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21st Century Guide to Cross Cultural Initiation
By Sarah Maiden | Reality Sandwich
Sometimes when we lose our minds, we go stark raving mad. At these times, we are beaten with figurative sticks and kicks, maybe there is blood and death or sex. The fluids and elements mix with our shattered psyches in a gaping gash of consciousness. But I have found there are other ways to break. I have found the simple strand that weaves a new story when you follow its thread. I fell down and followed, after the breaking, before the death, near to the edge, I reached above my head, blinded until frozen fingers clenched a line that wove me into this story. Listen, and listen well if you also choose to rewrite your very blood and bone. There is a way.
Line breaks: ini¦ti|ation. Pronunciation: /ɪˌnɪʃɪˈeɪʃn /NOUN
1. The action of admitting someone into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual:rituals of initiation: an initiation ceremony.
1. The introduction of someone to a particular activity or skill:his initiation into the world of martial arts.
2. The action of beginning something:the initiation of criminal proceedings. 
Our ideas of initiation, as shown above in the Oxford English dictionary, are all too often those of an outdated, mystical remnant of an animist or occult society. The definition refers to a "secret or obscure society or group," rather than a rite of passage into the adulthood of every human. In actuality, initiation is an age old human technology ranging from puberty itself, to secret cults, to fraternity houses, to the prevalent high school prom -- all forms of rite of passage into a more mature stage of life.
Initiation is a crucial part of life, for it helps us define ourselves through the many layers of our minds, spirits, and bodies. True initiation makes a fractal imprint on the hologram of our souls, letting us know who we are, our purpose, our role in society, and where we came from. For example, in some African Bwiti tribes, adolescent boys undergo extreme five-day entheogenic initiation rites to emerge with their lifelong career and social role meaningfully revealed to them through the ensuing visions. In America, we have high school guidance counselors working in cubicles who recommend lifelong vocations after simple 20 question quizzes! We have forgotten the sacred, the techniques for showing our children the methods to talk with Spirit and find their way.
As James Curcio eloquently wrote in "Initiation, Part 1: The Masks of identity":
"Initiation is such a constant in the cultural body that it is evident in one form or another in nearly every human culture that has ever existed before the industrial age, at which point it became notably absent, at least on the surface. This absence has produced a very real psychological crisis on a cultural scale, although as we will see in many ways the initiatory impulse has merely transferred itself, oftentimes to behaviour and beliefs which only shallowly fulfill that impulse." 
When societies lose their initiation practices, new ones emerge, for rites of passage are hardwired in the human psychological formula. New ways of reforming the psyche are not always successful or safe.
Read the full article at: realitysandwich.com
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Charles Upton - Vectors of the Counter-Initiation
Paul Levy - Wetiko, Shamanic Initiation & The Dreamer
Zulma Reyo - The Female Principle
Lon Milo Duquette - Aleister Crowley, O.T.O., The Thoth Tarot Deck, Enochian Magic & Initiatory Societies
Peter Levenda - Chinese Alchemy, Freemasonry, the Elite & Leaders above the Law
Mark Passio - Hour 1 - Holistic Brain & “New” Age Deception
The Carbonari: Their Origins, Initiation Rites, and Aims
Cremation of Care Ceremony at the Bohemian Grove
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