November 8, 2011

Bring Back the Spiritual Rite of Passage. ~ Sarah Gunnin

Photo: sean.murphy

We need to bring back the spiritual rite of passage.

Our society has lost an important transition from adolescence to adulthood: the spiritual rite of passage.

What is a spiritual rite of passage? It is an event that can shape ones life and allow for compassion and understanding of oneself and others. One would expect the experience to be subtly different for each individual, however, the underlying message is: we are all one.

In the ‘now,’ rites of passage are found in such places as peer groups and sports. These rites of passage can be harmful to not only ones body, as in dares and hazing, but also to our spirit, as well as when we feel pressured to do something our heart is telling us is wrong. We have failed by allowing this important step in development to be removed from family and spirituality.

Spiritual Rites of Passages were performed for ages within cultural groups, what happened? Why did we stop? The loss of the role of the Goddess in religion could have played a part. Goddess worship entails mysticism and love. Magic is alive when we look up to the moon on a starry night or sit by a river and feel the healing energy as it cleans our spirit. Our society has alienated the Goddess from our lives, and perhaps with it, the spiritual rite of passage. The radio, TV, computer, iPhone could have played a role in diverting our intention and attention away from inner soul searching. We can bring it back.

Imagine: The rite of passage should be held within a family or close group with a spiritual leader or shaman. It would involve fasting and cleansing the body, the

Photo: TheSeeker'sBroom

space where it is held would be sacred and safe. Meditation, chanting, yoga, drums, bells, sage, all the instruments we use to clear our thoughts and quiet the mind would be used. Perhaps hallucinogens would be utilized like mushrooms, LSD and Ayahuasca. These are the doorways to open our minds eye and heart to truth and

love. One story comes from a father and son. They hiked into the mountains, made camp and built a fire. At the fire the father and son meditate, talk and share. The father then performs a sacred act by sharing Ayahuasca with his son. According to the son, “I looked down and I was my Dad and He was me, I felt his love for me and I realized we are the same soul.”  The intention of the rite of passage should be love and truth. That is God.

It is of the utmost importance to guide our youth with love and kindness.

Would you have benefited from such a rite?

Did you have your own rite of passage utilizing the above scenario?

p.s. don’t be afraid, just breathe.


Sarah teaches yoga in Tennessee with Manifest Collective. She wants my students to become warriors for peace and love. Sarah loves being a part of Elephant Journal. Love yourself and trust the universe. 

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