I is for Initiation

There is a reason I wanted to get The Invisibles post up first for Pagan Blog Project. It’s a great lead-in for talking about initiation.

Initiations are a big theme throughout the comic. Several stories are told of the major tranformations in the characters lives to bring them to the point we find them in the series. We watch Jack Frost’s as it unfolds. Fanny’s is told through flashback, but she quickly learns that it’s still happening many years later. King Mob has quite an initiation himself, and far from the first one. Boy’s was also traumatic. Robin’s led to some of the major plot points happening. And we even see what led our main adversary, Sir Miles, to the Outer Church.

But that is neither here nor there. I started writing those words and it came to me. Even further understanding unfolds.

Anyway, on to the actual subject and not more dithering about my favorite comic.

I’ve been through initiations on both sides, as the unknowing entrant undergoing the rite of Weshem-Ib in the House of Netjer, and as an assista in he mysteries of the Ekklesia Antinoou. Both experiences taught me so much about initiations and mysteries. Things you could read in books, to be sure, but you you don’t really understand them until you experience them.

First, there is a good reason why these mysteries remain mysteries and why the actual events taking place within them do not get discussed among non-initiates. Part of the awe and overall experience comes from not knowing what is about to happen to you. For weshem ib my first time, I was so nervous. The biggest reason why I did not bolt was knowing that others had been through the rite and come out of it on the other side. Had I known in advance what would have happened would also have led to my imagining what the experience could be, before it happened. Inevitably I am sure I would have felt some degree of disappointment.

Secondly, and I may be disappointing some of you with this, I strongly believe it is impossible for one to “self-initiate.” You cannot lead yourself through something you do not know but would also simultaneously need to act as a director. It just can’t happen.

Third, I feel that the Ones who truly initiate us are the Gods and unseen spirits. Mysteries and initiations occur in a place/space outside out of normal space and time.

But thanks to number three, sometimes you can work your way around number two a little bit. You can give the Gods a little nudge.

Originally, I had hoped my order from the Witch of Forest Grove would arrive by today, complete with ointment, oleum, and herbal blends, but that was not to be. Thankfully, there seems to be something in the air today which I can ride out when I cross over today, and it only needs a little something extra. At first I had thought to ask friend mugwort to aid my crossing, but when I noticed half a glass of commercial mead was having quite an effect on my perception, I knew where to turn for aid.

Already as I type these words I can feel that ecstatic altered state starting. Earlier this afternoon while finishing up a book, I could feel that wooziness. It’s been many years since I have felt that particular state, and it returns so fast, an old friend ready to know me again. I will finish these words, share them with all of you, do my final mundane preparations, then start the rite to cross the hedge.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.

6 thoughts on “I is for Initiation

  1. Thank you for mentioning your (very important!) role in the Antinoan Mysteries–as I’ve said before, I value Assistai almost even more than Mystai in some cases, because there is less of an obvious benefit to the Assistai to be doing what they do, which puts you in a kind of Antinoan bodhisattva-like role…!?! ;)

  2. Oh my goodness, I am not sure if I am ready to consider THAT level of responsibility. *laughs* But as the years pass since I actively did assista duties, I am appreciating and marveling over it even more. It’s also interesting to me to assist in a Mystery which I have not directly experienced myself. (… yet?)
    It’s a shame I have not been able to perform my duties in a while. Silly distances.

  3. Well, that’s the thing: you can’t really experience that particular mystery yourself now because you’re an assistes; BUT, there are other mysteries that have yet to be revealed, which will be coming soon (in the next two years, I predict), and we can all go through those together when the time comes, I suspect! ;)

    We haven’t had that many further mystai since ’08–only three, really, whereas we had three when you helped, and three not long before, so…But, who knows what the future may hold? There are various PantheaCon-connected folks who would like to do it, and so if we have the chance one of these days, we’ll do it then…

  4. Oh well that does sound promising. I’m not one to go around collecting mysteries for the sake of collecting, but we shall see what happens when these new ones reveal themselves.

  5. Pingback: On my non-relationship with Loki | Syncretic Mystic

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