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Terrain of Transformation: What are Rites of Passage and why do they “work?”

  • Seattle, WA (Duwamish Territory) (map)

A healthy human life is filled with constant transformation. Each day, we evolve and unfold in countless mysterious ways. Sometimes these changes are dramatic and intense; sometimes they are subtle.

Change often brings with it fear of the unknown. Many of us use every tool we’ve got to resist it, trying to control what is happening inside and around us. The results are rarely satisfying: stagnation, creeping anxiety, depression, and feeling out of control are just a few of the consequences that come from shying away from transformation.

Over tens of thousands of years and across the globe, communities have developed tools to help navigate the large and small transitions that individuals face over their lifetimes. This collection of tools is commonly known as rites of passage.

Rites of passage are a keystone practice in human cultures. Lost to most contemporary communities, the promise in reclaiming and re-imagining these traditions shines bright. Through initiatory processes, individuals shed what has become too small for them, and are challenged and supported in developing the inner resources and understandings to fully bring their unique gifts forward – into a world that urgently needs what they have to offer.

As we travel through the vast wilderness of our lives, we need a map and compass to safely navigate. We need to be able to orient ourselves. And we need to be able to supply the next generation with these orienteering skills as well, as they stand to inherit a world undergoing massive change.This weekend is designed to offer a “map and compass” for navigating the many changes in our lives.

Whether you are in the midst of your own transition, or interested in incorporating rites of passage into your work, join Darcy Ottey and Rite of Passage Journeys for this weekend experiential immersion. During our time together, we will:

  • Dive deeply into key orienting frameworks for transformation growing out of the fields of rites of passage and human development

  • Practice tools of the rite of passage process, like ceremonial design, development of intention, embodiment exercises, and circle practices

  • Explore the resurgence of rites of passage today, and how these efforts fit in with global change movements

This workshop can be taken alone or as the first of a three-part workshop series.

To register, visit