What is a Rite of Passage?

Simply put, a Rite of Passage is a ceremony that acknowledges a life transition.  It defines the thresholds between one chapter and the next.  When these transitions are honored with simple or elaborate ritual, with community present and stories shared, we find ourselves with a new sense of purpose, direction and wholeness. In this space we feel connected to others and to ourselves more deeply, as we step into our new role.

But more often, we go through these changes in our lives privately and alone. Or we use conventional ways of honoring,  focusing more on the material value and the entertainment of the day, rather than the actual life change. This can leave us feeling exhausted and empty while missing the opportunity to connect to what our heart desires. 


An intentional Rite of Passage can:

  • Create space for growth and connection to ourselves and our community 

  • Remind us that challenge and struggle lead us to competence and empowerment  

  • Shine light on our unique strengths and gifts that we have to offer 

  • Solidify values, responsibilities, and commitments  

  • Make space for loss, grief, celebration, and hope 


Why choose to honor these life transitions?

We are leading fast-paced lives.  As time flies by, we can miss opportunities to notice changes in our selves and our children.  Sometimes life hands us change whether we want it or not!  Without the pause, we may miss the opportunity to reflect, honor, and heal.   

Our culture doesn’t support this process of growth, as it once did.  Many people come to me with a curiosity about my Rites of Passage work; they are intrigued but feel it’s “not them” or they could never do it on their own.  I felt that way too!  But then I discovered it can be done to reflect the unique values of my family.  I realized that ceremony can be simple or grand.  I have found a way to use timeless ceremony structure in a simple format to make it accessible to anyone.

Common examples:  Mother Blessings, Transition to Adolescence, Marriage or Commitment Ceremonies, End of Life Ceremonies 

Uncommon examples:  Transition to Middle Childhood, Transition to Late Childhood, 1st Job or Leaving the home, Miscarriage, Entrustment Ceremony for Adoption, Divorce, Transition to Elderhood 


Childhood Rites of Passage Course

This is a virtual gathering for families interested in creating intentional ceremony that supports your entire family through the "9-year change" (a developmental shift occurring in all children between the ages of 8 and 10). This intentional process will offer guidance and create the building blocks to strengthen your family system.

This course is led by Andrea and Ted Manning. Together they bring 14 years of mindful (REAL and perfectly-imperfect) parenting and creative ritual-building experience, while holding space for you as parents to soak in the beauty and challenges of where your child is now.


 
 

Course Logistics

Six scheduled group Zoom meetings:

Wednesdays from 8-9:00 p.m. EST on:

Jan 9, 23 | Feb 13 | Mar 27 | Apr 10 | May 22

Begins January 9, 2019!

Sign up now!  


This course is right for you if:

  • You have a child between the ages of 8-11 years old  

  • You have been witnessing signs of change in your child and you want to acknowledge, honor and celebrate them 

  • You are curious about ritual and ceremony and want to incorporate more in your family life and traditions 

  • You want to shine light on your family values and create a solid foundation of community support for you and your child  


 

Childhood Rites of Passage Ceremonies

Hayden's Ceremony, age 8

Hayden’s parents are intentional and consciously building a nature-loving family.  They talked about patterns of parenting they were ready to let go of.  They were curious about ceremony as they saw clear shifts in their daughter but were skeptical if an organized ceremony would be “too out there”. 

After 6 meetings over the course of 4 months, they felt newfound acceptance and encouragement for both their children.  Together we co-designed a community ceremony acknowledging Hayden’s transition into Middle Childhood. Family and friends gathered and entered a large circle, sharing stories and love.  Hayden then spent time in her woods, near her fairy houses, and was welcomed back into the circle for a ribbon ceremony where family and friends shared commitments of love and support. At the end of her ceremony she was given a beautiful kitchen knife to help prepare family meals. 


We became better and more conscious parents, our daughter stepped beautifully into her own, and the blossoming of her confidence was something we could all support and all benefit from. It strengthened our family, our community and our beliefs, and is an experience we will carry with us as a source of strength into the coming years.
— Hayden's mom, Anna

 
 


Teelin’s Ceremony, age 9

Teelin's Mom and family was familiar the ceremony and his Mom was intrigued about the idea of honoring the shifts he was going through, this 9-Year transition. His project was to create a fire pit at their house, built with stones that held memories for their family.
On the day of the ceremony, Teelin, along with family support at his grandparent's home, prepped homemade pie and tea for the celebration after, as well as set up his sit-spot near the lake, for his brief quiet time alone.

His family gathered with stories and wishes for him and he was walked to his sit-spot by his Uncle. After time at his sit spot, caring for his small fire and making a wish for himself, he had visitors come with stories and meaningful offerings to his fire and lake.
Teelin was welcomed back with with cheers and a favorite song sung by all.


Taking time to pause and honor Teelin with a Rites of Passage ceremony was such a rich and powerful experience. We celebrated him today and the wonderful 10 yr old he truly is and also bestowed onto him many wishes for the exciting years ahead. It allowed for a tremendous amount of reflection, for all family members who participated, and will be a day spent together we will always remember fondly.
— Teelin's mom, Heather

 

Adolescent Rites of Passage Ceremonies

 
 

 

Clementine's Ceremony, age 15

Clementine’s parents were very clear in their intention to mark their daughter’s transition into Adolescence before High School began.  But they had no tradition to fall back on.  Her parents, along with Clementine, were excited to learn and grow through the process.   

Together we co-created a process and ceremony that shined light on Clementine’s strengths and challenges, created space for mentoring and connection while sharing the family values, and offering her a challenge to overcome.  She prepared for and completed a 4-mile solo-hike to the summit of Mount Monadnock.  She brought letters of love with her and descended down the mountain to her parents and younger siblings proudly awaiting her return.   


It was so clear that going through this process made Clementine understand the responsibilities and privileges of an older child.  It also celebrated who she is and who she aspires to be.  She really earned our trust.  I think she knows this now and it gives her a real sense of confidence.
— Clementine's mom, Julie