I is for initiation – A Pagan Blog Post

I is for Initiation

A lot of us plan and hope for our ordinations and our initiations. We can’t wait until we take the next step up. We get so excited about the event we don’t think about what can come after. What comes after is preparation for the next step and we are often not prepared for that.

Why? Because the Goddess listens.

And she laughs…

I have yet to have any kind of peace after an initiation. It takes about a year and a day and sometimes more for life to calm down to a new normal and before you are ready to take any next step, I have found my emotions tested. My sanity tested. Sometimes my body tested, usually all of the above.

It’s one reason I turned down the idea of becoming a Heirophant in FOI when I was asked a few years ago. I saw two Heirophants before me get crushed in short order and really was not prepared to go there. The bigger the step up the bigger the challenges. Now I’m thinking it’s time to take the next step up to ArchDruidess and maybe start my own local grove and wonder what will happen.

I’ve made stupid pledges like asking for change and going home from a gathering and finding out I had a month to move. I’ve lost jobs. I’ve had serious injury, serious enough to be on crutches for a year and a half and a wheelchair for 2 months. I’m down several body parts and should rattle like the Tin Man. (The Goddess version of a time out) I’ve had family deaths that I had to deal with. I’ve lost partners. She has taken away things that I loved like the ability to dance to focus me on other things. I suppose it may be the only for a variety loving Gemini to focus.

What have I gotten out of it? A lot of loving deep spiritual relationships with my goddesses and my fellow priestesses. A lot of stories to tell. A sureness about where to go and which direction to head. It’s given me time to become proficient in the things I should do and time to say goodbye to things that needed to go. I made me evaluate what was important to me and to grieve things that weren’t. It’s given me a lot of things to write and pieces of art to make.

The Goddess takes you at your pledge and says,"okay, let’s see if you mean it". If you pass, the way to the next step will open. If you don’t you either keep getting the same lesson presented in different ways or you totally abandon everything and shut down. I’ve done both, I admit, over the last 30 years.

The Goddess’ lessons can start out subtly as a tap on the shoulder and a whisper to take some action. She then moves up to love taps on the side of the head and when I’m being particularly obtuse, a Louisville slugger makes the point. This is why you will find a tiny Dodger Louisville Slugger bat on my altar. I suppose if you are in Britain she might use a cricket bat and for Canadians, a hockey stick. Any way you slice it, it tends to hurt a whole lot when you don’t pay attention.

I know if you are about to undergo an initiation, you think I’m nuts or exaggerating. If you are serious about doing it right and you’re heart and mind are in it, you will find out.

It’s one reason I always refused to do any kind of initiation at the end of my Wicca 101 classes. You really need a year and a day to live with it. I would do a dedication to the path instead. The ones that stayed on the path for the most part have grown and thrived. The ones that found it too hard either went back to Christianity or just disappeared altogether.

The minute you take a vow you become a solitary, even if you are initiated into a coven, grove or group because they can’t do it for you. You have to walk the path yourself and learn the lessons that are yours to learn. You have to put one foot in front of the other down a path you won’t be able to see farther than a few steps and trust in yourself and your chosen deities not to let you fall or at least fall harder than you can deal with. And some times you will wonder if you really can because it hurts to go on. But do go on … the view up ahead is wonderful.

2 thoughts on “I is for initiation – A Pagan Blog Post

  1. Hopefully your wise words of experience will caution some new enthusiasts to take it easy and not get ahead of themselves. It sounds like quite a challenging path. I do believe that the more we love our chosen deities, the more they test us and demand of us. It’s only natural that they should have such high expectations of us when we decide not to be sheep, but follow a calling to something more important. Thank you for the very interesting post. 🙂


  2. as always I love what you write. and as always you answer the question I have not asked out loud 🙂 after the full moon I was playing with my new tarot deck doing a 3 card draw since I am new to card or rather I haven’t done them in about 18 years so rusty/ new. Anyway the present card was the Heirophant.


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