In LP terms, an Initiate is an individual who has Connection Experience or two (or ten) and who, as a consequence of these experiences, has "shifted" away from the Material World and towards a more spiritual orientation.
Authentic Spirituality, Connection, Consciousness Quotient, Water Glass Metaphor
Rudolph Steiner considers an initiate someone who has had direct communication with extraterrestrials (whom he repeatedly refers to as "gods," inside Temples of the Mysteries. For him, initiations are secret and confined only to the chosen, capable, purest, few. Initiates are the Divine Messengers who help "the gods" in their millennial efforts to evolve an advanced human civilization. In later evolutionary epochs, they are also the "principal leaders" (Manu), or "Kings" who ostensibly lead humans forward on the evolutionary path.
From this third group the above-mentioned principal leader, whom occult literature designates as Manu, selected the ablest in order to cause a new humanity to emerge from them. These most capable ones existed in the fifth subrace. The faculty of the sixth and seventh sub-races had already gone.