Initiation – What Is It and How Does It Work?

In this episode, Kelle talks about initiation and how we can expect our lives to change when we go through it. Kelle ties initiation into the current Coronavirus pandemic as she goes over the five phases of initiation and gives details of these phases as well as things to look out for as we go through them.


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–Written by: Kelle Sparta

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Initiation – What Is It And How Does It Work?

With me, as always, is The Spirit Doctor, Dr. Kelle Sparta. Kelle, how is it going?

It is going all right. I am hanging in there with a little bit of a headache. That is all right. Life goes on. I ran out of vitamin B complex, so the stress levels are too high.

What are we talking about?

We are going to talk about initiation. I have been watching the YouTube series, Hellier. They are talking about how they have been told by the magical community that they are mid-initiation and they do not know what that means. I am watching and they are clearly mid-initiation. It feels like the process that I went through when I was on a walkabout for them.

It is a longer-term process where they are wandering around in the dark, trying to figure out what they are being initiated into, not knowing, and being afraid. I wanted to talk about initiation from that perspective and also, from the perspective that as we are doing this, we are in the midst of quarantine and that is its own initiation as well. I want to talk about it universally. I want to talk about it in specific. I want to talk about it as far as this goes.

There are a lot of different contexts of initiation there in what you said.

The first thing I want to talk about is what initiation is. People think of initiation as, “I am getting initiated into a club.” It is not that. It is where you are taken from a comfortable, known state of being into an entirely new state of being. You are becoming someone new. In shamanic practice, this is known as the Shamanic death and rebirth. A part of you is being killed off and brought into a new way of being.

Initiations are things that change the entire way in which you see the world. For instance, when you have a child, your entire worldview changes because you have been initiated into parenthood. If you have kids, you know what I am talking about. Everything changes. Your whole life’s priorities reallocate around them and everything that was important before shifts to new ways of being. It is different.

Even your view of yourself changes at that moment.

That is an initiation that most people can wrap their heads around. The reason that this is a true initiation in our culture is that no matter how much people tell you about what it is like to be a parent, you do not truly experience it until you are there. You can be told. You can be explained. You can research. You can grasp and try to understand, but until you are there, you do not get it.

That is what it is like to be initiated. You are walking up. As the time is coming, as you are anticipating your child’s birth, you are going, “I do not know how to do this. I am going to suck at this. I am going to be a terrible parent. I do not know. I got to learn more, do more, and understand more. I am going to suck at this. Let’s not do this. Too late.” It is that experience. That is common in the initiatory process. This is only true for the first child. You do not have that experience with the second child because you are not becoming a parent. You are not being initiated. You are just doing a process again.

It is only the first child that this is relevant. You are becoming someone new and it changes you and how you perceive the world around you and yourself. That is initiation, also known as shamanic death and rebirth. Shamanic death and rebirth is relevant in this because people hear the term shamanic death and freak out. When you become a parent, the non-parent self dies. Who you were before, as not being a parent, exists no longer. It will never exist again. You will always be a parent. Even if, God forbid, your child dies, you will still have been a parent. You will still be a parent. You will still be in the state of parenthood.

That is not to say that you lose your sense of self. It simply is a case that you are now a parent and there is no changing that. That exists.

There is no going back. It is like when you learn to read. You suddenly were aware of a whole new layer of the world because you could see the words. You will never be illiterate again. You cannot go back. It is the same thing. It is a one-way street. Part of you dies, the part of you that did not know what it was to be a parent that had the freedom of never worrying about a child, that did not have to worry about anyone but themselves, is gone. This is what I mean when we talk about a shamanic death. A part of yourself dies and people freak out about that. When you become something new, the part of you that you leave behind is not relevant anymore. People get attached to the loss of the thing that came before.

It is not necessarily lost as much as it is a transition into a new state.

Initiation: People think of initiation as getting initiated into a club. That’s wrong. Initiation is where you are taken from a known state of being into an entirely new state of being. You are being rebirthed.

