Sunday, March 27, 2011

Initiation Ceremonies (Ancient Symbolism)

Initiation Ceremonies have been an important part of the human
Spiritual Experience since the earliest beginnings of Time. They
are sacred, Esoteric Ceremonies bestowed upon only a rare few
individuals and are, without a doubt, the highest celebration of a
Rite of Passage.

Perhaps the oldest Initiation Ceremonies which we are aware of
are those alluded to have occurred in ancient Egypt.

These Ceremonies were memorized word-of-mouth rituals, recited
by Master Teachers, for the benefit of a worthy and well-qualified
Initiate. These rituals were forbidden to be written down and were
conducted in a secret, holy, and very private location; possibly
within the Great Pyramid itself.

History tells us of individuals who Traveled to Egypt for the sole
purpose of being Initiated into the Ancient Mystery Schools where
they received secret, sacred, and privileged knowledge. Among
the individuals we know to have been Initiated in Egypt are Plato
and Pythagoras.

Although the Mystery Schools may have originated in Egypt,
they eventually spread to other parts of the world where Initiation
Ceremonies where then performed in caves, sacred groves, and

All of these locations Symbolize the Great Feminine Womb into
which a worthy and well-qualified Initiate would enter as the Seed
of a previous existence in order to be "incubated", through a
process of deep meditation, and thereby be re-born into a new
and higher realm of existence.

These Initiation Ceremonies took place during the three days
of the new moon, the dark moon, the moon which W.B. Yeats
calls the "Silent Moon"; a time of darkness and meditation.

Mythology, legend, and folklore abound with tales of Initiation
Ceremonies. Whenever we read of someone becoming lost,
unavailable, or "dying" in a dark and contained place for three
days, we are almost assuredly reading about an Initiation

Furthermore, mythology, religious texts, and folklore make
additional references to Initiation Ceremonies. Jonas spends
three days in the belly of a great fish. Jesus spends three
days in a sepulchre, or tomb. Odin (Wothan) hangs suspended
upon the World Tree, Yggdrasil, until he learns the secret of
the runes. And even Pinocchio gets himself swallowed by the
great whale, Monstro.

Here is an interesting allusion to a very powerful Initiation
Ceremony: We are all familiar with the story of Christ "dying"
and being placed within a sepulchre. After spending three days
in the sepulchre, the stone is "rolled" across the entrance to this
tomb and Christ "raises from the dead".

The Symbolism and metaphor contained within this parable
is very powerful.

In a nutshell: The sepulchre represents the Great Feminine
Womb. The dark entrance to the sepulchre Symbolizes the
three dark days of the new moon. The "rolling" of the stone
across the entrance Symbolizes the waxing of the moon as
it begins its new Cycle after three days of darkness. And,
Christ's "raising from the dead" Symbolizes the completion
of His Initiation Ceremony.

Please consider this: In many of the older texts Christ is
referred to as "The Christ". This infers a Title rather than a
name. If this is True, then it is not only possible, but highly
probable, that several individuals may have held the Title of
"The Christ". Especially when we consider that the Greek
word Christos (Christ) translates as "The Anointed One"
(The Master Teacher).

From this analogy it is but one small step to further conclude
that any person who was granted the Title of "The Christ" would
naturally have had to pass through some sort of a High Initiation
Ceremony prior to being "elevated" to that higher station which
that Title required of them.

When we carefully consider all of these thoughts, it is easy to
understand why the Initiation Ceremonies of the Ancient Mystery
Schools held such a high esteem, and why they were only made
available to a very select few men and women who were truly
worthy and well-qualified to receive this high honor.

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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2011
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