It was considered peasant magic. Maghdella had heard this many times. The magic of maids, serfs, and the unseen masses. That was fine by her. Don’t look at us. Don’t see our numbers. Underestimate us. That is why we will survive when you fall. Her Eye was open and she had seen the coming destruction. She had seen an end to magic. She had also seen that one day… one day it would return. Nothing is ever lost forever after all. So long as the chants were said and oaths sworn, even without real magic to back them, the witches would be ready when the Power returned. Today would be the last time she inducted someone. Tomorrow she would die, soon they all would die. This youngling would be left to carry on the tradition. She would need to teach her children, and they, their children’s children, and forward on in time until the Power returned.
The Coven Circle formed in quiet. Maghdella, First Witch of the Crescent Sickle, began the Rite of Acceptance.
“We come in Circle. With faith and trust that we stand as one.”
“We stand in Circle joined as one” intoned the five other witches.
“We call forth powers old and ancient Pharie, Dragon, or Shade – if you answer our call then come!”
“We call you forth,” replied the others.
“Let the Circle be bound. Let our will be done”
“Let our will be done,” answered the others.
“We meet to bring forth our new daughter with whom we shall share our wisdom”
“Let her come forth and be questioned,” chanted the coven.
The circle, as a single mind, all turned to face the youngling. Maghdella continued the ritual and now could only pray that nothing would interrupt them. It was perhaps the most basic of spells but the marking of a soul to accept the Coven’s power should never be taken lightly.
“Who are you child? Who comes forth to ask for our secrets?”
The child, not more than thirteen, trembled with excited anticipation.
“I am Gisella, I come in faith and trust. Seeking only to learn.”
The words, practiced and rehearsed, came out in a hurried rush.
“Gisella, will you obey the will of the First Witch in all things that happen
within our Circle?”
“Gisella, will you keep our secrets and not speak of what you see or here within
this circle to those without?”
“Gisella, will you hold our ways and bind them to your family even if
all your power is fled?”
Maghdella stepped aside and gestured for Gisella to take her place on the inside of the Circle. Only one last hurdle. The magic of will, gathered from every person in the coven to shape something larger than any one of them began to build and take form. It was all Maghdella could do to contain the magic’s shape and purpose. The Power – wanting only to escape it’s confines and run wild. The will of the Coven was the only thing holding it in check.
“Brothers and sisters, our new daughter, Gisella, of the Crescent Sickle, is there any here who does not accept her as family, kin, and blood?”
“Please… let there be no objections,” she silently prayed to any and everything watching.
Silence and acceptance was the only response. Maghdella quietly sighed in relief. She held aloft a small sickle pendant and willed the Power of the Circle up into it.
“This is the symbol of our coven. It is the focus of our power and symbol of our acceptance in you. But for now, it is only a symbol. You are the only one who can make it more. Take this. Make it your own. Mark it with your blood and bind it to your will.”
Gisella was trembling. Not out of anticipation as before, but under the sheer weight of the magic she was experiencing for the first time. She reached out and took the pendant pressing the point of the sickle into her open palm. The Power of the Circle came crashing down into her, igniting every blood vessel and threatening to break every bone. She was a witch. She was now family. She stepped back and took her place within the Circle. Power quietly hummed waiting for the next spell to be cast. To most, Gisella looked no different than before but Maghdella was gifted with an Open Eye. She saw what few others could see. Above Gisella’s heart was a softly glowing sickle forever marking her soul as a Witch.
Maghdella smiled… they would survive.