As you are coming up to the initiation, there is this moment of, “Do I want to do this? Do I want to give up my freedom of never having to worry about another human if I do not want to? Do I want to have my life beholden to another human for the rest of my life?” For a woman, it is even more significant, “Do I want to give up some of my life force to create this new human in my body? Do I want to deal with the consequences of having the child?” There are physical consequences to that.

The anticipation stage of the initiation is significant. It is the time in which you are given to commit to one path or another. We use the time and anticipation to steel ourselves for the commitment to bring ourselves fully into alignment with this new choice to become this new person and step into this new state of being. There is a reason why babies gestate. It gives the parents time to go, “Now what?”

The anticipation time is our time to get our ducks in a row. It is our time to go within, look, and root out anything that stands in the way of the new state of being, get rid of it, release it, and deal with it. The upshot of what we are doing in this anticipatory state is preparing. Sitting in quarantine, we are preparing. We cannot do anything else. The universe has sucked everything else away from us. There is nothing else to do and no place else to be. You are here.

We are already seeing a massive amount of people coming into consciousness. That was already happening for the last number of years. It is happening even faster now that all of the rest of our lives have been stripped away. We are forced into this state of stillness and contemplation. During this anticipation and prep time, it is important to keep control of our power because it is easy to fall into fear and go, “I do not know what is coming.”

You do not know what is coming. It is an initiation. The nature of initiation is you cannot know what is on the other side. If you know what is on the other side, you are not being initiated. You can think, like all the parenting books that you read, but if you get to the other side and you did not have an a-ha of something new happening, you were not initiated. Let me be clear. If the other side is not a surprise, it is not an initiation. That is the nature of the beast.

This is addressed to the Hellier people because they have come into their initiation through ghost hunting or monster hunting. They are hunting goblins. They are inclined to be scared because they are doing paranormal investigations. The way that you stop being scared is that you have to have faith that there is a purpose to your process. It does not mean that you will not have trepidation. It does not mean that you will not be like, “I am excited, a little on the edges, and a little freaked out,” but you do not have to be full-on scared and terrified.

There is this anticipatory angst that happens that is not being scared when you are in faith. Their challenge is that they are not sure who is initiating them, so they do not know whether or not to be in faith. If you are still pursuing the path, you have decided to take the initiation. If you have decided to take the initiation, then you might as well trust the process and the people initiating you because there is nothing else to be done.

Holding onto your power is about staying out of fear, for one. The other piece is staying out of victim because it is easy to feel like, “I am being victimized by the quarantine. I cannot go out. I cannot see my friends. I am lonely. I am angsty. I am a victim,” and to fall into depression and, “What is the point?” I saw an article on Medium saying that the three words you should never in quarantine are “What is the point?” The point is that this is what we do. Joey and I were talking when we scheduled this about the fact that our houses were filthy. “I am cleaning my house, come hell or high water.”

You clean your house because you clean your house. You make good food because you make good food. That is what you do and how you take care of yourself. The other piece that we are learning is how to take care of ourselves. We are learning how to be good caretakers of our own well-being. That is something that we significantly need to know, especially those of us reading this who are from challenging childhoods and suck at taking care of ourselves. This is an exercise in self-care.

The second thing that we want to do is to hold onto our awareness of truth. What do I mean by this? The moment the quarantine is up, I can promise you, that the gaslighting will begin. We are going to be told, “It was never that bad. We never said this. That was not true.” History will begin to be rewritten. That is what is going to happen. That is what historically happens when governments do not want us to realize what has been going on. Writing down your experiences and what happened are helpful for holding onto your knowledge of what is true, so you cannot have your personal perspective shifted by the collective media propaganda.

That has to be balanced, however, with a willingness to change your perspective on things. There is a difference between fact and perspective. When I say, “Hold onto your awareness of truth,” I am saying, “Hold on to what the facts were.” Be willing to see it from a new perspective because you will be someone new. If you hold onto your old perspective, then you are holding onto the old you and you are making the process super painful.

There is complexity there because often, we overlay the facts with our perspective, which tends to distort or sway them from what their plain, pure fact state is.

