Divorce as Initiation

Divorce is a liminal (in-between) state.  There is the decision to divorce, and then there are the months or years of the difficult process of fully extricating yourself from a complex arrangement. This is a powerful time for grieving and dissolving aspects of yourself that are no longer necessary.

It may be a wonderful relief to end a relationship with someone you consider difficult, but there is the dirty work of cleaning up that SuperFund site that has become your marriage. And there is the reclamation work required to create a good ecosystem going forward.

The in-between states of life are inevitably challenging and often painful. They are also the most times in our life for growth and development.

Passing through a powerful state of transformation- whether you have chosen to or not, is an act of faith and courage — whether you were the one who initiated it or not.

Through a ritualistic outlook on Divorce, how can we be supported to rise to the occasion and craft an entirely new identity? Can we create a more authentic way of being, based in self love and empowerment? How can we use Divorce as an initiation?

So many of us are going through this process unguided. We get tossed in the waves and worked in the hydraulics of the emotional turmoil! Washed in the machine of identity stripping, how do we make the most of this experience for ourselves, our families and our world? How do we work with this energy for the best empowerment? If we can see Divorce as Initiation, we can use it to pass from one stage of life to another in a productive and growth oriented way. We can use this time to find our better selves and step into better lives.



I feel that Divorce wants to have ceremony, a celebrated rite of passage that assists in transformation. As Divorce once was perceived as a tragic, destructive mark of personal failure, it is no more.  Divorce is actually a wonderful, difficult, frightening but viable option for a major life upgrade. The only thing in the way is our own battered self esteem and the power structure that still supports the old views of men, women and how marriage “should” be.

Divorce wants to take a valid place in our life cycles, to be marked in a way that acknowledges it’s power. It is a transformational event, no matter how you look at it – what dress do you wear? Do you have some special jewelry from a divorced relative? A good friend to “give you away”?

I propose a rite of passage – for those who are willing to unpack and repack their psyches for the massive upgrade potential that Divorce provides. Once those documents are stamped by the court, it is time to face your remaining shadows, light a candle, circle with your people, share your hopes and dreams for a new life and mark the time with a line drawn in the sand. It doesn’t have to be big or complicated or expensive like a wedding, but why shouldn’t it be? Whatever your style, mark the stages of your divorce with mindful ceremony.

You will be wiser, stronger and more willing to be real.




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