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My coven is fast approaching their first initiation ceremony. I think we’re all excited, on different levels. Me, being who I am, I’ve sort of entered planning mode. I’ve written a ritual, and started planning who knows what else. Neurotic? I think so. Still, that doesn’t override the many positive feelings I am experiencing.

It also helps that Wiccan Friend posted this great blog on his own Initiation(s). The first being a more private, and ergo personal ceremony, while the latter is going to be more formal. I think it serves as a great reminder that initiations do not just happen within a coven’s circle. They happen in their own time, and in their own place. We may have others present, or it may simply be us communing with the divine.

When was my first initiation? Probably in college, with my best friend. We didn’t word it as such, we just sort of jumped right in. But the sincerity was there, and I think that is a sort of unspoken initiation. To go through a ritual, even while still learning many of the basics, and be filled with a sense of sincerity about it all, that is an initiation to me. And, the occasional flub, like stepping in the bowl of water during the calling of the corners, does not detract from that experience. Initiations are times of testing, after all. Messing up during one of your first rituals is a great test, and the power of laughter is an amazing response. While all things have a certain level of gravitas associated with them, laughter, pure light-hearted laughter, is one of the most powerful tools of the divine. It is joy, it is mirth; it is a facet of the ideal of Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. After all, we laugh because we love ourselves for who we are, no conditions, and we laugh because we trust that the Goddess and God will see our intentions first, and not our actions.

So, an initiation is coming up, in my magickal world. I’m going through an initiation in my mundane world. I’ll admit, I could probably be handling it a little better. It’s hard to let go of fear and doubt, though. But I also like to think that I am at least soldiering on. Tonight, a friend of mine made reference to the Jaycee Dugard ordeal, and her belief that “as long as I was alive, there was Hope.” I have to agree. I am alive. I may not be in the dire straits she found herself in, but we all have our trials. I have hope because I am alive. And, not to draw too Christian a parallel, though I find it quite apropos, the gods would not have presented this situation to me if they didn’ t think that I would be able to come out of it changed for the better.

Growing up is hard. Growing up after hitting rock bottom is harder. Some people learn lessons the first way, and others require the latter. Life may be getting in some hard knocks on me now, but I can suck it up and move forward, admit to my mistakes and failings and grow from them. I can overcome, and when I look back on this period, there will be no regret, for as easy as it would be to focus on that which I lost, it is more important to focus on those intangible elements which I gained.

Initiations are beginnings. They are also endings. They mark the completion of a phase or a lesson, and the beginning of the next. They are not to be feared, but embraced, for they come from a place of Diving love. It just happens to be tough love on many an occasion.

Lord and Lady, bless me. Help me to see my path, and remind me that, even if it is obscured, you will lead my feet along the journey I am meant to take.