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Life initiations - calls for transformation

Just as we settle down and feel like we have arrived at our destination, life presents us with a new challenge - to shake us up a bit, rearrange us, re-examine us, shatter us into pieces. The goal is not to stay broken, but to pick up what is important, reconnect the fragments with gold and continue in a new outfit.



The Concept of initiations


Initiation means beginning. A beginning of a new period of life, a beginning of a new understanding of life, a beginning of a new role in life. In order for something new to really begin, what existed until then must "die". When we complete life initiation, we usually move from one state to another, from one level of consciousness to another, from one period of life to a completely different and new period, from one life role to another. The existing one needs to disintegrate and die in order for something new to grow. Every initiation we go through fully awake becomes an opportunity for enlightenment and opens the door to new opportunities and insights.


To come out of the process transformed, and to integrate experience and insights at all levels - physical, mental, psychological, emotional and mental, it is necessary to go through the experience consciously. In societies that live according to natural laws, there are various practices and ceremonies that are essential for transformation. Initiation is a call to transformation, to the transformation of emotions into sources of wisdom and power, to the transformation of disease into health, to the transformation and reprogramming of our whole being and way of life. When we go through all the steps of initiation, we come to a state of enlightenment that helps us better understand our life journey, brings us freedom from emotional suffering and awareness of the true nature of reality.


Although we can go through initiation in a group context, each initiation is an extremely individual process and everyone has to go through their own experience that informs them. With each initiation we discover that we will not die even when we think that a broken heart will kill us, or that the letting go of youth will destroy us. When we immerse ourselves in the process and experience, we experience initiation on a deeper level. Over time, feelings of helplessness and fear dissipate, where courage, curiosity, and creativity grow. We then embody peace and compassion and finally break the sense of enchantment caused by dramatic events from our own past and the past of our ancestors.


The concept of initiations has changed its meaning significantly throughout history. Initiations have become a way of "proving" one's belonging to a certain group of people - ethnic, cultural, religious, and many others. Both in traditional tribal societies and in modern ones. An individual must complete various challenges to become a member of a particular society or a group of people who identify themselves according to predetermined characteristics. Such practices enable the survival of traditions, cultures, dogmas and mythologies that we repeat from generation to generation without awareness of often harmful consequences of these same practices on individuals and communities.


Consequently, important life events, i.e. initiations / rites of passage are nowadays not really celebrated or are celebrated on a superficial level, far from nature and life in their essence, mainly in the context of a particular institution that determines "rules of the game". They are often theatrical to entertain the audience and preserve the belonging and reputation of the family.


This text addresses the concept of initiations in their original and most natural form - personal transformation, processes of transition from one period of life to another, giving insights into consequences of lack of deep personal initiation practices and rites of passage that can help us return to our center as a source of power. to live an authentic life and consciously go through life transformations, crises and challenges.


Most Common Life Initiations / Calls for Transformation


Ancient traditions say that every person must go through seven life initiations in order to fully experience human life. These seven initiations include birth, growing up, first love, marriage (and often divorce), parenthood, old age, and death. While some people will not experience some of the initiations in biological form, it is important that they go through the experience on a symbolic, mythical level. If someone does not have biological children, they can give life to a project, book, company and other creations to have something they can call their "child" and feel what it means to be a parent.



We are reborn when, for example, we move to a new city, start a new career, start a new relationship because parts of our being will "die" with the inevitable life changes, and new aspects of us will be "born". Initiations are inevitable and any resistance will result in an even greater challenge or in an even greater crisis. Each initiation is an opportunity for new insights, for awakening our infinite and divine nature, for connecting with different dimensions of existence, for the experience of liberation from the shackles of pain and suffering, and imposed expectations of family, environment, society, culture.


With each initiation we part ways with the past and embark on the journey towards what we are becoming. If we are able to completely surrender to its transformative action, we have a better chance of creating a new reality with greater awareness. If we do not transform the emotions that come to surface, we sink into even deeper pain and suffering. When we go through that eye of the needle, we realize that life is not something that happens to us, but something that we can actively create. If we miss or fail to complete one of the life’s most important initiations, our health and emotional state will be impaired in a variety of ways.



Birth

Birth has become a practice that happens far away from life and nature, behind closed doors, in a sterile environment, away from family and loved ones, influenced by various procedures and methods to speed up the process or (seemingly) avoid pain. The way we come into the world has an extremely big impact on the rest of our lives. If we are born and do not go through the emotional experience of initiation supported by a family or group of people we come to, we struggle with a sense of (non) belonging and personal worth through life. Anger is an emotion that occurs throughout life as a result of an incomplete birth process - both body and soul.


Adulthood

Growing up assumes a biological process as much as mental, emotional and spiritual. Western society is a society that is collectively stuck in adolescence. Although we grow up biologically and our body ages, on other levels we often get stuck and remain chronic adolescents. If we do not experience initiation and the transition from adolescence to being a man or a woman, feelings of selfishness, resentment over what we lack, and an obsession with materialism and power come to the surface. Greed is the dominant characteristic of people who did not say goodbye to the adolescent period of life and didn't fully step into their masculinity or femininity. Such people are extremely focused on their rights and completely neglect their responsibilities.



Also, this initiation is difficult to go through unless a person has truly gone through the initiation of birth and came to life completely. Through the initiation of growing up, people go through the process of returning to own center, remember that they already carry everything they need in themselves, in their bones, in every cell of being, in their soul. If a person does not connect with own center during the process of transformation from adolescence to adulthood, he wanders through life in search of this "something" and is easily influenced because of the insatiable thirst to fulfill the emptiness.


