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Saga Kraft - Betsy Bergstrom, Gabriela Sarna, Sea Gabriel: Saga Kraft EPISODE 6, 26th January 2021
Initiations
00:00:00 00:43:35

Initiations

Sea: Welcome to Saga Kraft. Myths, fairytales, legends, stories comfort us, inspire us and heal us. Please join us as we share stories both old and new. More than anything, we are open to the story and it's unfolding. At times it may be one story told by one person. At times it's the same story told through three different voices. In the end we go where the story takes us, and we invite you to follow. 

I'm Sea,  a writer, artist, and storyteller. 


Betsy: I'm Betsy, a medium and teacher of mystery traditions. 


Gabriela: I'm Gabriela, an artist and practitioner of folk magic.


Saga Kraft:  We are magical in training. 


Gabriela: The stories that we are about to share with you today contain some intense descriptions and material, so, if you are feeling in any way sensitive, perhaps this may not be the stories to listen to at this time.


Today, we are excited to share stories about initiation, and the forms they take. How they change us and our world. And we invite the blessing of Saga, the blessing of Story, and the blessing of change at the right time, and especially the blessing of a graceful change whenever possible.


Betsy: I also want to honor the listener, because what is a story without a listener, and so, may our stories in this new season land with you in a way that interests you or amazes you, or intrigues you, or challenge you. 


Sea: And I also want to honor saga and all the helpers.


Betsy:  And I'd love to begin if that's all right with you two.


Gabriela: That would be lovely, thank you Betsy. 


Betsy: So, my story is called Morvoren.


The sea has always held mysteries and treasure. Though ocean and coastal currents may be habitual, how things move about in the sea and where they ended up cannot always be explained. Water carries emotion and sound. It can imprint with experience and intention. It's always subject to magic. 


I've always trusted the goddess Sirona, and that's why I'm now floating in the sea, nailed into a barrel, being carried away by the outgoing tide Goello, my betrayer, was watching me with beetled brows and smiling in an odious way as his men nailed me into the barrel with just enough of an opening for the sea to enter.


 Now his ship sails away from me. I suppose I should feel the shame that has been heaped onto me, but I'm furious. Not at the goddess, after all, she said I would be facing trials, but at my parents for being swayed by my betrothed to cast me off. Casting me off was their idea. He wanted me stoned. As if the stones of Brittany would even allow that. Instead I'm floating away in what everyone hopes will be the end of me. I am resolved to live.


I don't quite know how that's going to happen, but I will not let them kill me and my baby. Time was, not so long ago, that my decision to consummate my love with Grannus would have been celebrated with a feast and gifts, not worries about what a foreign god would think about it. It's a confusing time when priests of the new god are trying to diminish the goddess and her place in my country. Confusing because my parents have to consider this god, because almost no country will trade with us while we are considered pagans. 


They planned on my marriage to a christian princeling Goello. I've always known marriage was my duty, but never to him. Sirona intervened. She merged my path with a man who was made for me as though he was my other half. Grannus of the black hair and white skin, whose breadth of shoulder is matched by the vastness of his heart. He's now locked away and won't be freed until I've been swept away. I hope he is praying and not despairing, for I need his prayers. 


Serona of the waters, send me a rescuer. Please deliver me from the ocean. Two days have passed and I've been becalmed in unseasonable heat. I feel I'm going nowhere, but still a current carries me far from land. Is this a reprieve from death? Or am I in the vestibule of death even now, and don't know? I dream of Grannus and how in his arms, Sirona's  voice came into my head with light and love, saying through me to Grannus:  my love, my heart, my husband. In that moment I melted into love, but now hungry, thirsting, and bobbing in a reaking barrel, I wonder what came over me. 


No. I cannot allow myself to think like this. Sirona, as your waters meet the sea, may it send prayers to the sea god to help me. The ocean swells are growing bigger and the sky darkens. My barrel, which I've named Indomitable, is tossed about.


