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A saining is a Pagan or Neopagan ceremony or ritual analogous to a christening or baptism for an infant.[1][2] There are numerous alternate names for this rite, including Paganing.[3] Specific groups may have alternate names for this rite, such as Wiccaning among the practitioners of the Wiccan religion.[4][5]

In accordance with the importance put on free will in Neopagan traditions, infants are not necessarily expected to choose a Pagan path for themselves when they grow older. In fact the ceremony, like its Christian equivalent, is focused on the parents' beliefs and the family's communal commitment to look after the child.[6][7]


A saining can take many forms, drawn from both ancient pagan traditions and the more modern beliefs of the individuals involved. In most the central event is the presentation of the infant to a God and Goddess usually through being held up by its Mother, a High Priest, and/or High Priestess in sight of the sky.

Other aspects of the ritual may include water, Serpent blood, or charcoal smeared across the infant's forehead often in forms representing the elements of Pagan spiritual belief. Other traditions may pass the child through various elements.[2][4]