What is Initiation?


By Cathy Eck


Initiation Defined

I received a great question from a woman in my mentoring program.  She said there was an article in her local paper about a child being killed by initiation.  Since I use that word all the time, she wondered what they were talking about.

It’s for that very reason that I hesitated to use the word initiation for a long time in my writing.  Just like God, religion, and Humpty Dumpty all took a fall, so did initiation.  They all fell in basically the same way.  Our human perspective changed from spiritually oriented to physically oriented.  But I went back to using the word because initiation is a great word.  It simply means to go back to the beginning prior to man’s fall into the illusory perspective of good and evil.


Physical Perspective

The fallen perspective was born out of the imaginations of storytellers and astrologers who viewed the night sky as a theater.  Their night-time characters became templates or archetypes for our human minds.  Drama was interesting and entertaining; just as it is today.  The Hermetic theory said, “As above, so below.”  What was born out of the stars would eventually come to fill the minds of man.  Thus, we eventually had the same drama on earth as they imagined in the stars.  A little drama makes life interesting; too much makes it hell.

Eventually, the people who wanted all the power said, “I’m creating the play.  I’m the lead, and you guys are all walk-on slaves who worship and serve me.”  In order to obey someone outside of us, we had to shift our perspective.  We could no longer focus on our own mind and our own emotional guidance, we became focused on pleasing others and fulfilling their desires.  If we didn’t, we didn’t live long.

As the human drama became more top-heavy, and suffering and death became more common, some people said, “We’ve had enough.  We want to figure out how to get out of this man-made illusion.”  They discovered initiation — the way out.  They learned how to discriminate and how to return to a virgin mind.  And while it probably wasn’t their goal, they did become powerful.

The men who took the path of initiation became Jesus-like.  They were kind, compassionate, great healers and teachers, and miracle workers.  They no longer wore the blinders of the illusion.  They had potential beyond ordinary humans.  Thus, it was said that mortal men entered the chambers of initiation, and Gods exited.  Therefore, these men were called Sons of God.


Everyone Deserves This

The teachings of these true initiates were shared through story because they felt that everyone deserved to have the way out.  They decided that if one had the eyes and ears to see and hear (or the pure desire to be initiated), the stories would trigger them to come and ask for initiation.  Those who were not of pure mind wouldn’t understand what in the hell they were talking about.  Thus the teachings could stay pure.

The power-hungry leaders were obviously jealous of the raw power of the initiated ones.  They wanted the same power; and they presumed it was done through physical training (they couldn’t see beyond their physical perspective).  Thus, it seems that they invented their own schools of initiation.  They trained men to be brave and face their physical demons — like military training.  They also hijacked the true initiation stories and put their own physical, literal spin on them.

The false initiates created terrifying tests of power to prove their worth.  They killed off their emotions, and they studied magic and illusion so they could look God-like to the masses.

These false initiates were wolves in sheep’s clothing, but no one could tell.  The masses followed the wolves blindly to their own demise.  Not much has changed, really.

From the outside both sets of initiates looked unemotional and magical but their foundation was very different.  Jesus was referred to as a lamb, i.e., not a wolf, as a sign that he was from the group of true initiates.  But religion even messed with Jesus by focusing on his crucifixion and teaching people to do like Jesus rather than think like him.

There was a huge difference between the two groups.  The fake initiates talked about good and evil as if it were real; they had rules to make you good.  God was in the sky in heaven and hell was below.  These men saw themselves as good, right, and superior.  Sadly, they gave birth to modern religion.  So they still have power today over the masses.

The True initiates didn’t speak of heaven and hell or good and evil.  They spoke of God within.  They saw everyone as equal and divine.  What they could do, so could we once we knew how.


Remnants of Initiation

Today we still have remnants of these two different forms of initiation.  There are those who understand this is all an inner journey and a process of releasing what is false from their minds.  This sort of initiation can only help others; it never hurts them.

Then we have people who are still hungry for power.  They develop strong wills by training their mind instead of freeing their mind.  They do this to win over others, fulfill false desires, or to be seen as spiritual when they really aren’t.  In fact, these people tend to oppress their followers as they project their own belief in evil or wrongness on to them.

The strange notion of hazing, often found in fraternities or gangs, came from these false initiates.  It was all about proving you were worthy to be a member.  We should just ignore these groups.  They have no power unless we give them our power by fearing or obeying them.  If we stop teaching our children to be blindly obedient, they won’t want anything to do with those organizations.  And the organizations will die a nice quiet death.  True initiation will remain.



