The term “Blessed be” can be found in many modern magic traditions. Although it appears on certain pagan texts, it is usually more likely to be used in NeoWiccan environments.
The pronunciation of the word “Blessed be” emphasizes the last syllable of “blessed”, which is almost ubiquitous among the Wiccans and many other new pagans. Usually used as a greeting or farewell.
It is usually understood as a shorthand for “May you be blessed by the goddess”, as it appears in the long version of Wiccan Rede, but its origin lies in the old Gardnerian fivefold kiss ritual.
What is Gardnerian Wicca?
Gardnerian Wicca is named after its founder Gerald Gardner. Witchcraft Today, published by Gardner in 1954, is said to be the earliest modern Wiccan tradition, although it has since been questioned by Gardner.
The authenticity of the ancient belief system, but most Wiccans agree that it was Gardnerian Wicca who ultimately inherited all other traditions.
Gardnerian Wicca and its contemporaneous variant Alexandrian Wicca are often referred to as “British Traditional Wicca”, while Gardner himself is referred to as “the father of modern Wicca”.
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Where the phrase “Blessed Be” does originates from?
It is believed that it originated from the ceremony of pulling down the moon, in which the high priest summoned the goddess into the body of the high priest.
(Because it is suitable for women to represent the goddess)
This part of the ceremony is followed by the actual “Drawing down the Moon” and other shorter ceremonies, which you can read in “Opening Ceremony”.
However, back to our main topic, you may notice that the phrase is mentioned five times in the ceremony.
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In short, when someone says “blessing”, it means the whole ceremony. Of course, not in the sense of just promulgation, but all these blessings were received.
The body parts mentioned not only symbolize the whole person (both physical and mental bodies).
But also the symbols and meanings carried by these body parts (for example, the womb is a symbol of fertility, so one bestows the blessing of fertility when saying “Blessed be” and so on).
What is the Significance of the Five-Fold Kiss Ritual?
Although the word or phrase has appeared in many different religious traditions, it first appeared in Wicca as part of the Gardner-style five-fold kiss ceremony and part of the “pull the moon”.
As a ceremonial blessing, it is also often used to initiate ceremonies.
As you might expect, it involves placing five sets of kisses on the feet, knees, uterus, breasts and lips, with the following words:
Blessed be thy feet, which have brought thee in these ways,
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar,
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be,
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty,
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names of the gods.
“The feet brought in your way are blessed; the feet kneeling on the sacred altar with your knees are blessed; the uterus is blessed; blessed be the beautiful breasts; May your lips be blessed, this will say the holy name. “
It is important to remember that Wicca is a relatively new religion, and many of its terms and rituals are derived from Thelema, ceremonial magic, and closed mysticism.
Therefore, long before Gerald Gardner merged them into his original Book of Shadows, it was not surprising that many phrases appeared elsewhere-including “Blessed be” Too.
In fact, the King James Version contains the following verse: “The name of the Lord should be praised.”
This myth revolves around symbol of the goddess descending to the underworld (representing death).
Stories such as these exist in Greek (Dithlet and Kore mythology), Egyptians (Isis and Osiris), Nordic and the shamanic customs.
These myths do not represent actual death, but represent fear and death Personal confrontation (must be overcome).
It can also be related to Jungima’s Anima / Animus concepts (represented by characters like the mysterious guardians) and Shadow (death itself).
The story of the goddess descent is formulated in the second-level etiquette of Gardner and Alexander traditions.
In these ceremonies, roles are assigned so that the high priest usually plays the role of the goddess, the high priest plays the role of death, and chooses other roles accordingly, although this is not the rule.
There must also be a narrator who speaks everything quoted. The story is as follows:
Now our Lady the Goddess has never loved, but she would solve all the mysteries, even the mystery of Death: And so she journeyed to the Underworld.
The Guardians of the Portals challenged her:
“Strip of thy garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught mayest thou bring with thee 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. Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and kissed her feet, 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.”
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 thou! Thou art lovely. Return not; abide with me!”
But she answered: “I love thee not.”
Then said Death: “An thou receivedst not my hand on thy heart, thou must receive Death’s scourge.”
“It is fate better so,” she said. And she knelt and Death scourged her tenderly. And she cried, “I feel the pangs of love.”
And Death said, “Blessed Be!” and gave her the Fivefold Kiss, saying:“Thus only mayest thou attain to joy and knowledge.”
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He taught her all the mysteries, and they loved and were one, and he taught her all the Magics.
For there are three great events in the life of man: Love, Death, and Resurrection in the new body; and Magic controls them all. For to fulfil love you must return again at the same time and place as the loved one, and you must remember and love them again.
