Rights of Passage on the Spiritual Path...Encountering Spiritual "Initiations"

Submitted by Open on Tue, 08/15/2017 - 07:01

There will be times on the path where you're presented with vital opportunities for accelerated evolutionary growth. They are windows of possibility where your soul is wanting to expand into a new conscious existence. The Universe presents a cauldron of alchemical change, where you're tested emotionally, physically and mentally to your threshold and beyond. It's like a new flower, breaking through tough surface layers. By pathfinders who've endured them, they've become known as 'initiations'. They are the most earth-shattering, bone-shaking you will encounter. It pays to know something about them, to make sense of what's going on...

Surrendering to the Soul

Your inner configuration of consciousness creates the exact outer circumstances of your life. Based on the degree of soul infusion, determines how aligned that reality will be. If there's still a lot of identity, ego or karmic filters, then you'll create varying degrees of disharmony, frustration and lack of fulfillment. And so as a result of these feelings, there's then encouragement and motivation to reconfigure your existence by going within and unfolding new aspects of being - it's the only way to truly change the outer.

There's still a huge amount of talk in the spiritual mainstream and motivational circles about 'manifesting the reality you want'. The approach is to envision, then intentionally bring into being, that which you desire. It is an approach that is fatally flawed. The soul will ultimately find a way through with an entirely different agenda: that of evolutionary growth and self-actualisation through unbounded self expression. Here is the real secret, the profound joy.

Intentional manifestation may work for a while, but ultimately, as the bubble bursts, there's a surrendering once more to the soul's rightful journey. And initially, as you work to infuse soul, making that your aim, it's going feel pretty expansive and at times blissful - because of the letting go, the surrender. But that's far from the end of the story, because the inner reality needs to then infuse into the outer, so as to create a congruent reflection. And this is where initiations take place.

In the Corridor of Change

There comes the point of Realignment on the path. I've spoken of it in the 5GATEWAYS Documentary. It where there's realisation that only surrender to the soul's calling can lead to fulfillment in life. It's not an intellectual shift; rather a kind of 'breaking down sobbing of surrender' -

"I will not do another thing until I can feel it coming from my soul!"

It's at this point that you open the doorway to the superhighway of spiritual growth, and with that, accelerating initiations. The soul will work to merge your consciousness through your being and into the outer reality. But in so doing, it's going to hit not only your blockages and distortions of the old bodymind consciousness, but then also the imbalances and disharmony in the outer world you've created. Thus begins a near constant confrontation with the old reality. This is the point where many seekers on the path turn back. I've witnessed it countless times: it becomes too intense to persist. There's a losing of trust, and as the inner density gets churned up, it becomes exceptionally hard to hear your divine guidance mechanism. It becomes all too easy to slip into denial and accept a lesser existence.

But this is not the time to stop! It's the perfect time to remember exactly why you're doing it. If you don't persist, that window of opportunity will close, and it can take time to reconfigure and re-open. One fundamental truth can help you to persist:

There is absolutely nothing going on but self-realisation. And so if you hit inner density and it wants to break you down internally, let it happen. You're breaking the inner ties into the old consciousness. It's not going to be easy: it may mean the ending of a relationship where you've spent many years together, where ties have to be unbound; it may mean leaving a career or general living situation with no certainty of what is to come next. The path is definitely not all love and light!

Abandoned and Cast Adrift in Confusion: key signs of an Initiation

An initiation often feels like you've been abandoned, cast adrift in confusion, as if the Universe is having some great cosmic joke at your expense. It will make it easier to know the key signs you're actually undertaking one... Key signs of an Initiation:

  1. You're beset with near constant patterns of outer confrontation in your life
  2. Things don't want to work in the ways they used to - everything seems to be breaking down
  3. Where previously your internal guidance mechanism worked well for you, now it's hard to figure out even the simplest of choices
  4. Emotionally you're pushed to the limit; physically your body aches; intellectually the mind struggles to make sense
  5. It becomes exceptionally hard to trust what you know in the heart to be true - the outer world keeps reflecting the old consciousness
  6. Relationships, careers and general living circumstances are all challenged.

