A Rite of Passage is a process or ceremony or weekend or experience (traditionaly an adolescent, but can be any age of male) is invited to go through / attempt / face / embrace.
The Experience is organised / held / facilitated by Older/Elder Men, each of whom will have previously completed the same process. (So they understand what the Adolescent is attempting)
The content of the Rites is not known by the young person beforehand but includes Physical, Emotional, Mental challenges, ceremonies, might be outdoors, might be educational, involve mythology, stories or tales or indeed anything.
The Challenges are such that the Participant male won’t know if they can necessary attempt and/or complete what is being asked of them. They will have to look within themselves to tune into hitherto untapped inner resources. There is some fear in the sense that the particpant won’t know if they can do it until they’ve tried it and managed it.
Fear can also be in facing inner emotional challenges, tuning into their vulnerability and, feelings and realising that not only is it survivable but can be very life enhancing
“…the elders were so open and vulnerable, that I felt comfortable to do the same. It’s crazy to think of how us guys are never able to truly express ourselves and the power in having other men to be real and honest with.”
the best thing that I’ve ever done for myself, and I know that this was in no small part down to the leap of faith that I made in going for it with very limited foreknowledge”
Deeply inspiring auto-biographical book, covering the real life adventures of the author whilst living on the edge of the Pine Barrens wilderness area of New Jersey.
82 year old Lipan Apache “Stalking Wolf”, (who
had avoided reservation life, and got his name by stalking and touching a
Wolf) had his lifetime prophecy/vision realised when he saw the 8
year old Tom playing by the river in 1958.
A ten year
apprenticeship commenced, where Stalking Wolf imparted his 82 years
worth of earth and spiritual based wisdom into eager participants Tom
and his friend Rick.
Split into 21 easily readable chapters, this
shortish book covers concepts like the inter-connectedness of, and
value of concentric circles in the forest, how the mice can be great
teachers, the mythical “Jersey Devil”, and learning how to change ones
relationship to the cold.
Several gripping, page turning chapters
include encounters with packs of wild dogs (Tom has to think about dog
pack and lead dog psychology and use great ingenuity and physical
prowess to get away after 72 hours stuck in a tree) , an encounter with
an angry bear, an extermination, a revenge against inconsidered humans,
and the life or death tracking of a mentally impaired adult who is
lost in the Pine Barrens.
This book is for anyone who wants to
reconnect to what we might have lost in our materalistic, scientific,
evidence based world. It provides a window into how a continent used to
live for tens of thousands of years until recently
I found this
book was one that lived contentedly in my dreams. I bought several
copies and wanted to give them away and enthusiatically wanted to tell
the stories within it (without giving away the endings of course!).
I also felt sadness for what has been lost in terms of my understanding of nature and spirit and my natural environment.
However I think that a master novelist couldn’t match the impact of some of these chapters. I’ve never been much of a reader but perhaps i’ve just been reading the wrong books…….