Before I write about what makes a person Wiccan, I’m going to start with makes Wicca Wicca.
For me, Wicca is a fairly recent inspiration of the Gods, and features pantheism, functional duotheism, small group structure, coven hierarchy, liturgical format based on ceremonial magick, liturgical cycle based on combining the agricultural cycle and herding cycles and diving those holy days into 8 evenly spaced ones, noting and often working with Lunar cycles, working with polarity, and being an experiential mystery religion. How many of these things can something called “Wicca” be missing and still be Wicca? I’m not going there today!
With its roots in Ceremonial Magick and mystery religions, Wicca-the-religion doesn’t accept just anyone who wants to join the Group Mind/Egregore – it is going to be into growth and evolution, yes, but not self-destructive changes.
You don’t have to be ‘actually’ Wiccan to worship The Goddess and The God, or to worship ‘Wicca Style’. Not being Wiccan doesn’t keep you away from the Gods, after all. But is DOES mean that you are not connected to the Egregore. It’s sort of like the difference between Kosher and Kosher-style. The taste – the liturgy and ritual actions – can be the same, but it’s not connected to the same Egregore. Kinda like planning to work with Bridget, but working with Hecate instead (hey, both are Goddesses and have 3 aspects, how different can they be?)
So the question becomes “How do you connect with the Egregore of Wicca?”
Seems to me that the Gods set it up as study and practice (outer court work), which then is made active by the Egregore acting through a HP/SS (or coven) that chooses to give the person membership or initiation.
Can the Gods or the Egregore initiate a person themselves? Yes, but in my experience it’s pretty rare. The Gods put the coven system in place when They inspired Wicca (or caused it to evolve out of CM), and aren’t going to lightly put it aside. The person the Gods are going to make an exception for is going to have to be special, and desperately needed for the growth of Wicca … and not just as a bad example. I’m thinking that anyone They do that for is going to have to become as important as, say, Gerald Gardner, or Victor Anderson, or Doreen Valiente. And even then, I’d expect that They would do it after the person, having lived in isolation somewhere with no chance to study with a coven, and no chance to move to study with one (and no chance to move away to even go to a university, which is harder to find time and money for than finding a coven), still did all the studying about Wicca, and practicing as much as they could get from books, for years on their own. In other words, They don’t do it for the human individuals convenience, but to better manifest the Wiccan Egregore’s Higher Will.
Other vaguely related blog posts: Preparing for Samhain