Get to Know That Man in the Mirror
A new initiation for our time
As we described in Our Story, ancient tribes performed initiation rituals to promote the boys into manhood, testing the key characteristics needed at that time, physical strength – for hunting or to protect the tribe.
That was then. This is now.
What are the key characteristics needed today? And notice what stirs in you when you think of an “initiation”.
Our initiation process has been designed for 21st century men. By going through a conscious initiation process, you can expect to:
• Increased awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
• See where you are, or are not, living in alignment with our principles
• Discover personal blind spots that may be holding you back
• Connect more to yourself and your deeper purpose
• Explore what is it to be a man in a way that has meaning to you
• Get support for changing what you’d like to change in your life
In tribal cultures, initiates were educated about how life would be different after their rite of passage. The transition was preceded by preparation, steeped in ritual, and heralded with celebration. An initiate prepared for weeks, months, or years for his initiation.
The Tribe’s initiation process, while designed for modern life, preserves some essential aspects of male initiation, including a lengthy period of preparation, the possibility of failure, and determination by the tribe as to whether an initiate successfully demonstrates his readiness to join the circle of men.
The Initiation Process
After you declare your interest in joining the Tribe, you will enter into the next initiation cycle with a small group of men as an Initiate. The first part of your three-month journey will be to thoroughly assess yourself in relation to the Tribe’s principles. You will be aided by your Guide – a tribesman who “walks alongside you on your path,” helping you reveal areas of potential challenge. After completing your self-assessment, a “life-size” challenge is identified for you by a team of tribesman. This challenge can take two or more months to complete. Each challenge is unique, based on each man’s own life and what he wants for himself.
An initiation challenge is intended to produce transformation. A man can’t actually make it through to the other side by doing what he usually does out in his life. In a way, he has to become a different man to succeed. Some degree of transformation is necessary.
In tribal initiations, the boy might be asked to bring back evidence of his readiness to join the men of the tribe. This was often the head of a wild animal, such as a lion or a boar. Similarly, at the end of your effort, you will return to the Tribe and present a modern-day equivalent of a “dragon’s head” – evidence that you have successfully completed your challenge.
You’ll get out of the experience what you put in. We don’t decide what you want from life; we don’t subscribe to any image of an “ideal man”. Those choices are yours. But we will help stretch you in the direction you want to grow as a man.
Here are what some tribesmen have said about their initiation experience:
“My challenge brought me outside of myself to see my blind spots and places I was holding myself back, perhaps unknowingly. The initiation process served me to receive a loving kick in the ass which is what comes from working with a men’s group. I am still learning from that challenge even half a year later and I can see how right-on my challenge was.”
“Before coming to the tribe, I was a sufferer. More than anything, I wanted to be known for all the trauma that I had survived. In the initiation process, I learned to access my powers while being witnessed by men. This was a terrific shift for me. Now, I choose to bring my powers into the world responsibly but without concern for the outcome. And so, I live.”
“My initiation experience gave me a rare opportunity to take another close look at myself and how I show up in the world. I got to step beyond my comfort zone to do what needed to be done in order to grow and go further in my life journey.”
While there is no cost for initiation, other than your share of food and lodging costs when held at a retreat center (typically under $150/man for a weekend, including meals), the expectation is that newly initiated men will “pay it forward” to subsequent men through service. This is done through the newly initiated man’s participation in the Tribe Operations, helping host Tribe Events like Intro Evenings and Initiation Events, and serving as a Guide and Tribune for the new men entering the Tribe. No prior skills are required, just a willingness to help other men along on their journey. Your service helps to keep the process sustainable for the Tribe, and the cost accessible to any interested man.