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Online Ordination for Modern Pagans: Why it’s So Important, Especially Now

Published Tuesday, Jul. 25th, 2023

Este articulo en español

A group of young women Pagans stand together in a circle holding hands around a smoking fire. They are in a forest filled with colorful fall leaves, and are wearing black and have colorful hair.

Learn why access to online ordination is important for Modern Pagan Wedding Officiants and Couples


Spiritual practice is deeply individual for most Modern Pagans – connecting with spirits, gods, and community in a personal and profound way. 


En Español: Ordenación en Línea para Paganos Modernos: Por qué es tan importante, especialmente ahora


Some Pagans belong to local covens or collectives, but a lot of Pagans practice alone as ‘solo practitioners’ or Solitary Witches. Modern Paganism itself encompasses many unique faiths (such as Wicca, Druidism (Druidry), Hellenism, or Heathenry), and followers belonging to the same denomination (Wiccans, for example) might honor different gods and pantheons. 


Likewise, there are only a few formal Pagan religious bodies or organizations, no restriction on membership, and no universally-agreed upon ecclesiastical laws governing how or where to practice. Pagan faiths are decentralized, and most Modern Pagans don’t belong to a conventional ‘church’ of any kind. And in many Pagan groups, all members are free to perform any ceremonial rite residing within their understanding of spiritual practice and magicks, and many rites are performed collectively. This includes handfasting and similiar marriage rites.



Some Pagan denominations do elevate members to the role of Priest, Priestess, Minister, or Elder, but many denominations don’t have an established pathway to ordination, a designated clergy, or a set hierarchy among their members. There are a few training organizations, such as Circle Sanctuary (offering endorcements to members) and Cherry Hill Seminary (offering multi-year certificates and masters-level graduate study). But most of these still don't offer ordination, including Cherry Hill.



Close up photo of a young solitary witch performing a ceremony outdoors, with herbs and spell books

Photo: Halanna Halila / Unsplash

Many Pagans are solo practitioners or 'Solitary Witches'



What this all boils down to is that without an established and accessible pathway to ordination, it’s difficult for many Pagan Officiants to meet their local government’s guidelines for who can solemnize marriage. 


Without ordination, Pagan Officiants might be spiritually qualified, but not legally qualified, to solemnize marriage. In turn, this makes it difficult for Modern Pagan couples and Interfaith couples to find a knowledgeable wedding officiant to perform their marriage rites in a respectful way.


 And as more Americans leave mainstream faiths for individual spiritual practices, the need for accessible non-denominational ordination only grows. 


This is where online ordination becomes essential…



Flower wreath with three ceremonial white candles sits outdoors surrounded by lush green trees at sunset



Online Ordination for Pagan Wedding Officiants


As you can see, access to online ordination with a nondenominational church like American Marriage Ministries (AMM) is so important for Pagan Officiants and couples!


Churches like AMM make ordination accessible to Modern Pagans, and many others, so that people of every faith and background are able to celebrate the spiritual rites of their communities in whatever way their faith guides them.  


AMM ordains people of all faiths and backgrounds, including Wiccans, Heathens, Druids (Neo-Druids), and other Pagans, provided that they agree to the church’s three tenets



  • All people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, have the right to marry.
  • It is the right of every couple to choose who will solemnize their marriage.
  • All people have the right to solemnize marriage.


It’s that simple: AMM believes that what unites us isn’t if we pray, or who we pray to. What unites all of us is our shared humanity. This broad approach allows us to welcome ministers of any religious or nonreligious background, and offer our ideological and spiritual support and acceptance. This universal acceptance is essential to one of our primary functions as a church: 
To ensure that all people have equal access to the benefits and protections of marriage, and the opportunity to celebrate the act of marriage with their friends, families, and communities in their own authentic way. 



Get Ordained Online with AMM here




Learn more about Pagan wedding traditions here:


When Pagans Wed:

Modern Paganism & the Wedding Ritual


Sacred circles, handfasting unity candles, and feasting -- learn what to expect at a modern Pagan or Neopagan wedding ceremony, including marriage rites of Wicca, Druidism, and Norse inspired Heathen Vikings.



Photo of a Wiccan wedding altar on the marriage day


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Illustration of parents with a baby during a wiccaning ceremony

A ‘wiccaning’ is the deeply joyful ritual celebration of welcoming a new Pagan into a spiritual community. Learn about the Pagan initiation ceremony and read the full article here. 



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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