Crucifixion was a rite in the mysteries of many countries and especially those of Egypt, See ‘The Secret Doctrines,’ vol. 11, p. 558. The initiated adept, who had successfully passed all the trials, was tied to a cross deep inside a Temple Crypt or cave, he was then drugged and plunged into a deep sleep, in which state, in the darkness of the bowels of the earth, he remained for three days and three nights, during which time his spirit=mind, is said to have descended into hades to communicate with the gods.
Other cultures had different customs to serve the same purpose.
The Aztec would compete in a ball game to determine the one who would win the prize, which was to descend into the world of the ancestral gods to receive gifts for his people.
When all but the final two contestants had been eliminated, the game entered its last round. The game consisted of a ball that had to be propelled through a ring attached to a wall. The ball which represented the contestants head=mind, could only be kicked with the foot, knee or hip and had to pass through the ring, which had the same inside diameter as the outside diameter of the ball, and represented the infinitesimally small opening into the underworld.
The winner was covered with a robe of brightly coloured feathers and paraded through the city toward the temple, to the cheers of the crowd, where he was treated like a king and nothing was forbidden to him.
He was eventually drugged and decapitated, after which, his mind=spirit would descend into the inner dimension, where he would communicate with the gods and win many blessings for his people. Or something like that.