What are Rites of Passage?
Almost every culture across the planet and throughout history has held initiation ceremonies as a core thread of their culture. These community held rituals assist individuals moving from one phase of life to another while weaving the community tighter to each other and deeper into the land that sustains them.
Over the ages we have experienced a decline in many of the meaningful rites of passage and initiation practices for our people. The once sacred and transformative ceremonies and rituals that informed early cultures with a sense of personal vision, community responsibility and deeply rooted connection to earth and spirit have been replaced by “pseudo initiations” that do not facilitate or support the needed shift in consciousness required to enter into new life stations and responsibilities such as conception, graduation, baptism, confirmation,marriage, divorce, change in career, times of psychological or spiritual crisis, and developmental life passages.
Why we need them
In this time of environmental upheaval, widespread mental and physical health problems and spiritual disconnection we need meaningful rites of passage ceremonies more than ever. These ceremonies bring us back in touch with who we are as individuals, members of a community and beings on an interconnected planet.
With the absence of such initiatory experiences we may unconsciously abandon our personal wisdom and truth, adopting the values and stories of a larger culture that often follows a spiritually devoid mythology of consumerism and economic advancement at the expense of it’s children and elders of all species. The Vision Quest is an ancient pan-cultural initiation rite of passage that encourages and supports the awakening of your own indigenous wisdom, personal vision, and purpose for being on this earth. To ‘walk naked’ into the womb of Mother Earth and pray for vision has been the way of all our ancestors as they sought to uncover the mysteries of their own sacred gifts and return to their people with vision and purpose.
Being able to connect more deeply to the wonder and beauty of life and the natural world around is a reflection of our own ability to connect and understand more fully our own inner nature, the beliefs and values we carry consciously or unconsciously.
Rites of Passage Council was founded by Kedar S. Brown who since 1994 has been weaving together Western Psychotherapy with earth-based, indigenous healing technologies.
Kedar apprenticed with Steven Foster and Meredith Little at the School of Lost Borders in the form and process of the vision quest ceremony and eco-psychology. The School of Lost Borders as been offering pan-cultural wilderness rites of passage ceremonies in the USA for over 30 years.
Later Kedar apprentices with Malidoma Somé PhD, initiated elder and shaman of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa leaning indigenous methods of healing emotional trauma and relationship challenges through various forms of ritual processes and intuitive divination readings.
Kedar has also had the honor and priviledge to learn many valuable insights into healing from Cherokee elder and medicine person, Will Rockingbear for a number of years.
Kedar has work as a professional counselor, addictions specialist, Nationally Certified Counselor, and Certified Hakomi, Body-Centered Psychotherapist and has guided wilderness rites of passage and healing programs across US, and into Ireland, England, Australia, Scotland, West Africa, Portugal and Hawaii.