Formal Initiation

My friend horizon called me tonight while I was watching Mad Men. I swear I just watch it for the outfits. It's so sick and so genius… Actually I almost didn't answer the phone even though she's one of my favorite people because TV has such a trancelike power over me. I know that I am not special this way.

Horizon and I met at witch camp of course. We are both thinking about initiation. By this I mean the formal initiation into the Reclaiming branch of the craft that requires you to seek out and ask people to be your initiators who then become your magical mentors and teach you how to soar like an eagle when you ride your broom stick.

Metaphorically of course.

The last time horizon and I talked about this was back in January, or maybe December. Before I started this blog, before I connected the dots that this back injury and teaching the Baba Yaga story and this time of uncertainty and change in my life add up to completing the initiation process that my divorce started… The last time we talked, my life was hell and I told her "Yes, I'm thinking about formal initiation but my life is such a shit show I just can't stand to introduce any more challenges into it."

Because of course that's what happens, especially if you pick the right initiators. They look into your soul and see all your dark and tender places and give you challenges to make you stronger or deeper or better aged…And clearly now I am thinking of myself as a prime cut of steak. I was craving steak for dinner tonight. Sometimes I write with my head and sometimes with my belly…


But tonight when we were catching up, I told horizon that things have changed, that maybe I have never been less anxious. I told her that for the last 20 years I have been turning anxiety into productivity for a campaign, a job… "Now my days are basically see my physical therapist, do my physical therapy, cook food… I feel lethargic," I told her. "All I want to do is nap."

She is my friend, so she laughed with me rather than at me, because she can hear that I am not actually pitying myself right now. Then she mentioned a friend of hers who I have just begun to know named Nikole. Nikole told her "When your life is falling apart, you might as well get initiation so at least you have some support."

"Not that your life is falling apart!" she said quickly. But I don't mind. I'm under no illusion that I have things under control right now. 

What's interesting, though, is that I haven't thought about the actual formal Reclaiming initiation process since things calmed down and I actually began this healing process. But as soon as horizon brought it up, it was like a bell ringing inside me. Yes, this makes sense now. 

Here's what I know about it: it's totally self-directed. Nobody comes to you with a magic wand and says "Lo and hear ye, the threshold awaits." You  start by asking one person and if they say yes, they have to approve the second person both of whom have to approve the third… there is no set number of people, but they have to be willing to work together, and too big a group gets both unwieldy, and also expensive because at the end of the whole ball game, the initiate (that would be me) has to pay for all the initiators to gather in one place for a ritual…

 (I hope there actually are broomsticks, there, by the way. Just saying.)

Horizon asked me tonight "If you could put in one sentence what you were looking for in your initiators, what would it be?"

Isn't she a great friend?

So I said hang on, because at the moment she asked that I was sitting downstairs at my little table putting on witchy make-up while we talked. Just because it puts me in the mood. I went upstairs and I got my Tarot cards, which help me think, and I lit a candle, and I turned on my earthy flutey Pandora station, and I centered, and this is what came to me:

·      Someone who I would trust in the darkness

·      Someone who has strong magical insight.

·      Someone who believes deeply in me

(Plus there are some specific skills stuff…) 

I would love to hear from anyone out there who is in initiation or been initiated or is considering it...what are you looking for?