Welcome to the new year. The first day of the calendar year is a reminder of new beginnings. We tend to make resolutions of what we are going to do for the coming year, mostly bold proclamations that we would love to complete, but generally set aside after a short period of time. We enjoy making predictions for the coming year, and try our best to divine the events of the coming future in wide, sweeping generalizations. Sometimes these prove to be true, sometimes these pan out to be absolutely nothing or something in-between.
There is really nothing wrong with loud, boastful statements proclaiming our success going forward. Nor is there anything wrong with ominous warnings associated with dark clouds on the near- and far-horizons. But to be able to discern what the future may or may not hold – one must move forward. Then the terrible moment will eventually arrive – when the boastful statements or dire warnings actually come true. And the true measure of the matter does not come from the veracity of the statements, but rather from the depth of the individual’s experience.
I see the start of a new calendar to be similar to that of an initiation. A new beginning that starts with a step into the unknown. Where one finds that the beautiful forest holds terrible secrets within its dark depths. And those terrible secrets become the lessons which one can build upon – failure or success – the experience teaches us where to step, what to watch, what to listen for on the wind, as we wend our way through the dark unknown.
At my very first Gulf Coast Gathering (which incidentally was the first Gulf Coast Gathering), I was initiated into the Bardic grade. I was the very first initiate to step forward for initiation. There was a bit of the “fear of the unknown” with everyone. None of us knew what to expect. I believe all of us were afraid of “getting it wrong” when there was really nothing that would be “wrong” in our actions. It wasn’t what we did or how we said something – it was the experience that mattered. Much like going forward with 2019, you won’t know until you do it.
I have wondered, quite often, what would happen if we – as a collective society – approached the coming year with the wide-eyed wonder of an initiate. Perhaps, if we looked into the unknown with a combination of fear, wonder, and excitement, that perhaps we might not see the world in terms of combat, warfare, or us versus them. Perhaps, we might see the dawning of each new day, the start of each new week, the beginning of each new month, the approach of each new year as new steps towards an experience that we have some control over. We can control our feelings, our dislikes, our hatred, our approach to leaving some out of things because they are “different” from us. If we can do that, perhaps we can get to a point where we understand that each individual has to experience life for themselves. Their experience will not be the same as ours because they are not us – no matter how similar they might be.
I honestly believe that no one else has had the same initiatory experiences that I have. That the way someone else experiences those same sensations from those same ritual techniques will be similar in some aspect to my own, but unique enough to be different from everyone else.
What will destroy the magick of an initiatory experience? Knowing what is to come beforehand. The things that made my initiation such a wonderful experience was the unknown. Pulling back the shroud on an initiatory experience prior to an individual experiencing those moments, in my opinion, deprives them of one of the most beautiful sensations one can experience. You will notice, I have not discussed any particulars of any initiation, except in the most general of terms. No one likes having a surprise no longer be a surprise. Trust me on that.
The same holds true for the coming year. There are things we can speculate at, which are likely to come true. Mostly because we understand the psychology and mannerisms of the individuals in question. Yes, Trump and Putin will meet somewhere in the world for a BDSM evening between the two of them. Yes, Putin will be the top. Maybe. If it were true, I will need a lot of mind bleach, that’s for sure.
There are a lot of ways to view the coming year. I personally like to view it as a present that slowly gets unwrapped. You might have a guess to what it might be from the shape of the package, but there are smaller details that you will get to experience when you unwrap it. First you have to unwrap it. Just as you have to take a step forward in time to experience the coming year, or you have to take a deep breath as you step down the Path to your new initiation. The experience awaits as an unknown. You can fear it, you can embrace it, or you can do both. The final choice on what you do and how you experience it is completely up to you.