Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Labyrinth of Initiation

With the energy of Samhain increasingly evident, my attention is being drawn to the reality of initiation. I’ve mentioned initiation a number of times in recent blog entries, and this is because I have been led to see the depth of initiation and also the cycle, or perhaps more correctly, the spiral of initiation. In recent days I have come to see that this is in fact a labyrinth, and in fact the initiate travels this labyrinth throughout their journey, spiralling in and out, travelling back into the centre, that place of death and rebirth, and then spiralling out once again, at a new level, at a new depth, in a new place and with a new energy, before returning once again, for a new encounter with death and rebirth. Initiation is a process, and one that is not trivial, but rather is hugely profound.

My tarot spread this week has been really very pertinent to all that has been happening with me of late and this week has seen my eyes being opened to a great deal of powerful things.

The theme this week has been very much about initiation, and a challenge from the gods to really assess and evaluate my own motives in light of what I seek. Is it about me? What I can gain? My own self projection, or is it about my own transformation through the laying down of self in order to achieve the manifestation of Higher Self? This involves travelling into the heart of the labyrinth, of daring to approach Cerridwen’s cauldron, of truly experiencing death in order to be reborn into a new place of experience and existence. There’s nothing shallow about this, the challenge this week has been clear – am I prepared for this, is it truly what I want and am I honestly prepared to bring those final bastions of resistance down to secure my hearts desire?

Initiation isn’t something that’s conferred by ceremony. Although ceremony of some kind may mark this rite of passage, it isn’t the ceremony that brings the initiation; it’s the intention of the heart of the Seeker. Motives, integrity, transparency, and openness before ones gods are key. Being honest with oneself, and with ones gods.

The journey of the labyrinth isn’t easy, because as one spirals in, so one spirals into death. At the centre of the labyrinth resides Cerridwen’s cauldron, and this is the cauldron of transformation, knowledge and rebirth, but before rebirth and knowledge can be bestowed, there has to be a death. There’s no shortcut, this process cannot be avoided, and although it may happen over many stages and on many levels, happen it must. As I am walking towards the centre, I see the various things I have laid down over time, but there is more. The cauldron represents the womb of the Mother, and I am going to be expelled from this womb, born into a new place, but before this happens, I have to let go, and let go especially of the past – even of that which I think I have learned.

I say this because although two cards spoke of initiation and motives, the third card spoke of the illusion of the past, of looking back with nostalgia, but this nostalgia is false. Things of the past may look attractive and appealing, but when I reach out for them, they disappear, or they fail to satisfy, because they have little substance. They may be full of appeal, full of sparkle, full of quick fixes and many promises, but in truth, they are empty and shallow and will leave me as such. They are illusory, and I have to walk away – and vow never to return.

In the past, when I have walked the labyrinth, it has been at much shallower levels. I have walked it on the level of emotion, or on the level of desperate seeking. Now I walk it as a matter of Will. I choose to let go, I choose to abandon myself to my gods and I choose to embrace the womb of the Dark Mother in order to be reborn. I choose the path of true initiation. I choose this because I seek to be reborn, with new eyes, new vision and with new knowledge and I want to move from the emotional and psychological to the arena of spirituality. I want the Inner Light of my Higher Self to radiate from my eyes and spirit to flow from this chosen vehicle.

I choose to move to a new level and to a new state of consciousness. The past has been a preparation, and a valuable one, but however appealing and however seemingly attractive, if I am to grow, then I have to move on. This may be painful in places, but it is a test of how serious I am and a demonstration of my level of commitment. This is a breaking of old patterns, a letting go, even of people and places, and a goodbye to old systems of support. This is about reality.

It’s a tough call and I have to ask myself if I am truly ready.

I am called to open myself to the Fires of Sulis and abandon myself to Cerridwen’s cauldron. A sacrifice of control.

As I prepare for Samhain, so I continue to walk the labyrinth of initiation, ever closer to the womb of the Dark Mother, shedding all that stands in my way, until I too am in the cauldron, dead, transformed and reborn, not on a superficial level, but truly reborn, with a new name and new vision, ready for the next phase of my journey.


Jen said...

Blessings to you on your journey of rebirth.
The only cauldron ritual I have done left me sick for several days. Please watch your health and take care. Your writing is lovely.

mahud said...

I'm often immersed in the study of cosmic cycles of space and time. It's fascinating how many diverse cultures understood that the nature of all things involves the cyclic rhythms of creation and destruction, and the correlation between the macro and microcosmic of these processes.

To me the Labyrinth is a comparable symbol to the circle. For one thing the beginning and end are one (as indeed is the middle: the garbagriha of ever-revolving death and rebirth). It can be a symbol of the world/cosmos, the underworld, and of course, the womb. Pyramids were internally labyrinthine in structure. Possibly this was to frustrate tomb robbers, but I also think it also had a religious function.

Thalia Took said...

It's just something about this week, isn't it? The card of the week I picked last Saturday was Ariadne.

Cloudia said...

Blessings, Friend!
I salute you on your journey along the spiral. your words are well crafted, worthy and deep. For me, REIKI initiation was very significant. I had been a jar of consciousness carried about by a body that I thought I knew but had really ignored and subjugated. the initiation awakened me to the life of ME that is my body. Soon concepts and meaning and symbols became easy joyful living things instead of concepts. The I Ching uses the Ting, the cauldron, others speak of the Krater, you are exploring the living things at the root of concepts. Liberation surprises and delights! Best Wishes and Aloha to You, Andy!

Aynn said...

There is something incredibly strange about the internet, and the way we find answers in it to questions we barely started to ask. :)
Thank you for sharing something so personal, it made me feel less lonely for a moment. Just to say: Happy Samhain, and thank you.

(Sorry my english, I am Portuguese and trying my best :) )


Mary said...

A blessed Samhain to you, Andy!

Anonymous said...

Brightest Blessings this Samhain Andy- Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I hope you had a blessed Samhain, Andy!