Rites of Passage

Artist -  Karen Mackenzie

Rites of Passage at FGG2020 for youth and adults alike.

Many of us have gone from childhood to adolescence into adulthood with nothing in particular to mark the stages of that passing. Perhaps the difference between childhood and adolescence was so gradual we never even noticed it; perhaps we transitioned from adolescence into doing adult things like having jobs and paying bills without ever truly coming to terms with how truly and radically different those stages of life actually are.

Many of us graduated from high school; maybe from college as well. But those only mark waypoints in one aspect of our journey: our education. They ignore the very real differences in our whole lives that each new phase brings.

Many cultures, both historical and current, and many paths of spiritual practice, recognize the need for rites of passage as one enters different stages of life. But for many of us who live in western society and who are not part of an orthodox religious practice, we may simply have no resource for these necessary acknowledgements of progress and growth and change.

Next year's event, "Fertile Ground Gathering: Vision" will be all about personal insight and honesty and revelation and understanding, but it's impossible to use a map to figure out where you're going until you know where you already are.

So we are bringing rites of passage to the Gathering, as a way of honoring the struggles and triumphs that each of us has gone through and wish to recognize. Not for everyone, however; only for those people who wish to mark a particular stage in life and be supported by the community as they take ownership of who they are.

In years past, we have on occasion celebrated a Coming of Age process and ceremony for young people, and some of those who have gone through it have truly embraced their power and become remarkable parts of the community.

We will be bringing CoA back to FGG for 2020; if you are a parent or guardian of a young person who is on the cusp of spiritual adulthood, whom you believe is ready for such a rite, please reach out to the Fertile Ground staff, so that we can discuss with you and the child what the process is like, what would be required of each of you, and what you can expect.

We are also bringing something completely new for 2020: Rites of Passage for adults.

Perhaps you have been adulting for some time, but you don't really *feel* it; it's just something that happened while you weren't looking. Perhaps you have moved into or toward elderhood and want to embrace that. If you are an adult who would like to participate in a rite of passage at FGG 2020, among the community we have built, please reach out to the staff as well, so we can begin to craft a program.

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