Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article


This article was written by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke on February 02, 2011
posted under Initiation

The word has been given a variety of definitions over the years, everything from the pledging and hazing of college (and even high-school) students into fraternities and sororities to the admissions trials of secret societies, entry into occult and Masonic lodges and their grade or degrees, and to the more serious dramatic and transformative rituals of Wiccan and other esoteric groups. In some cases, the initiation rituals are truly effective in raising the consciousness of the candidate, whereas in other cases the initiation is more a certification of the levels of study and practice the student has mastered.

In the true Occult (and psychological) sense, Initiation is more an inner experience than an outer one, even though a dramatic ritual may induce an inner transformation and flowering of the psychic potentials and powers of the person. Despite the promises of various teachers, gurus, priests and adepts, it is less something done to the person and more something that happens "when the student is ready."

It has been called a "tearing away of the veil" so that the new initiate now sees with new eyes, and perceives a world of greater complexity, one of added dimensions, forces, and living beings. Progressive initiations mark further growth and development as the person becomes more of the Whole Person each of is intended to be. The potential is there from birth and before, and can be realized through knowledge, experience, and growth practices.

In  the Theosophical concept, Initiation refers to a non-magical and more eastern process of expanding consciousness of which there are ten in number usually administered by an enlightened teacher. And maybe there are not enough of them to go around. Self-Initiation bypasses that shortage along with the high costs of travel and the possible dangers of international travel in troubled times. Even more are the dangers of attachment to a charismatic cult leader who provides an illusion of his own high adept status and an initiatory experience for his followers that must be constantly renewed.

In astrology, a grand cross occurs when four or more planets a form two sets of oppositions that combine to form four squares. These planets are also usually related by mode (Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable). This is a difficult configuration, but there is usually great strength accompanying it to endure and develop character. So, there are three... read this article
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path
Tracing Lincoln's Ghost
Mind Reading Quick & Easy

Most recent posts:
The Green Witch Tarot
Learn more here: CLICK! The Green Witch Tarot is the a deck that I’ve been waiting for ever since Ann Moura wrote Tarot for the Green Witch...

Profiling the Chupacabra
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Nick Redfern, author of the new Chupacabra Road Trip. Is the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico home to...

Health & Wellness Catalog

Gathering Deep Gathering Deep
By: Lisa Maxwell
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Dream Alchemy Dream Alchemy
Shaping Our Dreams to Transform Our Lives

By: Ted Andrews
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$8.39 US,  $10.49 CAN On Sale!
The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband
By: E. J. Copperman, Jeff Cohen
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$9.79 US,  $11.89 CAN On Sale!