Initiation - Immersion in the great feminine
Water as a female symbol for life and love
Initiation is often associated with water.
Water as the primordial element that gives birth to life is the symbol for the great feminine and the unconscious par excellence. Here is a quote from C.G. Jung:
The maternal meaning of water is one of the clearest symbolic interpretations in the field of mythology [...]. Life comes from the water [...]. In dreams and fantasies, the sea and every larger body of water signifies the unconscious. The mother aspect of water coincides with the nature of the unconscious insofar as it can be addressed (especially in man) as the mother or matrix [Latin for "womb"] of the conscious.
Integration of the female unconscious into consciousness (male)
The consciousness ("masculine") that has developed in life must integrate all aspects of the feminine in order to attain wholeness: love as the feminine side of the spirit and the soul/life. Life itself is part of the unconscious, because it is outside the consciousness of the human being....
Unification of the conscious with the unconscious
In other words, the spirit must go down into matter, even into the unconscious, into the realm of shadows and death,in order to unite there - in dying (of the ego) - with the unconscious in love (see The Holy Wedding).
Initiation as a conscious sign of the path of love
The readiness for the path of love can be expressed in different ways, for example in a departure from home, in a confession through words or deeds, in a first sexual intercourse, in the performance of a ritual (a test of courage or a ritual violation such as through circumcision) or in a consecration through immersion in water.