My prayer is now a plea straight from my soul, without words. I dose, too wretched to think or feel. There's a blinding light in the darkness. The voice of Sirona saying "Trust.",  and soon, as if in a dream, I'm aware of slim white arms reaching through into the darkness where I sit huddled, and a soft and melodic voice saying  "It's a lady in here." 


The arms withdraw, and then there's a sensation of the barrel steadying. I am somehow no longer at the mercy of the waves, bearing steadily in some direction. I sleep, and wake to this heavenly sound of voices singing. These voices sang of the beauty of the sea, of treasure, of love. Sometimes they sang in a language I've never heard, but will always long for. The voices are pure, melodic, eerie.


I think we traveled like this for hours, maybe days. A cup of water was passed to me, and the most delicious fish. I ate and drank and slept again. 


The barrel was pushed onto land and strong arms lever the lid off. The male faces disappeared and a lovely female face, haloed with blonde hair and twined with pearls, peeked over the edge of the barrel.


"We've brought you to Cornwall in Pendour Bay. Ahead is Zennor village. You and your baby will be safe here. We've put you into the hands of a trusted friend. Here, these are for any need you have."


 A necklace of priceless pearls was put into my hand. The trusted friend and his wife came and freed me from my barrel and took me to their home where they cared for me. The local priest came to me to discover more about my story, and all I could do is rave about the light around the golden head, the voice, the white arms. And before I knew it, I was declared a christian miracle. Saint Senara, saved for some purpose by an angel. It was most disconcerting, but I accepted it, for what else could I do?


 I sought Sirona's advice. In the village was one of the old stone monuments and a sacred well. There, Sirona and I spoke. "Trust." she said again. I was witnessed glowing with her light and trying to sing those enchanting songs that were sung to me while in my barrel. I cannot stop trying to sing them. I know they were full of love and protection, and that is what I imbue my songs with, though I can never quite get the melody right.


 Eventually word came to this village of the princess who was cast to her death in a barrel across the sea. Here, where I was washed ashore, in this most christian village of Zennor, I regained my status and eventually my love. Grannus found me. I was duly baptized, along with my son Budock and my husband, into the celtic church.


I used my pearls to build a small castle and a church, which took my name later. I built a few more churches nearby, which were also dedicated to St. Senara, but to me, they were to Sirona. Here I lived out my life. 


Part Two


The humans have no idea how strongly sound carries underwater. When I became of an age to have my own household, I looked around my family's domain of the Irish sea and the North Atlantic coastal region. I was always attracted to the sunken village Lyoness, with its great bells, but I settled on the nearby bay of Pendour in Cornwall.


 There used to be a princess, partly fairy but sadly mortal, who's singing lured me to build my home in the bay off shore, that I might hear her voice for as many years as she would be able to sing her spell songs. Her life passed and the castle felt to ruin, but the bay continued to be a home for me. When L.  my father or M. my brother chided me about my choice, with a whole ocean open to me, I remain steadfast. But now for another reason. I stayed in my home in Pendour because I took up where the princess left off.


Her songs were meant to support the lives of those who lived in her lands. She did not know that her domain was actually mine. No matter, I found myself inspired by her concern and have kept to her decision to infuse this region with magic for the betterment of all. The songs of the long dead princess were intended to foster protection, generosity, goodwill, and good behavior. I understand she had suffered from bad behavior. Easy enough to continue in that way. 


And so on many a night, I'm am to be heard singing my own songs. I've traveled up and down the coast, and I'm quite sure of the difference between a protected cove and one unprotected. You've only to hear the harsh words and the sounds of beatings and sobs of humans who are left to their own tendencies. Bear in mind, these are smuggler's waters, were French brandy comes to shore, stripping away any semblance of good intentions.


 It's said that not only is Pendour Cove and the village of Zennor home to good people, but also to the sweetest singers. I expect they learned to sing from me, singing for generations near them., but perhaps it's also a side effect of the spells of the princess saint. 


