How Initiation Into Spirituality Creates Magical Changes In Your Personal Growth

As a​ teacher of​ esoteric studies, I have the honor of​ conducting Initiations once or​ twice every year. This is​ an​ obscure and greatly misunderstood concept for most people. Plus modernization has gradually killed off many traditional rites of​ passage.

Some everyday Initiations you may already be familiar with:

Christening. Baptism. Bar or​ Bat Mitzvah. Induction into any institution. Your first day of​ school. University Matriculation Day. Graduation Day. The rigorous training of​ the armed forces. The first day of​ a​ new job. Joining the local Golf or​ Rugby Club. The Freemasons. American Fraternity Houses. The Mile High Club.

In a​ new job, the Initiation may be simply learning the ropes, being taught procedures, where to​ put your coffee mug and what time the “in crowd” work till. You usually get a​ special “tome” full of​ arcane laws and guidelines that no one really ever reads. There may even be a​ joining fee.

History shows that medicine, physics, chemistry, reading, mathematics, writing, astronomy and anatomy were all at​ one time “occult” secret arts. in​ the modern world, you were probably initiated into most of​ those before you were 16 years old.

Definition from The Oxford Dictionary:

Initiation [v] – to​ begin and admit a​ person with introductory rites into secrets, mysteries or​ science. Latin root “initium” means “to begin”. So it’s a​ rite of​ passage ceremony, which signifies the transformation of​ an​ individual into a​ higher, more desired level of​ identity.

Initiate [n] – the person who has been initiated

Imagine you want to​ join an​ exclusive members-only social club. You can walk up to​ the building, but the people on the door will usher you away unless you’re a​ member. However, if​ you have a​ friend who is​ already a​ member, you will walk up the steps together and will be given a​ warm reception. Now you have access to​ higher powers [in this case the social, economic and prestige benefits of​ club membership] as​ well as​ the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual changes initiation brings about.

Now if​ you don’t have a​ friend who’s already a​ member, the alternative is​ to​ keep going over to​ the club, getting your face known, trying to​ schmooze the doorman and occasionally peeking through the window to​ see what’s going on inside. The way people do that is​ by reading books and trying things out haphazardly.

Unfortunately enlightenment doesn’t come from books – it​ is​ experience alone that brings realization.

Initiation gives you membership, companionship with like-minded individuals and access to​ deeper and broader levels of​ insight and power. in​ many systems, it​ is​ believed that many of​ your new contacts will be previous Initiates who are no longer with us. Initiation gives you nothing in​ tangible terms. Instead, it​ allows you to​ begin a​ particular system or​ practice.

Practical training involves:

• Training the physical body – a​ regimen of​ toughening, strengthening and purifying. This is​ usually achieved through exercises, breathing, and postures.

• Learning how to​ control your emotions. Feel the full range of​ positive and negative. Be able to​ accept and release the painful, and bask in​ the pleasant. Never be at​ the beck and call of​ involuntary emotion.

• Training the mind to​ focus on what you want and to​ eliminate the “noise”. Train up the laser-like focus. Develop discipline and single mindedness on your outcome. This is​ one purpose for ritual and ceremony. You’ll soon learn if​ you have the discipline to​ practice every single day. Learn how to​ and consistently practice meditation – stillness of​ the mind.

• Conscious knowledge of​ logic and philosophy giving you the full range of​ thinking on all logical levels, as​ recommended by Aristotle.

• Develop and utilize the imagination. What the mind can conceive it​ can achieve. All physical manifestation first requires the spark of​ creativity.

Science starts with reference experience data then searches for principles to​ explain it. Experiment leads to​ knowledge. “I’ll believe it​ when I see it”. Proof is​ required to​ prove something is​ real.

Esoteric study begins with the guiding principles, then watches for reference experiences to​ back them up. Knowledge leads to​ experiments. “I’ll see it​ when I believe it”. Faith is​ required to​ know something is​ real.

A spiritual initiation is​ therefore the process through which a​ student is​ given access to​ deeper layers of​ knowledge and practice [often called secrets] by their teacher or​ mentor.

In the worlds of​ mysticism and esoteric study, this is​ purported to​ cause a​ fundamental shift within the person being initiated. The initiator, bearing a​ certain power or​ state, transfers this to​ the person being initiated. Symbolically this is​ a​ simultaneous death and rebirth, because not only is​ it​ a​ beginning, its also an​ ending of​ sorts as​ the student ascends to​ a​ new level.

Very often you would be given a​ new name, a​ magical name. One of​ the many reasons for that was to​ reinforce the change in​ your identity.

Fully initiated means devotion to​ the mystic, occult wisdom and contact with natural forces. it​ also brings with it​ the Fraternity and comradeship with the group or​ “family” you are initiated into. Because you don’t start off born with mystic, magic or​ psychic abilities – you have to​ learn and practice them. The training and guidance is​ there if​ you’re willing to​ do the work. Unfortunately more people read about esoteric study than practice. The real measure of​ a​ spiritual initiate is​ how they demonstrate it​ in​ real life, not their intellectual knowledge. It’s what you do that counts.

This was repeatedly stressed by Dion Fortune who lived from 1891 – 1946 [real name Violet Firth] – a​ member of​ The Hermetic Order of​ The Golden Dawn [a magic organization formed in​ the 1880’s], prolific author, psychologist, Christian and psychic.

She recommended an​ Initiate should be living a​ normal life and not be closed off in​ a​ secret order. Remember where Obi Wan Kenobi lived? You don’t want to​ become the eccentric weirdo in​ the woods!

You also don’t want to​ be a​ “fair weather” devotee. You know, the type who practices religiously on Sundays, but lets charity, forgiveness and moral fortitude slip a​ little from Monday to​ Saturday!

An initiate’s mindset should be centered around the approach that he or​ she has been initiated into. So no matter where you are, who you’re with or​ what you’re doing, you always have the method’s philosophy in​ the back of​ your mind.

There are three Initiators in​ your path – the first great initiation begins with your birth, the second is​ from your teacher, the third and most important are the lessons you learn through your life experience and learning’s from Higher Self.

The real question is​ the issue of​ authority – who is​ in​ charge, and what their intentions are. This is​ often abused and therein lie all the horror stories you might have thought this article was about.

And “as within so without”. Be wary of​ the Initiate who has no money, dysfunctional relationships and emotional baggage. The outer signs of​ the effects are usually the symptoms of​ the inner causes. if​ a​ person is​ lacking in​ the everyday world, they probably lack in​ the esoteric world too.

Finally, know that many believe it​ takes three lifetimes to​ become an​ initiate. So the sooner you start the better!

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