One of the most profound rites in the Ara Tradition is that of Initiation. Ara’s unique initiatory training and Initiation rituals are cathartic rites of passage in which the initiate embarks on a renewed spiritual journey of discovery.
In keeping with our practice of deconstructing, we looked to the initiation ceremonies of indigenous shamanic cultures and ancient mystery schools to find the core principles and practices that resonated with our values. And so we have devised initiation experiences that are cathartic rites of passage, acknowledging transformations of birth, death and rebirth. But Initiation is not the end of the metamorphosis; rather it is a catalyst, the beginning step in a new spiritual journey.
The view of the Ara Tradition is that Initiation is a personal choice made at a pivotal juncture in your spiritual journey. The Ara Tradition recognizes that the events of life may, in fact, “initiate” you. But Rites of Initiation are usually facilitated by a community (such as the Temple). Only people who have successfully undergone the Ara Initiation rites may call themselves an Initiate of our Tradition.
Special Note about Our Initiations
In the Ara Tradition, the role that Initiation plays is quite different from the traditional Wiccan model. Initiation is not just a “first degree” in a three-degree system—Initiation in the Temple of Ara is a unique, “stand-alone” event. For Ara, Initiation is a sublime and transformative experience that connects you to the Divine in a ritualized format. It is the culmination of your work up to that point, and it is the recognition of your devotion to and understanding of the Ara Tradition and its teachings. It is also a pledge between you and the Temple, to uphold its values and work towards its goals.
(NB: The Temple also does not operate under the traditional Wiccan concept of closed covens that are presided over by a third-degree high priestess and hived off from the primary community with the intention of cycling students through the three degrees. Only ordained Elder Clergy are able to initiate and elevate members. We also do not offer long-term training opportunities outside of our intensives; however, if you meet certain requirements, you may qualify for mentorship.)
Once you have been initiated, we hope that you will continue to work and grow within the Temple’s structure and stay involved through our various programs. You may or may not choose to enter into the Clergy Training Program and become legally certified clergy (being an Initiate does not guarantee you acceptance into the program). You may or may not choose to participate in Advanced Level workshops given by the Temple. Please be assured that it is perfectly acceptable, and honorable, to prosper spiritually while remaining an Initiate.
We hope that becoming an Initiate will deepen your experience of the Sacred and open you to new worlds of spirituality and connection with Life. We look forward to your contribution to building the Ara Community.
Initiatory Training: How to Qualify for Initiation
Preparation for Initiation can take several years of challenging, transformative work. Participants are required to complete our three initiatory training intensive workshops:
- Level One: Deeper Wisdom of the Circle
- Level Two: Spirituality of Immanent Divinity
- Level Three: Dancing with Your Shadow
To prepare for the intense, psychological and spiritual changes that can manifest during our training programs as well as during and after Initiation, we have created interim community building support programs:
Initiation is a very personal experience and for some it will lead to an ongoing commitment to the Temple of Ara as their spiritual home and community. For others, it will serve as a rite of personal transformation as they continue on their own, unique quest.
All petitioners for initiation must be members of the Temple in good standing. Mentoring in between the intensive workshops may be available for those who qualify yet is not guaranteed.
To learn more about the requirements for Initiation, please email us HERE.
Join Our College!
The Temple of Ara is thrilled to offer self-paced versions of our Levels 1 & 2, as well as other electives, via our online college! Check it out!