In any case, one villager surpasses them all. This lad can be heard singing in the church of an evening after a long day's work. I'm mesmerized by his voice and his heart, which can be heard as he sings his hymns. I can hear him less well when he sings at his chores, but it's the sweetest sound nonetheless. 


I'm not sure when the idea came to me, but once it did it stayed until I began to transform myself to human girl and slip into the back of the church of Saint Senara on most evenings to see him, as well as hear him up close. The old ladies of the village saw me right off, for I am inhumanly lovely and quite well dressed.


I knew I was taking a risk showing up like this, but my village people are good people and I don't fear them. I didn't reckon their curiosity, for apparently young well dressed women don't simply go where they want to. Oh well. I also didn't reckon on seeing a lad whose personal beauty matched that of his almost unearthly voice. I made a stir with my own voice as well, so much so that he eventually came to meet me,  though I forestalled him on this because I made it a habit to slip away first thing.


 I came back year after year, until he was a fine man. One day my longing to see him even closer, made me a little slow and he caught up with me. I gave him the gift of my name, M.M.  He was not to know what a gift it was for quite some time. His name is Matthew Penwalla. Masquerading as humans slowed things down for us, but added spice to it. After all, I do have more time than he does.


After spending many hours together, it was clear that it was love. The villagers saw us together, deeply engrossed in one another. He was warned that nothing good could come of being with a woman who never ages. He didn't fear it. Time came when he left the land and entered the sea with me. I let his people know he was not drowned, but alive with me and our children.


When a ship anchored in front of the door to my home, I surfaced and stood on the water and called out to the ship captain


" Kind, sir, please lift your anchor and move. I can not get home to my husband, Matthew Penwalla, with your anchor in front of my door, please, my children are hungry and I must feed them."


I made sure that his people on land prospered. If ever danger came to this coast, together we would ring warning bells in the under sea church of drowned Lyonesse. 


Gabriela: Thank you for that. I'm really moved by the songs, and the power of song in these stories, both of them. And really there are so many things here to nibble beautifully.  They were both so wonderfully written and so rich. I think what strikes me more than anything is the beauty of magic and the beauty of hope. Especially in the first story, since I really connected with the princess and her gnosis, her awareness, and her commitment to life more than anything. That she was so committed to life that no matter what happened, she would be found. And she was. It was absolutely lovely. Both stories were absolutely lovely. 


Betsy: Thank you. 


Sea: Yes, they were very beautiful, and I love all the details and the richness. And the bells. I love the bells, and of course the water. And I have to admit that simultaneously, that I was so pulled into them. Like I felt like I was just in the story itself and swept away with the tide of the story. And so it was quite beautiful. And I wasn't following the structure as much as I was following the feeling. Does that make sense? So, I felt completely, not consumed by, but as if I was floating in it, which is a very, very beautiful thing for me. Thank you. 


Betsy: Well, thank you. 


Gabriela: I absolutely have to agree with Sea. The first one for me, especially, had the swept away feeling. I felt so swept away by it and really in it, in it in every aspect, every detail and, yeah, I'm still in it. I'm quite taken by all the magic of it and the water. Love the water. 


Betsy: Thank you. For myself, I was just struck how one story initiated another story. And it gave me a different perspective on initiation than I previously had. So, for that I'm super grateful. 


Sea:  I mean this in the nicest way, so this is a good thing, I feel I have to say up front, but I felt like I was seeing two aspects or two perspectives on initiation that on one hand filled me with a sense of wonder and power, and on the other hand made me feel a little bit cross-eyed because I was trying to hold two visions as one. So, the feeling of it was very complete and very whole and very beautiful, and simultaneously the details became, not irrelevant... because they were so beautiful, so they were contributing to my lived experience, but they were not static or concrete in the way that details in a story usually are for me, because they were more contributing to my holistic experience, which held the two. I am one who loves to be lost in things and I often can't get into things in the way that I wish I could, and so I felt completely held by this double vision.


