To listen a soul into disclosure and
discovery is the greatest service
one human being can do for another.
– a Quaker saying

In the tradition of rites of passage, after a period of time alone in the natural world, the individual returned to the community and shared the important elements of the initiatory journey through the underworld. A Council of Elders listened deeply, and assisted the initiate to understand and digest the experience by illuminating the important parts, i.e. the symbols, the teachings from the natural world, the unique tools and gifts that brought her/him through the passage, as well as the shadow or dark side, the ordeal itself. The ancient practice of going alone into the natural world and returning to the community to tell the story was in and of itself considered a very healing experience. It assisted the individual to know their place in the divine scheme of things and to bring some awareness to the basic life questions: Who am I, why am I here, what are my gifts, who are my people, what is my place? This experience is a central feature of all programs offered by WR and is considered essential for the incorporation of the full experience of the rite of passage itself.

In this seminar we will enact the ancient healing practices included in all rites of passage of going alone into the natural world, returning with our story, learning how to mirror or reflect through deep listening to the important elements of this story, and bringing this healing gift to our communities. Using the Medicine Wheel of the Four Shields of Human Nature and earth-based healing practices, the art of council, and other practices which are part of this ancient way of relating to the circle of life, we will illuminate and empower our true life stories.

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