“True initiation is a response to an inner calling; it requires that you face personal challenges heroically, and to experience a genuine rebirth into a new way of being.” Alberto Villoldo, PhD
Ask any screaming newborn just forcefully squeezed out of its mother’s womb like toothpaste from a crumpled tube, how pleasant birthing can be.
It is not a fun process; suddenly gasping for air through unused lungs while cold hands now control your every movement. It’s quite a shock in environment from your previous floating void where you squirmed about in liquid warmth lulled by the muffled thumping of your mother’s heart.
So to now expect your current life REBIRTH presently underway to be any less personally affecting to you would be unrealistic at the least.
Here is Alberto Villoldo’s take below on our current rebirthing as a collective consciousness; and for certain you can’t go wrong reading Joseph Campbell’s research on myths and religions if that spurs your further interest.
“TRUE INITIATION ( https://thefourwinds.com/blog/shamanism/true-initiation/ )
“Sometimes we wonder what Initiation really means and if we are responding to an inner calling or just making it through each day…
The monomyth of the hero/ine’s journey detailed by Joseph Campbell is the classic tale of a hero that goes on a quest, survives a crisis, and returns home transformed. An example of a hero’s tale is that of Parcifal, and a heroine’s tale is that of Psyche. The three stages are the Great Departure, the Initiation, and the Return.
You probably remember vividly the excitement of your Great Departure. You were Called by Spirit to be a Shaman perhaps before you knew what it involved… After that you may have spent some time in the Belly of the Whale, where you experienced setbacks, underwent a metamorphosis, and were separated from your known world and self.
Next, you found yourself in the Initiation stage. A place of surviving what seem to be an endless series of tests and trials followed by moments of illumination. … Surviving temptation, you found yourself in the depths of Atonement …, where you confronted a life or death reality you conquered to move forward. Succeeding, you found a place of wisdom and understanding, Apotheosis.
Finally, after being purified by the previous steps, you achieved the Ultimate (Blessing), the goal of your quest, something transcendent like connecting with Spirit in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Finally, you are in the place of the Return (home, to where you started). However, having experienced the extraordinary world of Spirit, you wanted to Refuse the Return to your ordinary life. … Upon your Return you are the master of both worlds, the spiritual and the physical, allowing you to live in the moment without regretting the past or fearing the future. You are home to share your Ultimate Boon (blessing) with others.
This is quite a journey. Maybe it seems to be a familiar one that you have taken over and over again. Looking back, you remember other Great Departures, other Initiations, and other Returns, and wonder when the journeys will end. Like the medicine wheel, the hero/ine’s journey is a spiral, each journey spiraling you higher. With each rebirth you reach another level of transcendence. …”
“Another level of transcendence”—sounds like casually riding an elevator upwards to a higher floor of a skyscraper pointed to the heavens.
Transcendence is actually a personal metamorphosis of spiritual awakening. The crawling caterpillar, once enclosed in the cocoon, actually liquefies its previous self to become the winged, multicolor aerialist capable of flitting from flower to flower.
You must transcend who you once thought that you were to become who you have the greater potential to be.
Perhaps that transcendence process is mystical and enlightening; other times it can take you to a clarity level beyond emotion and comprehension. Sometimes it can show you parts of yourself that you’ve hidden for so long that they seem like someone else entirely—both good and bad. A lot of personal shadow must often be exposed and released for true transcendence to occur. And that’s rarely pleasant.
Whatever it might be for you, once you actually REBIRTH your life, you may become quite different from the person that you once believed yourself to be. Is that good or bad? I guess you’ll have to decide that for yourself over time.
But one thing I think you will discover is that after transcendence you won’t see your life in quite the same way that you once did prior. You will have new eyes, a new perspective, and a hard-won empathy for the struggles of others that will make you a more complete human package than you could have previously imagined.
In my experience, initiations are often painful but educational, just as your rebirth marks the beginning of your NEW life ahead. And only YOU can define that NEW life direction based on your own intentions for a better world for yourself and for the rest of us.