Mircea Eliade said that the need to initiate is as powerful as any core human need. The ancient men knew the imperative of the separation and ordeal for boys, to insure the successful integration of mature men in society.
With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, men’s labor movement shifted from the farms into the cities. No longer was the boy close to his father, working next to him, feeling his body, absorbing the soul food of the deep masculine. Instead, he had his mother, his siblings, and his father’s foul mood when he returned home.
My First Initiation represented just such an ancient ritual, to belong to something greater than myself, to receive the mark of inclusion, to be considered good enough. Sacred in its own way, but only for the tribe, and not for the greater good. And certainly not for my heart and soul … buried underneath anger, loyalty, and violence. At least not yet.
These days feel tribal to me, and not in a good way. The ‘chief’ is an uninitiated juvenile, and his ‘tribe’ are in loyal and blind allegiance. Our current culture suffers from the absence of sacred male initiation. Which makes our Conscious Men’s Work all the more important. Read more …
Originally published 7/24/19