Gabriela:  I feel that that's the power of the story, and the power of initiation. That we really don't know what's happening, sometimes for a long time. And the parallel and the connection, and even the changing of front or the changing of name, of this becomes that. The power of a place or the power of something, or someone, doesn't disappear, but  can be absorbed into something else. And sometimes it's unknown what the underlying light or power is, but it remains and it's sustainable  and it's eternal. So that's how I felt. Both these stories held that. They fed each other. One came from another, or maybe not. It was this eternal binding, this eternal flow, this eternal truth of something beautiful that would carry you forever. Did you enjoy these stories, Betsy? Did you enjoy being with these beautiful magical beings?


Betsy: Oh yes. They felt so different and yet they felt so entwined together too.  I was really quite taken with the princess saints and, and just that single word from her goddess of "trust" and just go with it. Now she's a christian miracle and a  christian saint in her lifetime


Gabriela:  Which really did happen. 


Betsy: And which apparently really did happen to her too. Yeah. I loved  her discipline in her trust, also. Of how the mind can wander in a direction, but her discipline kept bringing it back. And that, especially that place she was in of praying without words, just praying straight from the soul that really touched me. 


Gabriela: Those are probably the most powerful prayers because they reach gods of different languages, and spirits that maybe do not speak as we would speak.


Betsy: I think also, one of the other aspects of initiation that I loved was how the singing initiated her in some way and inspired her in the ways that were described, but also, that left her with that longing to be able to create that music that she heard. And and my sense of it was her devoting her life, not only to the intentions of her songs , but in trying to re- not even so much recapture, but to sing in that way, I find very moving and inspirational, also. 


Gabriela: Honoring her lifeline. 


Betsy: Yeah, well thank you. 


Sea: Thank you. 


Gabriela: Thank you for that story. Thank you. I suppose that means I should go next. 


Sea: And Gabriela


Gabriela:  my story of initiation is called Night Hound. 


Every death is terrifying. But the birth is just as so, if not more. With birth you have to keep going. You have to emerge, while death can be a gift, the solution, like the last drop of sweet honey wine that lingers on your lips. 


I am walking through complete darkness, unable to see a thing, feeling around me for pathways, my feet determining the firmness of ground underneath. Serpent like roots seem to be moving against my bare feet, tangling them and making it difficult to walk, but I must keep walking because this darkness is full of hunger, insatiable, terrible, and wanting my blood. I can hear and smell it's predatory longing reaching for my face.


The sky is empty of moon or stars. Perhaps it's not a sky at all. But a vast sea, a thick black matter, moving like a beast inside a beast, somewhere in the distance. I sense a change, a thinning of this black veil, and when I focus my eyes, I see a glimmer of the faintest light and head towards it as fast as the serpent roots beneath will allow, it is urgent that I get to the light. I do not know why, but I lean on what my deep heart is pushing me towards, or rather, out of.


Finally I arrive at an entrance into a mountain with steps leading underground and I slowly follow them down as the light that brought me here grows brighter, illuminating the stone walls, and I can make out the reddish stains and symbols, some still wet, as my hand glides on them to steady my descent down.


I know I'm not alone. On these stone steps I can feel two massive muscular beasts glide past me, heading down towards the light just like I am, but it does not matter. At least I'm out of the terrifying vastness above, which holds a terror I am not willing to meet.


 As soon as I get to the bottom I see two torches, and by these torches the beast dogs wait, mouths panting, ears perked like sharp weapons. They approach me slowly, gracefully circle me, and soon begin to lick my hands. Gently at first, but then ferociously, obsessively swallowing my hands entirely, and then they start to knaw at my skin bit by bit, and they take my skin with their licking and their mouths and I cannot stop them.


I am stripped of all that I was, and I can barely see as blood fills my eyes. But the dogs are near me and they lead me deeper into the underworld. I keep walking further down, each turn more difficult than the last, but the beasts brush past me reassuring me that I should keep going, which suits me just fine. I feel safe being so deep in the earth without skin, without awareness or memory of who I used to be. 


