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You are here: Home About Us FAQ's What is a rite of passage? Why is it Important?

What is a rite of passage? Why is it Important?

A rite of passage is a ceremony and marks the transition from one phase of life to another. Although it is often used to describe the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood, it does refer to any of life’s transitions (Births and Beginnings, Initiations, Partnerings, and Endings or Death). There are many passages in our lives if we choose to mark and celebrate them. Journeys is most concerned with...

A rite of passage is a ceremony and marks the transition from one phase of life to another. Although it is often used to describe the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood, it does refer to any of life’s transitions (Births and Beginnings, Initiations, Partnerings, and Endings or Death). There are many passages in our lives if we choose to mark and celebrate them.

Journeys is most concerned with initiatory rites of passage. Initiation is defined in the dictionary as, “the rites, ceremonies, ordeals or instructions with which a youth is formally invested with adult status in a community, society or sect.” We extend that definition to include rituals and ceremonies that help adults transition to new life roles along the path of adulthood – all the way into meaningful elderhood.

When we design rite of passage experiences, we work to assure that initiates come out of the experience with a new and empowering story that helps them take responsibility for the decisions that set the course of their future. We help initiates create the story of who they are and the kind of life they want to build based within the exploration of their own personal values. We also help them find the story that connects them to their community. Through this self-exploration initiates emerge with a stronger sense of personal responsibility to all aspects of their lives – stretching all the way out to the larger world of which they are a part.

In this way both the community and the initiate benefit from a rite of passage. An intentional rite of passage experience provides the space for the community to transmit its core values and confer the role responsibilities appropriate to the initiate’s stage of life, thus insuring cultural continuity, a sort of knitting together of the generations.

 

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