-on spell and ritual work for the seeker on the path towards initiation. These rites and exercises work regardless of tradition—and this is not a common feat. As we straddle an era where many of our most sacred rites of humanity are being lost to technology, and the ever-present desire for the quick and easily accessible reign supreme over old-fashioned hard work, it’s a true blessing to have a book that will surely reignite modern seekers towards the greatest spell before the gods—our initiation into witchcraft.”

“While eclectic, do-it-yourself forms of Witchcraft and Wicca have enjoyed the spotlight for decades, an older, deeper tradition has continued to bubble and brew beneath the surface, seemingly invisible save to those few who would seek it out. Brian Cain is a welcomed voice in a growing movement that promises to alter long-held perceptions of Wicca, challenging the facile stereotypes and Insta-pop marketing trends that obscure the way to more profound practice. Here, you’ll find direct, no-babying guidance should you be called to the initiatory path. Initiation into Witchcraft is a valuable book not only for seekers, but also coven students, new group leaders, and the curious.”

Initiation into Witchcraft is a must read for seekers who desire to expand upon their spiritual path in British Witchcraft. As a priest in two African Traditional Religions I say this, not as a witch, but as someone who understands why the path of initiation is important. Brian Cain expands upon this cornerstone of a magical tradition in such a way that it would be impossible for the reader to leave without understanding. The Ancestors of initiation (lineage) in and of itself holds a great power that not only serves to edify and strengthen the magic of the initiate, but also to protect the tradition that continues to blaze the trail to magical growth and understanding. This book was birthed out of the heart of a priest and a witch and it is abundantly evident once the reader opens the pages.

“Amidst the whirlwind of eclectic approaches to modern witchcraft, Brian Cain’s book is refreshing for its reaffirmation of witchcraft as an initiatory mystery tradition, and of the warmth and wisdom of the coven’s hearth, while attesting also to its age-old operative magical current. This is the Craft of the true and sincere dedicant, before whom unfolds the path of occult knowledge and power that burns bright at the heart of the witch’s art.”

Brian Cain outlines the rich history of initiatory traditions in witchcraft as a journey through time to be traveled by all who wish to know more. For the sincere seeker, he also issues a challenge to prepare both mentally and spiritually for the effort. To assist them in accomplishing these goals, a wealth of practical information is provided, all gained from notable sources as well as from the author’s own years of training initiates. More seasoned practitioners will also enjoy reading through the detailed descriptions of both ancient and modern traditions, and reviewing the myriad of resources and sample rituals. This book is a handy reference for seekers, initiates, and priesthood, encapsulating both the practice and the practical, and it has been added to my personal list of recommended reading.

Initiation into Witchcraft is rich with insider history, integral philosophy, and a wealth of rare spells and well-crafted rituals that can be utilized by anyone with the dedication to learn the true Craft. Brian Cain’s diligent research and obvious devotion will resonate with seekers and seasoned practitioners alike. This book belongs on every coven’s required reading list and every occultist’s bookshelf.”

“There only a few witchcraft books that can be called reference books, special books that have the ability to illustrate the practice of the Witchcraft in one form or another. Brian Cain’s Initiation into Witchcraft not only instructs but inspires those who want to be part of Traditional Wicca. Historically accurate, delightfully written, this book is already a classic.”

“Stepping into the pages of Brian Cain’s Initiation into Witchcraft is a lot like falling into the deep end of the pool. His crisp, “take no prisoners” style of writing is unexpectedly refreshing. The author does not, as the saying goes, suffer fools gladly, yet what he has to say about initiation into what may be the oldest of priesthoods is of immense significance.

“But Initiation into Witchcraft is so much more than an intimate reflection of the author’s personal journey. The book is packed cover to cover with more information on the history of witchcraft and magic than one will likely find on several shelves of your local bookshop. It’s virtually one stop shopping for both novice and experienced practitioners alike.

“But wait, there’s more. The author’s generous inclusion of a grimoire (complete with requisite tablets of correspondences), as well as a series of extraordinary and provocative photographs of a working coven, place Initiation into Witchcraft into a class by itself. Highly recommended.”

“Brian Cain has managed to find the balance between his obvious love for the Craft and his responsibility to his tradition, and has created a highly informative and invaluable introduction for any seeker of initiatory Craft. His concise account of the history of British Traditional Witchcraft in America is extremely interesting, and his use of the archetypes in his exploration of the Witches’ Gods is an eloquent description of the way in which Craft incorporates the Gods of many pantheons into its practices and beliefs. His presentation of the magical working system of “Alexandria”, well-adapted seasonal rites, and charming collection of modern and traditional spells and workings are a lovely addition to the extensive background information he has provided. I predict that this book will be found on many a true seeker’s book shelf: a modern Traditional Witchcraft classic.”

“Dare to learn how the power of initiation can transform your life. Initiation into Witchcraft is an innovative book that inspires and informs those who are curious about witchcraft. This book is a comprehensive, informative guide to prepare the student for their own magical initiation. Experienced members of the Craft will find Brian Cain’s voice engaging, and the subject matter tantalizing. He brings to light a fresh perspective that is a must-read.”

“When Brian first told me of his intention to write this book, I was nervous. Not because I had any doubt of his integrity or knowledge on the subject, but because I found it hard to imagine how he could possibly achieve so monumental a task as to summarise initiatory Craft in a way that fully communicated its power, allure and beauty. I am very happy to say that, in my opinion, he has nailed it.

"This book is a perfect blend of essential information, advice, and reverence for the Craft that we—as initiates—hold so dear. Brian has successfully captured the spirit of magic, mystery and personal responsibility that sets the priesthood apart from, although never above, the uninitiated. Those of you who are seekers have no idea how lucky you are to have access to this book, and I certainly wish it had been around when I began my own magical journey. To the seeker, take note! To the initiated reader, enjoy! And to Brian, thank you and Blessed Be – your faithful sister and daughter in Craft."

About the Author

Brian Cain is a Witch and High Priest of the Alexandrian Tradition. He has been a devotee of Traditional Witchcraft since his early teens and was first initiated in 1994. Today he is the High Priest of the New Orleans Coven, the only practicing Alexandrian coven in Louisiana. He maintains strong ties to the magical roots of Witchcraft in the United Kingdom and follows the teachings of Alex and Maxine Sanders. His focus is on strong training in both priesthood and the Arts Magical.

With his husband, Christian Day, he co-hosts HexFest, a Weekend of Witchery held each August in New Orleans, as well as Festival of the Dead, a monthlong event series in Salem, Massachusetts that includes the Salem Psychic Fair and Witches’ Market and the Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball. Together they own Witchcraft shops Hex and Omen in Salem and Hex in New Orleans. They are also the founders and publishers of Warlock Press.

Other Books By Brian Cain