But to be reborn you must die and be ready for a new body; and to die you must be born; and without love you may not be born; and this is all the Magics.
Should the phrase be used outside of the Wiccan Rituals?
Many times, people use the phrase “blessed be” as a greeting. But if this is a sacred phrase, should it be used in a more casual environment? Some people don’t think so.
Some practitioners believe that sacred phrases such as “blessed be” can only be used in the traditional orthodox context of Wiccan practice, that is, in rituals and ceremonies.
In other words, it is completely inappropriate to use it outside of the spiritual and sacred background.
It is regarded as a sacred and spiritual term, not something that you might yell at an acquaintance at a pet shop’s parking lot, an entire social gathering or a colleague on an elevator.
“I use blessed be as a greeting outside of ritual when I’m saying hello or goodbye to other Pagans and Wiccans, although I generally reserve it for people I’ve stood in circle with, rather than casual acquaintances.
If I’m writing an email that’s coven related, I usually sign off with blessed be, or just BB, because everyone understands the usage.
What I don’t do, though, is use it when I’m talking to my grandma, my co-workers, or the cashier at the Piggly Wiggly.”
In April 2015, Wiccan priestess Deborah Maynard read Wicca’s first prayer word in the Iowa House of Representatives and added this sentence to the closing statement. Her call ends at:
“We call for the spirit of eternal existence this morning to help us respect all the interdependent networks in which we participate.
Together with this legislature, guide them to seek justice, fairness and compassion in their proper work. Placed today before them. Bless Ah, Aho and Amen. “
You may decide to use the phrase outside of the rituals, but only with other pagans-it is also possible.
What is the cultural significance of Wiccan phrase?
The meaning of this phrase is much deeper than its literal meaning and even the deep meaning of welcome and blessings.
Like all idioms specific to a particular culture or subculture, its usage implies a certain degree of familiarity and belonging.
In dedication, perhaps more importantly, when sending the greeting back, both of the participants acknowledged that their connection was a member of the same larger whole. In this way, the phrase is indeed expressive.
Not only does it provide blessings, but it also helps build and strengthen a sense of community and connection, which is often lacking in diverse and often lonely religions like Wicca.
Do I have to use Wiccan phrase “Blessed Be”?
Like many other phrases in the Pagan Dictionary, there is no universal rule that requires you to use the phrase as greetings, and not even use them in the context of the ceremony.
Pagan groups disagree on this point. Some people use it regularly, while others say it is uncomfortable because it is only a part of their etiquette vocabulary. If using it is forced or not sincere to you, be sure to skip it.
Similarly, if you say this to someone, and they tell you that they would rather you don’t, then the next time you meet that person, please respect their wishes.
It is also mentioned by Megan Manson of Patheos that:
“This expression just hopes to get someone’s blessing from a non-specific source.
This seems very suitable for pagans; there are all kinds of gods, there are indeed some forms of pagan and witchcraft that are completely devoid of gods, and there is hope Receive the blessings of another person.
No matter what their creeds are, there is no need to mention the origin of these blessings to any pagans. “
In this article we have tried to shed light on the Wiccan phrase “Blessed Be”, as it has a spiritual bent and also is used as a greeting or bidding farewell.
But the meaning and significance of this phrase varies as per different traditions.
If your tradition needs it, please feel free to merge it in a natural, comfortable, and appropriate way. Otherwise, this is a matter of personal preference.
Whether you choose to use the phrase or not at all depends on you!
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What is the meaning of Blessed be?
It means that someone exists in a blessed state. It’s a phrase used as a hello or goodbye, much like Aloha or Shalom. It is primarily a Wiccan greeting and/or ritual phrase which usually calls for a response in turn.
What is the correct response to Blessed be?
Of course, the appropriate response is to chime back the same trite greeting, smiling from ear to ear. The problem is, that the phase should be anything but a trite greeting as it originated as part of a ritual.
Where did Blessed be come from?
While the phrase appears in many different religious traditions, it made its first appearance in Wicca as part of the Gardnerian rite of the Five-Fold Kiss, part of their “Drawing Down the Moon” ritual. As a ritual blessing, it is also often used in initiation ceremonies.
Do Wiccans say blessed be?
Blessed be thy third eye, that sees all. The Five-Fold Kiss can be performed during Wiccan rites and ceremonies, such as hand fasting or the Drawing Down the Moon Rite. It may be the origin of the term blessed be, a well-known Neopagans greeting, also used as a general expression of blessing during ritual.
What does blessed mean Biblically?
A special favor, mercy, or benefit: the blessings of liberty. a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness. The invoking of God’s favor upon a person: The son was denied his father’s blessing. Praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal: The children took turns reciting the blessing.