When I've encountered these myself on the path, it kind of feels like the metamorphosis of a butterfly: you enter into a 'crysalis phase', where everything internal feels like it's turning to mush - prior to the resplendent new form coming through. (Here's a video on what it feels like to Unleash Your Cosmic Self))

Facilitating the Process

So crucially, if you find yourself encountering a phase in your life like something I've described, you could well be engaged in an initiation. It is not about making it easier! It is not about immediately dropping the pain like proverbial hot coals and turning away! It's about walking courageously right into the jaws of it. But you can make the process more manageable. Here's how... Making Initiations Manageable:

  1. Turn completely into it. Don't reject or push the hardship away.
  2. Don't try to fix the outer world with some quick or expediently comfortable solution.
  3. Don't back away. Instead, go right into the very heart of it. Let it churn you up and break you down.
  4. Keep looking for the internal tightness, whether it be physical, emotional, mental or karmic - express into it, let the pain and anguish come through you.
  5. Then, when you've normalised in this internal tsunami of uncertainty - when the 'boat' has righted itself - look for a new aspect of beingness that wants to come through and light the path forwards.
  6. Commit wholeheartedly to the new pathway.
  7. Watch and celebrate as the new reality takes shape.

(Here's a video on how to Breakthrough Subconscious Tightness)

In this Fierce Embrace, even the Gods speak of God

So, there will come times on the path where you enter such a cauldron of profound alchemical change. If my sharing has helped you recognise that happening, then I encourage you to persist, to head right into the jaws of uncertainty. Because in so doing, you'll experience the most extraordinary expansion possible and your new life will literally take off! It's certainly not for everyone, but if you're drawn to this text, and got this far, I'm certain you have what it takes to break through. So go for it!...

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods. I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned. If you know despair or can see it in others. I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand. I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing. I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God. — David Whyte

Not Alone

Above all, remember, that even if you feel alone, you are not. There is constant support from higher evolved consciousness in the ether all around you, those who will know exactly what you're going through. But they're not here to take the pain away, they're not here to find the solution for you. They're here to hold the space and help you grow through it, by illuminating that which you now need to work with in yourself. Everybody hurts sometimes. And you are not alone. (Join the Openhand Community...Engage with Starsouls just like you)

In loving support

Open HeartPraying Emoji
(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)

About Openhand:
Openhand is a bridge into higher dimensions of consciousness. It is a way of tapping into the benevolent guiding hand of the Universe, to help you align with your soul through life. It empowers people to be totally authentic in who they are, and in so doing, facilitating a profound shift of consciousness into a new vibrational paradigm, in the Fifth Density. Discover more...Openhandweb, Openhand fb, Openhand TV

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Its an inspiring article open no doubt will help tremendously everyone including me in the path. I find my path slowly accelerating now and i trust there is gateway 2 coming. For the time being i find incredible joy in the most simplest of things like walking in nature or having breakthroughs and realizing there is nothing to effort or struggle. I nowadays find myself smiling often for no apparent reason. I feel blessed at these times and gratitude for the journey. Though i know the path wont be easy im looking forward for whats coming next and i just know i wont be the one turning back.

Here's a song from guys from my place


Also grateful for the message. I'm both comforted and a bit anxious for the current signs related to surrender of which this is the most recent. But most of all, you bring inspiration and encouragement which feels great!

I hope to be in Helsinki with the 5D event this autumn *db* Blessings,


Heartfelt thanks, Open - as always, couldn't be more timely. These last few weeks have been most definitely a profound rite of passage. It's clear to me that this has been a time of initiation for everyone who is ready and willing to transform. I also have to agree on all six sypmtoms of the initiation. And also a seventh one, for me currently: the precognition of the coming of, as you say "the most extraordinary expansion possible ". Many thanks for the article!

Oh wow! What a moving clip that is Open - thank you for sharing!

Hey Vimal, Kristian, Mark & Jen - lovely to "see" you.
Lovely to have you tune in.

Open *give_rose*

Thank you sincerely Open!
So much to celebrate in your message today.

Your words have captured my most recent experience perfectly and what a joy to know there is actually a term for it. Haha!
The term 'Initiation' is precise and exact and describes fully the place I've just emerged from. And yes I do feel like the Pheonix in this very moment.
The sweetness here is indescribable. But before arriving at this place I really didn't know what was happening yet I felt compelled to continue to go through it. Now, that I'm through, I'm so utterly grateful to have been given the experience. The severe ego-crushing that took place has cleared a space within me so vast and so pregnant with joy that I feel compelled to say hallelujah, hallelujah!

One line from your share in particular held my attention the longest...
"and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat."
In other words-
Perfect Devastation.

So absolutely worth the defeat.

I'm eternally appreciative of you Open. Your shares are always so timely.
Thank you from my heart.

Michelle xx

Open thank you, a very beautiful article offering authentic, detailed guidance. In a warrior like fashion :)

I understand 'initiation' as Grace because of my 'spiritual' background.
Grace is soft and it is also fierce. Sometimes soft, sometimes fierce, sometimes both at the same time!

