A rite of passage is a communal, ceremonial marking of a significant life transition. In indigenous cultures, rituals marking entry into adulthood are guided by adults in the community and usually entail some kind of trial or ordeal, such as walkabout, fasting, teeth-filing, circumcision, etc. These intense experiences give identity, clarity and strength for the next phase of life.
In modern, western culture, where formalized rites of passage have been mostly lost, young people often unconsciously find ways to initiate themselves among their peers in ways that are often self-destructive or fatal. Common ways modern youth initiate themselves are binge drinking, fast driving and commiting crimes.
The Ojai Foundation has been offering a rite of passage experience to youth for over 25 years and has developed a well-conceived structure that gives young people the intense, individual and communal experience they long for within a safe container overseen by caring adults. Through council sharing about hopes and fears, solotime in nature, ceremonial sweat, four directions teachings, singing, drumming and playing, young people who go through our program emerge more aware of their unique gifts, more whole and more inspired about the life before them.
Other life transitions, such as marriage, divorce, empty-nest and elderhood can also be supported through a rite of passage ceremony. Our experienced staff and teachers are available to assist you in creating the appropriate ceremony to celebrate your current passage.
Please view this short video about our Rites of Passage Program for High School Seniors. The quotations you see are from the real words of students who have been through the program.