The fact is, “This happened.” The overlay is, “It meant this.” Those are two different things. The third piece is surrendering instead of giving up. Let me talk about the difference between those. Surrender is to surrender into the process. It is to admit what is true, which is, “I do not know what is going on and where I am going to end up, but I am going to take this journey in faith.” In faith, those are the two keywords between surrender and giving up. “In faith, that it is going to be in my best interest and things are going to work out for the best.” That is surrender. “I trust that the universe has my back and I am going to walk this path wherever it takes me, come hell or high water, no turning back.” It’s commitment. We talked about that.

There is a fine line there. You are talking about surrender as a commitment to the path. You are surrendering it to faith versus giving up, which is often what people tie surrender to.

Initiation: Writing down your experiences is helpful for holding onto your knowledge of what is true. You do this so your personal perspective cannot be shifted by the collective media propaganda.

Giving up is just saying, “I cannot do this. You do it. I am so tired. I cannot care anymore.” That is not the same thing as surrendering. Think of it this way. Surrender is stepping out of control. It is almost like you are stepping back into the child role with the universe. The universe is a benevolent parent and you are the child. You have absolute faith in the universe to take care of you.

Let me ask you something about that. When we talk about stepping back into the child role and having faith in the universe, are we also expected to give up our power at that point?

You are giving up your power when you surrender. You are giving your power to the universe to take care of you. As always, there is a caveat. That is a beginner-level surrender. There is an advanced-level surrender. I am giving you the beginner-level surrender because you usually have to go through that to get to the advanced level. The reason for that is that in order to hold the advanced-level surrender, you have to be good at self-care. For those of us coming out of challenging childhoods, we often do not even have good self-preservation, much less self-care. At the least, you need good self-preservation.

It is a matter of being with the balance between the two. When you are standing at the point of initiation and being faced with accepting something that feels like it is going to break you, which is not uncommonly where initiation takes us, you have to not only surrender to the universe, but you have to have enough faith in your own ability to adapt and survive, to be able to take the leap of faith.

It sounds like you are surrendering some of your power into faith and to the universe, but you are not surrendering responsibility in terms of the work you still have to do in order for this to be successful.

It is a balance. You are surrendering outside control and maintaining inside control. We do not have outside control anyway. That is all an illusion, so it does not matter. It is a conscious surrendering of the outside control. That is what we are going through in the process. There are stages of initiation. There is that anticipation prep stage that we were talking about. During that phase is where you find your faith and your belief in yourself, have removed the barriers, and make your commitment to making the change. Stage two is committing and that is its own thing. Commitment/surrender is like, “I am taking this step. There is no going back.”

The word decide means to cut off all other options. Once you step forward, there is no going back. That is the level of commitment that we are talking about. That is the part that our culture is not so good at. We love to be wishy-washy. We live to be like, “I do not feel like it. I do not want to. Somebody else didn’t. they did this to me.” I do not care. You go in or you do not. Choose and do not look back. The moment you look back, you step out of the process enough that the universe says, “No initiation.”

That is the difference between surrendering with responsibility in terms of being involved in walking the path, but the path is being presented to you versus surrendering and being dragged, which you are never going to get there.

Giving up may get you dragged. It may also get you left behind. Either one could happen. It depends on how much energy you put into creating the experience of the initiation for yourself. Kathy had a friend who was committed to engaging. She has certainly told the story a lot in other groups. I do not know if she has told it on here, but the person was like, “I want to be on my magical path,” but then resisted at every opportunity. When the time came, she had built up such a charge of energy for moving through it that she did get dragged along. She ended up in a car accident that made her quadriplegic. That is what getting dragged along looks like. It is something like that.

I have several stories from the community of people who lost limbs or were in tragic accidents where they were forever physically changed. They built up this charge of energy and then did not step in. Be careful what you ask for. It will come whether you change your mind at the last second or not. Initiation is a one-way street. If you have not built up a charge and are stepping into an initiatory space, you can change your mind. You could give up, sit down, and be left behind. If you have built up a charge, you are going to get dragged through that one way or another. The dragging is going to do damage. It is better to walk it.