I don't know how long we walk, but at some point we come to a gateway that opens up to a strange mound in the middle of a clearing. I am reluctant to emerge from the dwelling, not wanting to be seen so bare, but the dogs pulled me out, exposing me to the strange place and it's murky golden light. It appears to be day here, but there is no sun. The brightness comes from all around, but has no source. There are other beings and creatures here, all unsightly and deformed, some human shaped, others not. They stare at me and approach me one by one, sniffing me curiously as if to get a sense of my origin, of my essence.


I keep walking through them, looking at them with each exchange, feeling my heart beating louder and louder through my ribs. They're circling something, orbiting more like it. A great gravity that sits at their center. And I am feeling drawn to it too, unable to look up yet to see what it is, but I keep moving towards it until I stumble upon the feet of a giant. A woman as tall as a mountain and as oldest time, with long white hair that flows about her, her torch like eyes burning into my small form that stands at her feet.


"Do you want to stay child?" she asks me "The choice is yours, but your heart still beats above ground, though not for long, so you must decide fast."


"Is there a price?" I inquire, and she laughs, the sound like a crushing wave of the sea against the rocks. 


"Always." she says, as the smile disappears from her face.


 I realize in that moment that death is easy. It is the birth that is not, for I know now I can not return from where I came. I could stay here, but feel that it's not my time yet. 


"What is your price mother?"


 She doesn't answer, but leans her giant wrinkled face close to mine, sticking out her tongue to lick and taste me, clearly finding the answer inside. An answer I am not willing to say out loud.


"Good choice." she says, and opens her mouth wide, so wide that if there was a sun or moon it would have been swallowed entirely, just like me as I am devoured by her and everything disappears. I don't know how long I swim through her insides. I am suspended here in time and space, but feel a trust, a rhythm of her tides, waiting for the right contraction to come and squeeze me out.


Finally I emerge and find myself sitting at her feet again, but when I look up she is a young woman with hair as blue. blue-black has the night around us, and a moon full and fecund, frames her giant face. We are alone now in the clearing, only she and I and the dogs are here.


"Good choice." She says like she did before and smiles her horrible smile. "Now go, hurry." she demands and flashes her torch eyes so brightly that a fire is lit in my heart and propels me up. 


I don't hesitate. I turn around and follow the beasts who are ready to run now, clearly knowing the way back. We move like one being, fast and determined, as if against time and back into time and into form.


Again we are at the bottom of the cave. The torches light the way up, which we follow until we are at the entrance above, beyond which the unknown and only destination awaits, only now there is a light, and not the terrifying darkness that lurked before. The opening is so small, much smaller than I remember, and I'm not sure if I can squeeze through it, but I have to try. 


I look down at my body and see that I am naked. Without much thought I pulled the skin of one of the dog beasts near me, cover myself in it and crawl out of the earth and above ground, an effort that takes my breath and my consciousness entirely and everything goes black again.


 The first thing I see when I come to are the glimmering night's stars above me, vast and eternal, like the ceiling of a painted temple. The full moon moves, too, at times framed by the branches of trees that appear like symbols and messages I can't quite make out. I have no idea where I am, or who I am for that matter, but my identity is not important at this moment and unworthy to spend time and what little strength I have trying to remember it.


 I'm very weak and tired, and delirious with pain. Every part of my body hurts. I am unable to feel whether there's a piece of me that is not bruised, cut, or broken. I can tell that I'm being pulled by something or someone, but I'm unable to move my head and see them, which would help me determine my fate. One thing I know is that I am fully at their mercy. I close my eyes and surrender to the slopes and dents of the soft ground beneath me as I'm being dragged across it in a slow paced rhythm.


"What did you bring me now?" 


