Henderson, Joseph L.

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 3, Number 1, 1993

KEY WORDS: initiation, cultures, traditions, archetype of initiation, archetype, rite, Jung.

ABSTRACT: These remarks were presented at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco in 1993 at the “Sandplay: Opening the Door” conference. This paper provides the context of initiation in various cultures and traditions. Initiation is the surrender of the “ego-centered life to the Self-centeredness”. The archetype of initiation is explained from the Native American, Roman, Jewish, Greek and Christian traditions. Ceremony and ritual provide the foundation of initiation. The rites are associated with the “mother, father and social order”. Henderson adds to this with the self-initiation of the individual. The universal symbol of initiatory birth and death is the uroburos or tail-eating snake.