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by George Jackson - Adept V

I would like to start this article with examples of the accepted definitions of the word initiate which includes to admit, introduce, take in, start, commence, inaugurate, and institute. All of these definitions are involved with causing change. Something different has been added to one's experiences. How one relates to this state of change becomes very relevant and frequently people like to tie a state of illumination or revelation to the initiation event. I prefer to view it as a point of recognition.

In a Universe governed in the most part by waves of probability it should not seem unusual that people are experiencing points of initiation on every level they exist in fairly frequently. This becomes more evident if one accepts the view that the only observable constant is change itself. What then becomes most significant is to what degree an initiation effects us. The conservative side of our natures has a tendency to ignore or work around the minor ones on a conscious level. However, if several minor initiations focused within a particular area are ignored, one has a better than average chance of encountering a major one which can be rather traumatic in nature. The lesson here is that it is good to pay attention to these small new events that are trying to tell one something important. The message can very well be "change or else!"

In "consensus reality" we go through a number of states of initiation in an accepted order. An example of this is when we attend school and are passed from grade to grade with graduation being a major initiation event. The combines a recognition with a "Rite of Passage" event and is usually accomplished with some ceremony. Beginning a new job or entering into one's first intimate relationship also falls within the initiatory experience as does being separated from these relationships against one's will. Sometimes we call these "learning experiences."

Within the magickal paradigms initiation is a process. By this I mean an ongoing expansion of awareness that from time to time opens new mental and spiritual doors and reveals an unsuspected route for us to explore rather than just a series of formalized ritual grades. On an individual basis the solitary practitioner does not need outside validation. The ability to do new work accomplishes this.

The onset of this process can sometimes be very unsettling. Particularly when it occurs to the solitary practitioner. There is frequently an unconscious call to move in an unfamiliar direction as well as a dislocation from what one has here to fore thought of as normal. This can be accompanied by visions as well as the crumbling of structures of belief that one has held quite dear. This period of instability is sometimes referred to as the "initiatory sickness" and can be marked by fear, anger, depression, and a strong feeling of loss of personal control. At the core of this experience is the re-acquaintance with the triple levels of one's self and that much of this is internally generated. Some further explanation is due here. One of the key factors in initiation is the conscious recognition that one has passed out of their apprenticeship and into at the least a journeyman level of knowledge and power. The other two portions of one's personality, the super conscious and the subconscious, now feel free to act in a more complex manner. The conscious mind is suddenly made aware of these complex patterns that were waiting for release. With the Adept there is a realigning of magickal patterns that have the ability to deal with more difficult events. Some of this very energetic activity effects the Adept's consensus reality, especially if there is an underlying sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo. Probability is shifted by the new initiate and changes in his or her consensus reality begin to occur and most of the time this is done on the unconscious level. During this period of redirection of personal power by the unconscious levels there is frequently felt a loss of conscious control and magickal ability. In the vast majority of cases this is of a temporary nature.

With greater magickal power and ability can come more difficult and complex challenges, some of them brought on by the internally generated shifts in one's view of consensus reality. One needs to use the abilities one has acquired. Hopefully, among the things that occur within one's initiation is a shedding of some of the biases and complexes that have here to fore been impediments and the emerging of a much stronger state of self confidence. These two effects alone can make the initiation experience worth the cost. There is sacrifice involved in magickal progress; in emotion, time, and energy if nothing else.

When one participates in a group magickal initiation some other things are added. Two of the more obvious things are a validation of acceptance by the group through a formal ceremony and a willing outside source of power. If the ritual is magickally successful a more subtle and significant event takes place which is the merging with the group's gestalt entity. In some cases states of illumination can occur triggered by this experience, particularly in people who previously have been of a solitary nature. This is a new level of insight into self in relationship to other people, the world, and the Universe in general as well as how new ideas and concepts synthesize together and form new paradigms. Another important thing that is gained is an expansion of communication with people who can directly relate to one's personal magickal experiences. A sympathetic listener can be worth her or his weight in gold.

If one has seriously made the decision to become an Adept the initiatory process will be repeated as one passes through his or her magickal experiences. I feel it is worth the price!

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