Religious initiation rites , Empowerment Vajrayana , and Endowment Latter Day Saints A spiritual initiation rite normally implies a shepherding process where those who are at a higher level guide the initiate through a process of greater exposure of knowledge. This may include the revelation of secrets, hence the term secret society for such organizations, usually reserved for those at the higher level of understanding. One famous historical example is the Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece, thought to go back to at least the Mycenaean period or " bronze age ".
In the context of ritual magic and esotericism , an initiation is considered to cause a fundamental process of change to begin within the person being initiated and its "evolution operates within both the material world and the spiritual world". Thus the concept of initiation is similar to that of apostolic succession. The initiation process is often likened to a simultaneous death and rebirth, because as well as being a beginning it also implies an ending as existence on one level drops away in an ascension to the next.
It denotes acceptance by the Guru and also implies that the Chela student or disciple agrees to the requirements such as living an ethical lifestyle, meditating, etc. Trade union[ edit ] In unionised organizations , the "initiation" is typically no more than a brief familiarization with basic procedures and the provision of a copy of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement that governs the work performed by members of the union.
Some unions also charge a one-time initiation fee, after which the joining person is officially deemed to be a member in good standing. Naval and military[ edit ] Equator crossing ceremony on Empress of Australia , August Some communities on board a military vessel and also of military soldiers tend to form a closed 'family' which absorbs in members, who are often formally accepted, generally after a form of trial or hazing.
In addition, there can be similar rites of passages associated with parts of naval and military life, which do not constitute true initiations as the participants are already and remain members of the same community. One such rite is associated with crossing the equator on board a naval ship, but it can even be taken by passengers on board a cruise liner , who are not and do not become members of anything but the so-called "equator crossing club".
Tail hair of an elephant, a metaphor for Kindi, crowns the hat. European-made buttons began to replace cowrie shells as prestige items on such Bwami paraphernalia as the Western presence grew in eastern Congo in the early twentieth century Tribes often have initiations. The initiation done in the Bapedi tribe of South Africa is normally regarded as a stage where a boy is to be taught manhood and a girl to be taught womanhood.
Initiation is considered necessary for the individual to be regarded as a full member of the tribe. Otherwise, the individual may not be allowed to participate in ceremonies or even in social rituals such as marriage.
A man will not be allowed to marry or have any special relationship with a woman who did not go to an initiation, because she is not considered to be a woman. Initiation may be thought of as an event which may help teens prepare themselves to be good husbands and wives. Where modernization is occurring, initiation is not taken so seriously as before, although there are still certain areas which still perform initiations.
In some African tribes, boys take about 3—4 months participating in initiation rites and girls take about 1—2 months. Australian Aboriginal tribes usually had long periods of time to help prepare adolescent boys, teaching them traditional lore before they were ready to attend large elaborate ceremonies at the time of initiation when they were finally recognized as full-fledged men in their society.
Most tribes had circumcision and scarification as part of the male initiation rituals, while many Central Australian tribes also practiced subincision. A salient shared cultural feature of the Min peoples of the New Guinea Highlands is initiation into a secret male religious cult.