When It Feels Like Our Love is Not Enough

Path of Venus and the apple

By Cathy Eck



When Love Is Not Enough

Years ago, I met a sweet woman who was going through a tragic situation with her son.  At the time, I didn’t know how to let go of beliefs, but I could see that she had a very big belief.  She said it over and over again.  “How can I save my son if my love is not enough?”  I doubt that there’s a person alive who has not thought those words at some point in their life.  We all long to save the people we hold dear, and often we suspect that we just don’t have enough love.

I couldn’t get her story out of my mind for years even though I lost touch with her.  It felt completely wrong to me that we would be living in a world where our love is not enough.  Yet, I too had that belief.  I had memories to prove it.

Then I came to understand beliefs.  When we believe words, they become our truth.  We see proof of our belief/truth in the world, then we believe it even more.  We get caught in an infinite loop with no exit.


Conditional Love

Love is not enough because most love in this world is conditional or romantic.  Half people who complete each other or caretakers who simply do what others say is right or proper are operating at the level of the false self; and in the illusion, love is not enough.  If love was enough, the illusion would end.

You see, love is the most powerful force in the universe because it supports the truth while simultaneously dissolving the false. Thus if you can unconditionally love any situation, disease, or enemy, the false disappears.  But we can’t fake unconditional love, and beliefs mask it.  So most people can’t express it.  Their cure, their joy, their freedom is right inside of them; and they cover it up with beliefs that they have borrowed from others.


The Fall

I came to realize the meaning of the fall, and why our love is not enough, one day while eating an apple.  I don’t like apples and rarely eat them; but I’d wondered why they used the apple in the story of Adam and Eve.  I thought eating one might help.  I cut the apple in half and saw the picture above.  The symbolism immediately fell into place.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to eat it to get the answer.

The photo above shows the inside of my apple; it has a five-pointed star in the arrangement of the seeds.  The five-pointed star is also drawn by tracing the movement of Venus over eight years and five days.  Venus (Greek Aphrodite) was associated with love.  However, she’s associated with human love, not unconditional love.  Thus her love is dual in nature.


moving the points in the pentagram

So when Adam and Eve ate the apple, they ate the apple of the illusion (duality), where the knowledge of good and evil reigns supreme.  If you look at the five-pointed star with one point on top, it looks like the Vitruvian Man.

Just like the triangle process, one point is on top and duality is on the bottom meaning that we’re living within duality, but we put our True Self first.  Ideally, we lead with unconditional love and simply use the illusion or duality for its creative potential (called first-cause creation).  People who do this often capture our hearts; they put the wisdom of the heart (True Self) in front of their head (false self).

On the other hand, if we turn the five-pointed star upside down, we get something with horns, which is where Satan came from.  Satan, or the horned devil, often is depicted as a goat. The goat was associated with Old Capricorn on the Zodiac.  He wasn’t the Creator God (Genesis I); he was an earthly God with lots of baggage like the Roman Saturn or the Greek Zeus.

When duality comes first, good-evil, win-lose, dominance-submission, or right-wrong are the foundation (second-cause creation).  Competition is normal and accepted.  The devilish part of humans (false self) says it loves us or cares for us while it’s actually limiting us.  It says it loves us as it requires us to believe its lies and obey its rules.  It says it’s caring for us while projecting its beliefs on us.  It loves us when it beats us in competition and makes us the enemy when it loses.


Unconditional Love or Old Capricorn?

It is our choice, which way we use our mind.  Which Venus do we honor?  Pay attention when you see the five-pointed star because those who use it usually know the difference between the one point up and the reverse.  It is an old, old symbol.  It speaks volumes.

Sadly, the God of the Old Testament was modeled after Saturn, Old Capricorn.  When we put that God before us, we live from conditional love and reward and punishment; then our love is not enough.  But when we let him go, our spark of the Creator God comes alive.



The answer can be found in another loving goddess, Isis (Egyptian).  Isis was the wife and sister of Osiris, the Sun God.  When her lover/brother was tricked and cut into pieces, Isis brought him back to life (she re-membered him) because she had a pure virgin mind and unconditional love.  She remembered who he really was.  The virgin mind was a mind with no beliefs.  It creates anew with ease.  (A virgin body doesn’t mean a damn thing so have all the sex you want.)

When we let go of conditional love, we’re left with the heavenly man.  The Vitruvian Man stands within the squared circle, the symbol for the union of heaven (circle) and earth (square); he’s perfect.  He’s free.  This man was the ancient high initiate, who used his body as a temple for his True Self (his God within).  For this man or woman, love is enough.