Growing up also means separating from your parents to step on your path. As long as a person has expectations of parents of any kind, does not respect what was received, is angry at them, tries to help them in an inappropriate way or puts himself in a superior position, growing up is not possible.


First love

People who do not experience the initiation of first love, spend their life looking for a perfect partner in vain, feel lonely and incomplete. They are unable to have a sexual experience in which they surrender intimately to their partner. Lust is the dominant emotion that occurs in people who do not go through the initiation of true first love and give it respect and gratitude. The experience of first love and first sexual experience has consequences for all partnerships which follow later.


First love and first sexual experience are the moment when we become aware of our mortality for the first time. We realize how vulnerable we are. The experience that gives us so much sweetness, pleasure, excitement and makes us so alive is also our weakest point. And on the other hand, in order to enjoy that sweetness, the part of us that we bring into that relationship needs to die, for the relationship to come to life and last. A man brings the energy of life into a woman's life, while she brings death into his life, the death of his ego. That's her ace up her sleeve. On the other hand, a man has "power" over a woman because through sexual experience he can enable her to experience giving birth, which is also an experience that can kill her - physically and mentally.


Partnership (sexual) relationship is an extremely subtle dance between life and death. It is therefore not surprising that many would actually prefer to be alone or try to take control of such life forces instead of surrendering to life and learning to dance the dance of infinite creation in love, symbolic dying and rebirth. It is the only path to true love, there are no detours or shortcuts.


True love tears us apart, frees us from our armor and grinds us like a mill grinds wheat into flour, to the point we no longer recognize ourselves. After that it mixes us with a bit of water, kneads us into a piece of bread and bakes on the holy fire. Then we are ready for a feast. Everything else is romance spiced up with a bit of drama and a very nice movie full of hope and illusions.

Marriage

People who do not go through the initiation of marriage become eternal singles who are completely casual when it comes to relationships. They often want to be married (or in a relationship) but also keep their previous lifestyle. They expect their partners to meet their needs and are not willing to commit to creating an honest relationship. The emotion that occurs in them is laziness. If they don’t marry a person, they most often “marry” their career, company, ideology, the method they work with, or find another kind of replacement.


It is not possible to enter into marriage completely if the spouses have not gone through the initiation of growing up and separation from their parents and have returned to their center. They often become substitutes for each other as parents and will crave those aspects of their partner that they have not received from their parents, or that they unconsciously feel they should have received and did not. Then it is not possible to create a life together in an equal position and consciously go through the challenges and crises that come with marriage. Such a marriage is also extremely difficult to end and let go, to allow it to "die". Even when they separate (physically and legally), the spouses remain unconsciously loyal to each other which affects their health, their own future as well as the future of their common children or shared creations.


Paretnhood

People who do not go through the initiation of parenthood live through their children or their projects. They are often obsessed with outcomes and envy those who seemingly have more life options. The emotion that arises is envy. By living out their unfulfilled dreams through children and unconscious expectations that their children will meet their unmet needs (which they most often did not receive from their parents), parents pass on heavy burdens to their children which children carry out of blind love for them. As a result, children are consequently unable to become independent, find a partner or live their own lives because they feel guilty if they do not help their parents, or if they do not do what their parents expect, or have a need to make their parents proud of everything they do.


Sagehood / Becoming an Elder

People who do not consciously go through the initiation of the transition to old age have a strong sense of scarcity and loss and a desire to live a life that no longer exists. They consume more than they need to feel better. Gluttony is an emotion that often occurs as an outcome. The consequences are often extremely significant for society as a whole. People living in a society where age is not a desirable period of life, and in which members of the elderly population are locked up in institutions where they are totally isolated from the rest of the world are unconsciously trying to avoid this initiation. A society that does not value old age as an extremely valuable time and that does not respect older, wiser and more experienced society without a future.


Death

People who refuse to go through the last initiation of our physical body often cling to various unfinished business. They become arrogant and important to themselves and terrified of their own mortality. Pride comes to the surface as a result, and they are willing to do absolutely anything to be able to change or control the outcome of their lives. Every seed that grows into a plant reaches its maturity, bears fruit, which then turn into seeds and spread in different directions. The plant then decays, rots and eventually turns into humus that feeds new life and new plants that sprouted from the parent plant. People have the same life cycle, and we will all become humus sooner or later.


The initiation of death does not only mean the moment when our physical body dies, but also includes various small "deaths" that we experience through life. Each of the above initiations implies a small death of what was before, the end of a certain period of life or a certain role. When we want to continue our previous lifestyle in new circumstances, life will very likely send us various warnings and crises that will affect our personal health and well-being.



And what else?


There are various other life situations that are a call for transformation, for the end and the beginning of something new. For example - transition from the role of student to teacher or mentor, new position in the team or company, transition from the role of employee to entrepreneur, relocation, starting a new business or project, illness and many other life events. With each new phase of life or role we go through initiation when we are called to let go of our former identities even though we would often like to keep them or somehow expand the former with the new and what is yet to come. This is often not possible. In order to truly stand in the "shoes" of a new phase of life, role or situation, we must say goodbye to the past, pay tribute to it and humbly thank it for all the gifts and lessons.


In addition to individual initiations, there are also collective initiations. They include various events, crises, wars, genocides, pandemics, changes in political regimes, natural disasters. They invite us to transform as a collective, as humanity. More in one of the following posts….


*Intertwined with own life experiences, initiations and calls to initiation and inspired by the book The Illumination Process (Alberto Villoldo).



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