I heard Viktor Frankl, a clinical psychologist and a Jew who survived the holocaust, talking about a young woman who got paralysed from the neck down and was confined in a wheelchair. She was able to use only her mouth to write with a special pen on a special board. Every day she would listen to the news and every time she heard of someone who was suffering or had died she would write a prayer for them. Viktor shared how happy and content she was with life and how because of her ‘disability’ (aka Grace or initiation) she had found a new meaning, contentment and openness with life. Not without feeling hurt but with an expanding ability to embrace it all and acting out of love for change to unfold.
Very inspiring story.

Grace has shown itself to me many times… and opening to grace is gradual. One of the reasons the universe manifested the living circumstances I am currently in is to feel ‘defeat’. I meet defeat every day. Opening to grace is gradual. A few months ago I wholeheartedly asked the universe to bring me what it takes for me to ‘see’ the Truth – the illusion of separation. I then remembered that I had ‘asked’ this again a few years ago. Looking back, yes, the universe is definitely delivering!!

Gods speak of God's love that awakens.

An amazing song by Mirabai Ceiba, Ocean of my Dreams, which gives life to that fierce embrace!

Hi Everyone out there in "The Process" - I felt to feature this article again today....

Rights of Passage on the Spiritual Path...Encountering Spiritual "Initiations" (scroll to the top)

There are definitely intense periods where the soul is drawn into a powerful corridor of alchemical change, much more than simply the daily process. This is when the soul is making a big shift, a big expansions. Although I don't really like the word, they've been called "Initiations" on the path. Do read the article, because it might well apply to your journey at this moment.

Wishing you well on your unfolding pathway

Open The Sun EmojiPraying Emoji


Well - I’d written a rather sizeable and motivating (at least to me) post complete with raw personal sharings on the distortion of male and female energy in my own recent experience, along with my appreciation and resonance with the blunt “let’s really get into our own sh*t” honesty of the Openhand approach, that the real journey in spirituality is gritty and sh*tty and scary as hell from the viewpoint of the one aspiring to it, that it’s a clearing away of ALL non-essentials - first and foremost a destructive process, that the fields first go fallow in order to cultivate new growth, that the degree of attachment dictates the nature of the breakthrough ie how explosive it is, that in my experience initiations/gateways/expansions of consciousness are DEFINITELY not all Love and Light.... 

...and just as I type Light the power went out and lost the whole thing. It’s the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day. Jeez... well guess what I’m STILL posting. This was originally a “gallows humor” type post anyways. So thanks a bunch for the added support, Flow.

Anyways, every day is an absolute cauldron of processing and I find myself wondering how much more of this I can take. I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.  

But whatever I’ll sit here in the dark. I find strength in my sisters and brothers here. Bring it.

in gratitude,





Hi Paul,

Yes indeed, how right you are, let's get down to it...

the real journey in spirituality is gritty and sh*tty and scary as hell from the viewpoint of the one aspiring to it, that it’s a clearing away of ALL non-essentials - first and foremost a destructive process, that the fields first go fallow in order to cultivate new growth.

You hit the nail on the head. I think plenty of people expect it to be "all love and light" and so stop when the going gets tough, but that's exactly the time to push on, to persist. That's when the work really makes a difference.

You said...

I find myself wondering how much more of this I can take. I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

I'd say exhaustion only happens because one part is pulling against the other. That's okay, when you start getting to this point, elements of ego just have to give up!

There with you

Open Thumbs Up Sign




Thank you.  I can feel the support and it helped catalyze even more processing for the past hour or so.  There is so much.  I choose to persist.

Pretty cool though - I'm laying on the ground completely empty when I realize the power is back on.  Once I boot my computer back up a while later, I come to find that the original post isn't lost; it was still here all along - just needed to be powered back up.  Kind of in a funky smaller font but hopefully still legible below.  Maybe some folks will see some of their own challenges reflected in the light of mine.



I am finding that much of my waking time is spent observing and participating in specific events and experiences that are intrinsically and masterfully designed to break me down.  Over the past couple of months I’ve shared a few nice experiences of following the pull, positive change, and reintegration.  But that’s only half of the picture.  

The real picture is not that that sexy.  The real journey is gritty and scary as hell.

Case in point:  I have been feeling and knowing that internal shifts wanted to happen for some time, but had not been in a position to safely release and reintegrate.  Last night I got home from work a little early.  On the drive home my wife let me know suddenly that my family would be out of town for the night, and I knew the space was a gift.  Of course immediately with that, I began putting pressure on myself to take full advantage of the time being offered to me for spiritual unfolding.  From there I watched as procrastination and self-distraction came and tried to fill the space.

