Saturday 23 March 2013

How to Perform an Initiatory Death, in Six Easy Steps

[Warning: this is a bit tongue and check, and stemmed from a discussion on a Facebook group that shall not be named, posted by someone who shall not be named, and discussed by people who shall not be named.  It is *mostly* satire and humour, but there is truth in it.  So take is as you will.]

So, how would one go about performing an initiatory death?  Or put another way, what is a generic way to perform a initiation, given no tradition for context, and no details on what is being looked for?  [Note: All initiation adherently is a death based initiation or an initiatory death.]

1.  Prepare the sacrifice, um, I mean victim, um, I mean novice or candidate for initiation.

Preparation would involve teaching, and tests to determine if they are plump enough, um, tender enough, um, dry enough, um, I mean ready for initiation.  The teaching should provide tools and techniques that will be helpful, a framework to understand the initiation (after the fact, if they survive), and a world view conducive to the initiation.  Testing should determine if they're "getting" the lessons at all, on a deeper level, and forcing them to apply them.  Basically, exercise to get them tender enough, um, to get them ready.

2.  Drive them or lead them to a remote place, in the mountains, out in a swamp, to a dense undisturbed forest, to somewhere remote and wild.  And a place you know the spirits and know the spirits are hungry, um, I mean active.

Plan the drive or hike to get them to the site about half an hour before sunset.  Make the journey there as long as possible, and mix silence with monologues about the spirits, getting them in the mood, and open.  The journey is half the experience.  The spirits like their prey frightened and scared, um, I mean, the spirits like a sense of mystery and mood.

3.  At the site, while the sun is still up, have them prepare a space.

Have them marking it off, set up props, I mean tools and worship items, get the space ready.  Make it clear to them that they are creating a sacred space for the monsters, I mean spirits, to manifest in, that it isn't for protection to keep things out, but a space for the initiation to occur.  But also that it is imperative that they don't leave the space, because something *BAD* will happen.  You don't want the spirit's meal to run away, they might turn on you.  Um, I mean, the sense of location will help with the initiatory experience.  While helping them get the space ready, talk about what they need to do, what the props, um, items mean.  All conversation should be about the coming experience, and you want as much conversation as possible, to whet the appetite of the spirits, um, I mean so the silence and night sounds are more impactful.  Candles or fire should be involved, but limited, so they go out at some point.

4.  Leave them.

Just before the sun sets, leave.  Tell them you will be back for them, but to call your name in an emergency.  Make it clear this is to be avoided.  Leave as silently as possible with no light yourself, not looking back.  Know the area well before hand.  Go far enough that you can't see the site, but can still hear in case the spirits need help with the butchering, um, in case the novice has some emergency you need to run them to the hospital for.

5.  Come back at Dawn and clean up the mess.

Put the props, um, items back in whatever they were carried up in, put out any coals, clean up any blood so it doesn't attract animals.

6.  If they are dead, hide the body.  If they are mad, take them back to down and drop them off in an alley and leave.  If they are a poet, take them back to your house, get water and food in them, let them sleep the day away to recover, then have a feast in the evening.

~Muninn's Kiss


  1. Nanny Nikkie Ogg23 March 2013 at 14:51

    wish I could post an audio so you could hear me giggling!

  2. Oh so true! I laughed till I fell off my chair - always best to do this in the open... blood stains are a bugger to get out of the carpet and those monsters quitelike hiding up chimneys too! ;)


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