I hear words, a woman's words, and open my eyes slowly. The sky has disappeared and the movement has stopped and I see the dark glistening ceiling of a dwelling. A cave. Soft warm light glowing like a blur around the edges.


"Divine mother, she's only a child." the woman says breathlessly as her face now peers over me like a full moon in the darkness, her features terrifying for they are so pinched with concern and horror.


As she looks at me, I don't know what she saw, but her reaction leads me to believe that I am barely alive and she is surprised to see that I'm still breathing. 


"Don't worry child." she says, almost in response, and then as reassuringly "I've seen worse. You did good, Nyktys, for bringing her here a. Little closer to the fire, a little closer. Yes. Right here." The woman says to whoever has brought me here.


 I shift my gaze as much as I can to inquire who my rescuer is and see a massive black dog leaning over me, breathing loudly, it's massive teeth like knives suspended above my head. In this light they appeared to glisten with a sheen like metal or silver water.


"Move aside. Let me do my work. I will need you later." the woman says to the beast, who listens to her and responds to every request, it's  giant head with crescent pointed ears disappearing from my view. Wherever it went, I can feel it staring at me intensely, keeping guard, it's presence comforting. 


The old woman loosens the cloak around me to further investigate my injuries. Her dry bony hands gently lift my limbs, wrap my wounds. A smoke she is burning intoxicates me and makes me care less about anything that is happening. A sweet delirium suspends in my mind, like a honey wine on a cold night. I can feel soothing herbs applied to my skin, numbing it, making this moment bearable and a moment that I can live through.


"The goddess spared you tonight and therefore you have been chosen. I see no other reason why you should be alive." the woman says, her eyes like torches, searching my face. 


"Is there a price?" I whisper, barely able to speak.


" I believe it has been paid. Many come to me seeking wisdom, seeking power, wanting to gain the gifts of the other world, yet none are willing to die first to get here." she says, and calls to the beast dog, my savior, who nuzzles against me, it's warmth, cloaking me and making my eyes grow heavy. "Now sleep and forget anything that happened before this night. When you awaken then gain your strength, I will teach you all that I know. I have been waiting for a long time for someone to take my place."


The end. 


Sea: Beautiful. Thank you. 


Gabriela: Thank you. 


Betsy: That's a remarkable story. A real dismemberment. 


Gabriela: Indeed. 


Betsy: Your descriptions were beautiful, and somewhat terrifying, really conveying that terror that that kind of an experience could provoke or provide. How was it for you to move through that? 


Gabriela: It was comforting. It really was. The descriptions actually have been scaled down a little bit. Um, it's, it's a, it was a really visceral experience, but also a triumph in that commitment, you know? The way I look at it as, once again, the willingness of someone to move through that space in between life and death and be willing to come back, given a choice,  and taking that choice not even being clear on who they are yet. That longing for life and the longing for self. Persevering.


Betsy: Do you  suspect that they came out of this experience with torch like eyes?


Gabriela: Possibly. Certainly a light, and an ability to see in the dark maybe. 


Betsy: I'm always so curious about those moments when people make pivotal choices. And even if the word choice is the right word, you know, sometimes there's just a clear path. It's like the choice is being clear in the way that things are moving forward. Do you get a sense of that in the story too? Like, there is a choice, but the choice is commitment, would you say?


Gabriela:  I would. Or that there's certainly a cost. Something has to move in and something else that, you know, something has to be offered and taken. And also that the other option, will it be interesting to find out maybe to some people, the option to go down would be more terrifying than to stay out. For her, in this case where she was and what she was moving through, which potentially could have been the pain she was in, or even the memory of what happened to her and how she even ended up at that point. Who did that to her is unknown, but it feels to me and in the story as it came through, the different elements of it, it felt like that was more terrifying to grasp than death itself. Remembering what happened to her was more terrifying and dangerous than death itself, as she was in between the two. So she couldn't return as she was, that choice was clearly made in that way for her. And she took it. 