A long story made short,over the course of two hours in between plenty of self judgment and through a combination of heartfelt prayer, music, movement expression, sungazing, openhand videos and posts, walking in nature eyes closed, contemplation, and regression, I finally began to delve into the density. The Break Through Subconscious Limitations video is always particularly catalyzing.  That one is a true gem.

I just really feel to emphasize that it was not pretty.  We’re talking spitting, screaming, convolutions, convulsions and physical distortion, tears streaming, ripping clothes off, energetic visuals of light exploding through different parts of my energetic system, sobbing and kneeling and praying for strength – the works.  Maybe it’s just me and others have a smoother, more functioning process.

However, throughout the embodiment of all that pain there was a knowing throughout that it was just another experience. And the knowing that it was essential for me to feel it.

Afterward I caught the end of a movie – the last 30 minutes of M Night Shamalan’s Signs – which catalyzed and released even more.  From there I was almost immediately taken into two of my more challenging distortions.

Comfort Food and Sexuality. i.e. overconsumption and lack of awareness in both.

I had a really nice and reverential dinner of organic salad and eggs (we share space with several chickens and ducks on our property).  Soon after I wanted to “test” myself with a bag of chips. 

Not too tough to figure out how that went.  Picture a friggin human raptor on the couch – inhaling chips for all he’s worth – chastising himself after each mouthful - covering himself in crumbs.   I will say this though – I stayed more IN most of the experience and watched it with curiosity and some humor while it was happening.  I felt that I could have just totally abstained up front but that would've pushed the growth opportunity down the line for another time.  I felt a little bit better about it from that lens, but facts are facts: I proceeded to polish off half a bag of chips despite denying my higher intention for each and every bite.

Same deal with sexuality.  I'm alone, it's been a good bit of time since my last physical release - and here I thought I'd done away with pornography way back down the path.  But the urge and temptation to fill the space was STILL there! And pornography is pretty much the epitome of gross distortion of both male and female energy.  

Here I was able to observe my feelings closely, weigh the known consequences based on past experience, and took the higher choice.  Yay me! :)  

I could've probably gone more graphic with a lot of this, but suffice it to say - Just because it's ugly doesn't mean it isn't serving a higher purpose.

I then woke up this morning at 4am with a piercing headache and nausea that stayed with me for the past 10 hours. Movement is painful.  Light is painful. Sound is painful.

I could have "pushed through" and sucked it up and gone into work.  But today I cancelled all appointments and gave myself the gift of space.  And I'm glad.

Onward (Inward),

Paul E




In reply to by Eric.

Sitting in my house seething with rage at about everything ranging from planetary destruction to the way women are treated to why x co-worker said y about me ,I can assure you it's as unglamorous as it gets within me too . I wake up.and I can feel this constriction around my heart and before I know it I am spewing venom even at the most innocuous of triggers. And throughout the whole day I feel as if the crown of my head is opening up . Strange sensations .Along with body parts being on fire .I was especially surprised to read about how you saw various chakras with light emitted through them in variousshapes . That happened to me last week and I didn't know what the heck that was! 

After my fourth meltdown in four days( it's a wonder my family has not disowned me entirely ) I'm trying to remember what Anastasia said about looking at it like its a movie and giving a warm chuckle ,but all that comes out is a snarl right now. 

Ahh well. Back to breathing and feeling and dancing wildly whenever I get the chance. A couple of.pillows are going to be severely beaten today before snotty tears . 

It's so nice to know others are going through this looniness too !


In reply to by Megha

God Megha I know what you are going through.  The littlest provocation - whether real or just imagined - would just catalyse these massive anger spikes in me.  On this very thread the other day when I was in the midst of one of those states, Open reached out in support and signed off with a thumbs up:

There with you

OpenThumbs Up Sign

... except I was already seeing red, and what I actually perceived was:

There with you

OpenThe Sun Emoji

And just seeing that little (completely imaginary) sun emoji pissed me off so much it set me into a deeper layer of processing. It was only on the other side when I realized my error and had a good laugh at my own ridiculousness.  

Snarl away.  Those pillows don't stand a chance.  Beat them into submission. Here's another The Sun Emoji if you need it.  

With you,


Hi Paul,

Thank you for sharing, you are not the only one facing your demons!  There are times the past few weeks I've found myself huddled in a ball on the floor, a total emotional mess!!  Last week I was at the local park, when I received a "knowing" regarding my son that literally brought me to my knees in tears and hysterics in the middle of the woods!  If someone had witnessed my madness I surely would've been on my way to the looney bin!

