Saturday 1 September 2012

Exitium in initio ponebatur

This is a time for endings.  My grandma died a week ago, my great aunt a week before, another great aunt in the last few months.  On Friday, my job ended.  It is a time of endings.

(This post was begin August 26, the evening after my drandma's memorial service and the Dag after my job ended.)

All things that begin must end.  Something must end for something new to begin.  The end is present in the beginning.  The destruction is present in the creation.  Exitium in initio ponebatur.

An ending is an opportunity.  It clears the slate.  Until something ends, you are commuted to the current path.  You have to consider the consequences.  If you are working, accepting a job means quitting the old or determining how to do both.  If you are in a relationship, starting a new one requires ending the old one or facing how the new one will effect the old.  But when al job ends, you are free to accept any new ones that come.  When a relationship ends, you are free to accept any new ones that come.

Initiation of course comes from the word "initium", "to begin".  This is conjugated into "initio", "beginning".  One thing present in all forms of initiation is death and rebirth, though the form these take varies.

The first event in my life I can truly call initiation was the ordeal and connected rituals I went through joining an order as s teenager.  There were four elements to that ordeal: a night alone in isolation, silence, physical labour, and limited food.

The night of isolation followed a ceremony, a ritual, and was a time to contemplate the mysteries I had seen.  Isolation is always a time of contemplation, especially following seeing and hearing the mysteries.  Note that after his baptism and the holy spirit coming upon him as a dove, a very obvious initiation, the holy spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, the Eremus, the Wasteland, to be tempted.  Following the initiation he received, following things he had seen that were mystery and new, he spent forty days in isolation, alone, and the temptation only came at the end.  Also note in the Graal myths, the Graal Knight, after failing to ask the questions that would heal the King and with him the Land, spends years in the Wasteland in isolation, a self imposed excile, during which he contemplates the things he saw and the questions he didn't ask.  Isolation is the Wasteland.

The second element was silence.  I was under oath not to speak the entire ordeal.  This also reflects the Graal myth, especially the earliest, where the knight that trained Sir Perceval instructs him to listen more and talk less, which leads him to not ask the questions.  This silence, and the events that follow it, leads to the Wasteland, and the Quest (to ask, to seek) for the answers to the unasked questions.  Silence is the Catalyst.

Third was labour.  During the day between the night alone and the final ceremony, the actual initiation, I performed manual labour, honest labour, service.  This is also seen in the Graal myth, for in the Wasteland, the Graal Knight does service, rescuing those in danger, protecting those threatened, feeding those who are hungry, helping those in need.  You see the same thing from Jesus between Initiation and Death.  This is selfless service.  This is changing Wyrd to help others, binding and loosing the Threads of Fate.  Overcoming Fate for others.  Labour is the Overcoming.

Fourth was limited food, denying the body.  With Jesus, we see this as the fasting for forty days in the Wasteland.  For the Graal Knight, we see this in the oath he takes before heading on the Quest, to not sleep two nights in the same place, to avoid strange tales, to engage in combat any knight claiming to be better than another or any two nights claiming the same.  The denial here is of course denial of a home, denial of fancy, and denial of safety.  Denial is the Suffering.

These elements of course are all present in such initiations as spending the night in the Devil's Chair.  The Catalyst is that which calls you to do so, to make the trip, to take the risk.  The Suffering is fasting and staying awake all night, denial of food and sleep.  The Wasteland is your isolation up there, no one to help you, no one to comfort you.  And the Overcoming is the result.  You will return mad, dead, or a poet.  The poet overcame.

This ordeal, Catalyst, Suffering, Wasteland, and Overcoming is the process in Initiation of Death and Rebirth.  The old dies in the Wasteland, to be reborn in the Overcoming, which is in fact Nexus, the coming back together, the Divine Twin of the Catalyst which begins the process of breaking apart.

We go through this process with the death of a loved one, though it's not as clear.  In effect, in our mourning and sorrow, we die with them, and are reborn from that sorrow.  Their dying is Catalyst, making use experience death, look at ourselves, begin the sorrow and grieving process.  Our fear and sorrow, grief and pain are Suffering and the Wasteland.  We must Overcome to be able to move on, to live again.  We are reborn from the smashes of our sorrow and grief.  Changed, yet moving on.

Losing a job is the same.  The point of layoff or firing is the Catalyst, loosing the Threads that held us to the old job, unbinding the bonds that held us there.  The job hunting process is Suffering and Wasteland, Suffering being the sacrifices made to get through that time, eating as cheap as possible, not giving in to our desires, because money is short.  The Wasteland is that time of isolation when we have no job, no income, no boss, no coworkers.  We are the wounded Fisher King, no longer able to do what we once could.  We are the slain knight, beheaded in the act of losing our job.  But most of all, we are the Graal Knight, on a Quest for the answer to, "what is the meaning of these things?"  The Overcoming, of course, is a new job at the end of the Wasteland, Nexus, the coming back together of the frayed Threads, ragged in the Wind of the Wasteland, the anchoring back down of our lives.  Changed yet moving on.

"Behold, the old has passed away and all things have been made new."

All things that begin must end.  Something must end for something new to begin.  The end is present in the beginning.  The destruction is present in the creation.  Exitium in initio ponebatur.

~Muninn's Kiss

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