What’s the biggest expression of your medicine?

Are you clear that we are all here on the planet with a purpose? And that part of your purpose is helping others discover and live their purpose. Have you faced your own initiations and emerged out the other side with a deeper knowing of who you are and why you are here, with a greater love for humanity and our planet?

Learning how to guide fellow humans through wilderness rites of passage may be for you.

This 16-month training program will help you unlock a deeper expression of the medicine you carry so you can be part of the transformation process for others and and be part of the cultural change happening now.  

What do Wilderness Rites of Passage Guides do?

That’s up to you! Rites of Passage Council will equip you with the tools and experience you need to safely guide people through wilderness initiatory experiences, the ways you carry that into your community are infinite.

Some of our guide weave this work into work they already do in Wilderness therapy, Counseling, Coaching or Education. Some of our guides leave their old careers behind to immerse themselves in the world of Wilderness Rites of Passage. Some go on to work directly with Rites of Passage Council, others create their own practices.

But all of us are deeply seeped in the teachings passed down through multiple traditions that facilitate the connection of humans into the natural world and harness that power to facilitate deep personal change.

Almost every culture throughout history has traditions involving the initiations or rites of passage in the wilderness by which individuals confirm the attainment of new life stations i.e.: manhood, womanhood, or elder years and other important life decisions. The wonder year, the pilgrimage, the vision quest and the underworld journey are typical of such initiatory experiences. Rites of passage are deeply embedded in mythological consciousness as well the fasting prophets of Judaeo-Christianity, the questing ancestors of the Aboriginal Dreamtime, the pilgrimages of the Buddha and Mohammed, the medieval knights and their quest for the holy grail, the underworld journey of the great matriarchal deities, and Native Americans such as Crazy Horse, Black Elk and countless others.
— Foster and Little, Book of Vision Quest



What does the training cover?

This training unfolds over 16 months in the form of six intensive sessions. Five of the sessions are 5-day, 4-night intensives near Asheville, NC, one session is a 10-day, 9-night trip that includes a Vision Quest at another location in the USA.

Over the six session we will cover these topics in depth and much more:

Historical and Cultural Context

Rites of passage ceremonies across the ages. Pan Cultural Rites of Passage ceremonies. Integrity, Impeccability, Ethics Cultural Appropriation.

The Calling

Indigenous wisdom vs. modernity’s distractions. Bone memory and ancient mythology. Various forms of the calling. Refusing the call or accepting the call

The Severance Phase

Death Lodge Work / Shadow Work / Dream Work. Medicine Wheel: Tracking & the Four Shields of Initiation. Learning to offer accurate ritual prescriptions. Creating a strong container for ceremony. Ceremonies of preparation. Bundling up the prayers of your people. Use of story telling, poetry and song. The gate-keepers at the threshold. Knowing your terrain.

The Threshold Phase

Threshold ceremonies of departure. Fasting and wilderness safety. Four day and four-night vision fast. Common elements of the threshold phase. What to do if…
Circle of purpose: The tomb and the womb. To cry for a vision so that your people may live. Medicine names: “Follow Your Name”.

The Return

Threshold ceremony of return. The way of council: story telling & personal myth making. Give a-way ceremony. Deflation stories & preparation for return. Closing ceremonies.

The Incorporation Phase

Boundaries, Power Differential & your students. Various Models of Rites of Passage Ceremonies. Nuts and bolts of base camp logistics, set up and needs. Site selection: knowing your terrain. Ways to track the psyche of your participants. Screening participants before they are accepted. Taking this work to your community. Where to go from here…

The Other-than-Human World

Not just a metaphor or projection. Intuitive awareness, mindfulness, tracking & discernment. The realm of the Dead vs. Ancestral Helping Spirits. Our Elemental Ancestors: Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath & Fire my spirit. Deep listening & honoring the Spirits of the land. Making offerings, asking permission and offering gratitude. Prescriptive Rituals: Fire, Water, Earth, Mineral and Nature. Working with your Helping Spirits Energy awareness & paying attention. Shamanic journeying and remote viewing.

This is going to deepen you into you.
— Kedar S. Brown


Certification as a Rites of Passage Guide is offered through Rites of Passage Council to candidates who:

  • Have completed all six sessions of the 16-month training program

  • Have served as an Apprentice and as Staff on two separate Vision Quest programs run by Rites of Passage Council

  • Have a current Wilderness First Aid course from an approved provider

  • Have lead at least one Rites of Passage introductory weekend program


Registration for the next training session will open January 2002.