“To be initiated, in the magical sense of the word is to recognize that you are moving through a threshold of change – that you are in a period of transition. The key to understanding initiation is recognizing consciously what is happening, rather than simply wondering what the hell’s going on. For many magicians and pagans, the recognition of moving into a period of initiation is marked by a ritual or magical retirement. Thus in this context, an Initiate is someone who is intensely aware of his or her condition, and is surfing the crest of the wave, rather than struggling to hold it back. Initiation is a time of letting go. It is a time of ‘loosening up’ – when habits, beliefs, attitudes and self-identifications suddenly (or gradually) seem to be less concrete than they were previously. One’s grip on ‘normality’ may be temporarily lost, only to be eventually (one hopes) regained, but not quite the same as it what before. Dealing with this loss of certainty, and the necessary confrontation with self, can be difficult at times. Some never manage to go the distance, and instead opt for fantasies wherein they are mighty adepts rather than simply accepting their own humanity, which necessitates a degree of humility, to say the least.”

Prime Chaos: Adventures in Chaos Magic, Phil Hine