Keep up the good work and know you are not alone...


Hi again Paul and Scott,


It ain’t pretty, but I do believe it’s worth it. I know we can go ‘all the way’.



Hi Paul, Scott, Anastasia (and to everyone reading),

It's simply wonderful you're being so transparent with your processes. It's only truth that can truly set you free!

And yes, it is most definitely worth, and yes, you can go all the way!


Thank you for sharing your trip to the loony bin; it’s comforting to know we are all loony tunes together. Slightly Smiling


LOL! Smiling With Sweat Emoji 


Thanks for continuing the thread and posting that video - it crushes me and motivates Me.


Hello friends,

Open, I had tears ’all the way’ down my face. 

Megha, haha! I’m laughing at your description of the ‘snarl’ 😂

No, the path ain’t always pretty. In fact, in my experience, most of the time it isn’t. Most of the time it’s in your face ugly, back breaking, world shattering, and gut wrenching. Speaking of guts, I just walked out on my sick 6 year old daughter, kissing her goodbye while she literally puked her guts out into a bucket. Last night I wanted to have some quality time putting my toddler to bed, as we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a few nights, but instead of lazy cozy time I got crazy noisy time. My son went into complete hysterics over I don’t know what and there was nothing I could do to calm him down. It’s never happened before, that I haven’t been able to calm him down for that long period of time. I was so lost in my own apparent lack of skills to manoeuvre the situation, the only thing I knew to do was ask for guidance. ”Feel the pain”... Ok, I’m most definitely feeling the pain, I replied, but now what do I do with my son? But all I got was just ”feel the pain...feel the pain...”over and over. So I did. I felt the lack of control, the fear of failure, and the devastation of not being enough. I cried like a baby, but to be honest, I couldn’t completely let go of my need to fix. I eventually found a way to fix the situation, to calm him down, but perhaps at least there was a softer approach and a higher degree of surrender present in my action.

At the airport now, flight to Koln is delayed. I’m usually a confident comfortable traveler. I’ve done it so many times. Today it feels like I’ve never traveled before. I’m completely lost at my home airport and nothing makes sense. The guy at the cash register asks my name, and for a few seconds I can’t remember, neither my name nor why I am here. I order the wrong thing, so now I’m stuck with a hot grilled sandwich I had planned to save for several hours later. Michael Jackson is playing loudly in the background.

” I’m looking at the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways... ”

Oh yes, that’s it. Now I recall why I’m here. I just have to trust the flow will get me where I need to be. I look at my own face in the bathroom mirror. Dark circles under my eyes and hollow cheeks reveal how little sleep I’ve had the last couple of weeks. I look and feel like a train wreck. For a minute it bothers me. Shouldn’t I do something about it? Maybe put some makeup on? Then I remember, I’m no longer going to the MISS FIT & TYPECAST convention. I’m off to the MISFIT & OUTCAST convention. Ah... everything is perfect then, I’ll fit right in. I hear lyrics in my spaced out head. As I was leaving the house and my vomiting daughter, part of the theme song from her DVD - Alice in Wonderland - kept repeating and I felt then, as I can feel now, that everything is probably working out exactly as it should.

Oh Alice...it’s a wonder you know who you are, cause you’ve been traveling far. You’re off to that other land now...

Love to all of you, ’loonies’,



Hey Megha - keep staying with it, keep riding the flow. The opening crown chakra probably has plenty to do with it all. I'd say explore letting the energy rise up into the crown, then work to hold it there - see how that expands you multidimensionally. Thumbs Up Sign (that's definitely a thumb - not a shinging sun!).

Paul - it's amazing just how much those emoticons can mean voltage emoji icon

Hey Anastasia - no worries about the travel. It often happens to people coming their first Openhand gathering. Often some degree of subconscious resistance to the soul's revelation causes blockages on the path - broken down cars, trains, planes and everything! But you'll be well looked after when you're here.

Keep riding the flow everyone - there's only the baggage to lose!

Open HeartPraying Emoji

I felt to respost this today because I know a few of you are going through tough transformations, "Initiations"...


Rights of Passage on the Spiritual Path...Encountering Spiritual "Initiations"
(scroll to the top)

These are intense periods of confrontation of reality where your consciousness is ready to shift into a new vibration of being. It's a quantum leap, which I wrote about in the book 5GATEWAYS

When you're in them, the only way out is through. It's a step by step, moment by moment process, that is difficult to see beyond at the time. It's essential to turn right into the tightness using a process like BREAKTHROUGH and work it through until it's processed.

If you're going through one, I send my love and best wishes to you.

Open HeartPraying Emoji