The Initiation

Not marked by a wreath of roses; that is a coronation. Befitting someone who has willingly embarked on an initiation journey. What is it to be initiated? It is like the Tower card in Tarot. Something breaks, a meteor shitstorm, and you plunge down to the ground, deep into the underworld. You then emerge, reborn and renewed. You have seen another layer of your ugly self, wallowed, raged, beat yourself up and finally accepted it all with clarity and compassion. You are able to see that you are jealous because of your own insecurities. You accept that you are constantly living on the edge due to an unsafe childhood marked with scarcity. You see, you acknowledge, you let go and you kindly vow to choose better.

We need to embark on this initiation journey time and time again. Why? Because without these rites of strife, we cannot expect the break new ground of self honesty and make self honouring choices. And each time, we emerge filled with so much respect and love for the self because introspection and self awareness is a tough exercise. Many just prefer to live a linear life dictated by their comfort zones. Wake up, get ready, prep the kids/pets, go to work, come home, live for the weekend, throw in an occasional hobby. Repeat reel from beginning until you die or burn out.

There are initiation journeys which are governed by rhythms, flows, and cycles such as menstruation, marriage, loss of virginity, pregnancy, death of a loved one. Then there are those that we force ourselves into. Those are extremely potent journeys done with full consciousness and courage and not in some Peruvian jungle dosed up on Ayahuasca.

Initiation journeys are spiral and also fractal. In one spiral lies another spiral and in that lies another. Forget about a destination, just be packed for trips and enjoy the ride as much as you can. First, you must learn to sit with self. Be alone and process through breath, journaling, silent meditation, active meditations, answering a list of introspective questions part by part with raw honesty. If you can do this with discipline and diligence, each spiral will be less chaotic and traumatic. Next, find a qualified person to guide you through. Look for a soul doula, a teacher whose values reflect yours and you feel comfortable talking to. Nobody takes free advise seriously, so invest. Take homeopathy to remedy your constitution, ingest flower essences customised to your disposition. Support the body with nourishment and movement. When we move past the stage of being mentored, we now can function in a group setting. Here, everyone is equal and shares without dumping. You take nothing personally and understand that everyone is a mirror. Sharing in a group opens up your worldview. You snap out of your own script and realise that many realities exist at the same time and are all valid; not just yours.

I have walked the initiation of quitting my job and leaving my marriage. That led me to the next spiral of having to really look into my self care practises and what I really wanted to achieve with my new found freedom. I was still hitting blind spots and being untruthful to the self by staying on in unhealthy situations. I had tons of energy but was cheerleading the wrong cause. I consistently chose myself last thinking it was noble and altruistic. Here is where I learnt boundaries, what is it like to betray another, and how my avoidant, pacifist behaviour is merely a coping mechanism.

The next spiral started when I got fired and was homeless just as I was about to embark on an Inner Goddess Makeover course. It really made me question my worth, my sanity, and if my principles would waver given that I had lost almost everything; including people. This spiral led me to experience the journey of being a woman and priestess even more as I developed more sustainable rituals and routines. It made me face where in my life I had the most blindspots, and where it was the hardest for me to admit my mistakes. Here I journeyed with other women and started monthly circles with them. I play many different roles from each circle to the next. I am teacher, I am sister, I am shaman. Such are the wondrous aspects we all embody.

Right now I am in yet another initiation journey. It started with me being severely ill for two weeks. As someone who has not fallen sick with the common flu and cough in the past 5 -7 years this was a huge blow to my ego. And this started just as I am embarking on my facilitator certification course. This time I am once again evaluating the times when I did not choose myself first and have overextended my lifeforce. The theme seems to be karmic balance. I do not yet know the outcome of this spiral but I am sure it will lead to more illumination and breakthroughs, deeper understanding and more compassion for the self. But all this can only come from one action. Surrender. To lose your identity, to lose people, to lose control of certain outcomes and situations.

I invite all of you to consider if you have ever been initiated. Life is not an endless struggle but must learnt to be experienced. You experience loss and keep on living. This is true invincibility and power. The ability to let go and shed. And choosing it over and over again until no box and label can diminish you. And so it is.



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