We are talking about initiation and us being in the midst of initiation. We are talking about going forward, never being able to go back, things changing, and people needing to surrender and commit to the path. A lot of this can be scary to people. Why should they not be scared?

I go back to the in-faith piece. It is scary. Do not get me wrong. The unknown is always scary. The way that we manage our fear is by having faith in the universe and in ourselves. Those are the key. If you trust that you have the ability to adapt, shift, and deal with whatever happens to show up. I would highly recommend if you are starting to freak out right now, that you sit down and write yourself a list of all the ways in which you have adapted to circumstances that were a surprise to you and all the ways in which you came out the other side, stronger, more adept, more able to adapt, and more flexible.

From that perspective, one of the important things I will tell the folks if you are reading this and have had trauma or difficulty in your life, you did make it through. It did not break you. It did not end you. No matter what changes it has caused in your life, you are on the other side. You are not dead. To Kelle’s point, how did you overcome them? What are the changes that those things represented? Here we are because here is another point in our lives.

Do not go into the ways in which it sucked because you are going to go, “I made it through. I did not have a choice but to make it through. It was awful and terrible.” Do not sit with that because you do not want to energize that.

Initiation: Initiation is a one-way street. If you haven’t built up a charge, you can change your mind and be left behind. But if you have built up a charge, you’re going to get dragged through that one way or another.

Who are you now?

There is a saying, and I cannot remember where it comes from. It might be Buddhist. “Pain is required. Suffering is optional.” Pain is required because most of us will not make changes without pain. Suffering is what we do when we invest in the pain. Suffering is entirely optional. You do not have to suffer. This is the key. When you are looking at potential fears and things that may cause pain, you have to stop being pain averse. That feels hard, but it is not as hard as it sounds. It is about embracing experience rather than choosing good versus bad experiences. Agony has ecstasy in it and ecstasy has agony in it. They are the yin and the yang of each other. If you can be in the fullness of the experience, both are exquisite.

The key is to stop trying to run away from the things that hurt you. For those of us from challenging childhoods, we do this as a survival mechanism. We run away from the things that hurt us because we do not want to admit that we are so hurt. We think that if we do not admit it, then we do not have to feel it. The fact is that it runs our lives until we admit it. It forms and creates the underpinning of everything we do until we admit it and process the emotions.

Running from pain only makes it run your life. This is the piece. You have to be okay with not knowing. The way we are okay with not knowing is by having faith in ourselves to adapt and faith in the universe to give us only what we can handle and what is in our best interest. You also have to be willing to be with whatever shows up, good, bad, or indifferent.

We have talked about the steps, anticipation, and preparation. Step two is commitment and surrendering. Step three is taking the leap of faith. It is stepping forward onto the path and saying, “This is my path. I am going to do it. I am going to jump off this cliff and hope that the wings show up or something catches me.” The next step is resolution. You have walked through the doorway. There is always a doorway, a cliff, or some leap of faith that is required for initiation.

At some point, you resolve it. You grow the wings, get caught, walk through the doorway, and see what is on the other side. The angst and the upset about the unknown go away because it is now known. That is the resolution. I have stepped through to the other side. I have become a new person. The initiation has taken place. I see what I could not possibly have understood before I started the journey.

The fifth step is integration. This is the part that most people do not take time for and do not even acknowledge as part of the process, but it is an important part of the process. The integration stage is, “This is who I have become. What does that mean for the rest of my life? How does this new beingness cascade into new perspectives and beliefs across all aspects of my life? Who is it that I have become and how do I integrate that into the rest of my life and my being?”

You will begin to question everything again. We questioned before and after. We questioned before to get ourselves ready, “What is it that is no longer serving me? What is in the way of me stepping into this new way of being?” In the end, we say, “Who am I now? Based on this place, do I still want all the things that I used to want?” Oftentimes the answer to that question is no. I am going through my own initiation. It is something I have been being told about for years. Somebody said, “There is this huge boulder in the way of your financial abundance or your path, or your beingness. You got to get the boulder out of the way.”