Betsy: I'm just struck in all the stories of how the moments of initiation or the circumstances leading up to them are paths that people have been on for a long, long time. They don't come really out of nowhere, even though they might seem as though they do. 


Gabriela: That's very true. They've just came to a place that they're ready to meet that destiny. 


Sea: Right. That's how it feels to me. It's time. I was also struck by the unconsciousness in all of them, the willingness to abjectly surrender  in a way that didn't necessarily feel like it was a willingness. 


Gabriela: This surrender  feels like a self-preservation.


Sea:  Right. 


Gabriela: There is no strength for anything other. 


Betsy: I think also the dismemberment is something that's so often spoken about in shamanistic circumstances or circles or experiences, and there can be such varying degrees of dismemberment, but when we're truly dismembered, I think that whatever was before can't exist in the way that it used to, and I think each of the stories really demonstrated that loss of what was before, even if it wasn't a dismemberment of actual body parts, but it can be such a dismemberment of our frame of reference as well, because in each of these frames of reference for , the people experiencing them are radically changed. Quite extraordinary. 


Gabriela: I love your take on that and your depth on, on that exploration. I think it's very true. 


Betsy: Is there any backstory on the beasts?


Gabriela:  They're both liberating and terrifying in the same way in this story, and for this young woman, they are of the divine mother. They are the hounds  of the mother. They're the hounds of the goddess of the crossroads and the goddess of in-between that guard those portals of life and death, sanity and insanity. They're the edge keepers. They are these threshold guardians and they are beyond sometimes  what we would consider safe, but they go to places that are not safe, so that when we're taken to those places they're the only allies that can show up. And in this case, that's exactly what they became. 


Betsy: Well it seemed as though you're  young woman became so one with them also in that place, in the underground and the underworld. 


Gabriela: Yes she certainly did, because she offered herself to them and didn't resist and therefore had created a rapport and a bond. She was also at a place where there was nothing left of life as she knew it, of her body as she knew it, of who she was that was worth saving other than her soul. 


Sea: I was thinking that was an interesting thing, that we are people who have undergone initiations or writing stories about initiation, and they're all so hardcore, and that's appropriate, but maybe that's part of it. It's a willingness to,  learn one's true worth knowing it might be vastly different than one believes. I think that's a vital part. 


Betsy: Yeah. 


Gabriela: And one thing I really feel is important to say here, as we are talking about these really intense initiations and these somewhat horrific circumstances that people go through, you know, it's not a calling out for those circumstances. It's the emerging from them that's so important. I think, for many people who have experienced initiation, or even trauma, or even an experience that we know was close to death, that is the initiation. That is the point at which nothing is the same. And they come back in a way that wasn't possible before in a really elevated way. I like to look at initiation as I feel like everybody has had one, and even for people who are listening, to revisit their lives and look at these heavy moments. Moments of intensity, moments of extreme stress, if it feels safe to do so, but in a way that illuminates who they are and what they've persevered and how they've emerged. And how, whatever trajectory that they might have been, on that you might have been on, that trajectory changes when you go through initiation.


Sea: I think there's something huge there too about missed initiations, how many people are initiated but don't recognize the initiation. And so ended up stuck in the trauma. And what vital changes we can make in our lives when we recognize an initiation, we find the meaning of something. Even when we have to apply it ourselves, I don't think that's cheating. I think that's intelligence. 


Gabriela: Yeah. 


Betsy: Well, and I think the thing with initiations is that they're, like trauma ,                 taken in and experienced on many levels. And they're there for each of us to unpack at a further date as well. So even a missed initiation, maybe just one that has a different timing. 


Sea: It's never too late.


Betsy: Yeah, that's right. 


Gabriela: And when the time is right, it will unfold. May it unfolds in a beautiful way. 


Betsy: With the blinding clarity that we each described, the light that's there.


Gabriela:  Beautiful. 


Sea: Yeah. Thank you.


And special thanks to the fantastic Zoƫ Magik for her phenomenal editing skills.