We looked for months. I am like, “What is this boulder?” We could not figure it out. I figured it out. It was this need and desire to be discovered, be famous, and be acknowledged. It was all about being seen, acknowledged, and validated by the outside world. I have not had that in a long time. There has been no need for that but it became clear to me that I never let it go, even though I have not been active on it for a while.

That is part of what I am using this time for. It is to let go of that need to be discovered and famous. I have not engaged it. It is easier to let it go because I have already unhooked a lot of it. I have been preparing for this for many years. Some initiations take longer than others. Some of us are more stubborn. I am unhooking and releasing all of that. I am going, “I am not going to worry about it. I am going to reach the people I need to reach. They are going to find me if they find me. If they do not, they do not. I am going to just do what I do because that is what I do. I am not going to worry about it.”

The irony is that I have this sense that the moment I fully let it go that it is probably going to happen. I am like, “I do not want to be famous anymore. I like being able to walk around and not tell people what I do and not have people ask me questions all the time.” I moved to Richmond and I do not tell a lot of people what I do down here because it is a highly Christian area. When I say the word shaman, they look at me like I said the word Satanist or they are completely clueless and go, “What?” It takes too much effort to figure it out and explain it to them. I walk around and talk about other things that I do. They go, “That is nice. That is cool.” Off we go. I am like, “It nice to be normal again for a little bit.”

I have to give up not wanting it in order to do it. That is the place. You go on this pendulum, “I need it. I do not need it. Therefore, I do not want it.” You have to come to a balance of, “I am where I am and it is what it is. If that is the journey that I am asked to go on, then that is a journey that I am asked to go on and I am not going to worry about it. If it does not happen, it does not happen. That is fine, too.” That is where I am in this process. I have to unhook all of the associated pieces. This is what I am talking about with the anticipation piece. You have to unhook all of those pieces. I have had to work on a lot of different pieces and parts associated with this.

I’m not being worried about being sucked dry by people asking me too many questions and learning how to manage my energy so that that was not the case. Learning how not to invest in other people’s success but instead to facilitate it. I do not make my value determined by whether or not they do the work. There have been a lot of pieces and parts associated with that initiation.

There are pieces and parts to everything. If you are being initiated, look at what is showing up around you and be aware that whatever is outside of you is relevant. We had an oriole get stuck on our screened-in porch. The bird was sitting there, smacking itself up against the screen over and over again. It could not get out. There is an open door right next to it.

Initiation: Running from pain only makes it run your life. Be okay with not knowing. Because that means having faith in yourself to adapt and faith in the universe to give you what you can handle.

I finally had to walk out of the door, go around to the part of the screen that the bird was trying to get out of, and put my hand towards the bird to get it to back up enough for it to see that the door was open. I am like, “What am I so close to that I cannot see what is going on around me? What do I need to back up from?” That was the conversation that Jeff and I had because he saw it too.

I am like, “That is for both of us because we are both watching. What are we so close to that we cannot see?” That is the process. That is what we are going through. If you are in an initiatory process, this is going to be a lifeline for you. Most of us are. One of the biggest challenges with initiation for those of us from a challenging childhood is being able to find emotional safety.

We cannot do the other work until we can stop feeling like we are under attack all the time. I am running the program called Inner Peace 101. If you want to get a description of exactly what that means, go to my website underneath online programs and it will tell you about Inner Peace 101. The key is that it is going to bring you emotional safety. It will change the way that you feel about yourself. I had somebody come up to me and say, “I do not recognize myself.” You will feel completely different. It will reduce your stress levels in half.

You are going to learn to shield. You are going to learn energy clearing. There is a lot of energetic work in it as well because those are all part of feeling safe. If you want to be able to navigate your initiation more effectively, going through this program will help you with that. If this is what is happening for you, please consider taking this program. It will help you so much.

It is important for people as they are going through this state of the pandemic in the world. This has been great as always. Is there anything else you want to add to talk about initiation? I am sure there have got to be closing remarks here to sum it all up because this is scary, but there is a reason here.

Trust in yourself. You are your own best advocate if you will let yourself.

That is all that we have for this episode, but be sure to join us next time as Kelle adds another chapter to your guide to energy, magic, and the spirit world. So long, everyone.

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