Rites of Passage are all but missing from our contemporary cultures, yet they are an essential part of functionally ushering individuals from one stage of life to the next. Without helping one another transition, we become a society of uninitiated adults, unaware of who we are, where we've come from, how we've grown, and what it's time to do now.
So, then, what do we do about this dilemma?
Many native and indigenous cultures can offer wisdom and guidance in regards to ceremonial rites of passage. However, it is both ineffective and disrespectful to attempt to replicate these traditions outside of their natural context. It is a creative and essential task to develop contemporary rites of passage that are relevant for today's youth (and adults,) and while we can learn much from the ways of old, we must come to understand for ourselves the importance of our passageways, and the stages in our own journeys. For this sizable task, it can be useful to enlist the help of a guide.
It is also of great importance to understand the tasks that we must undertake in any given stage of life, otherwise our rites-of-passage themselves are moot and meaningless. It is nearly essential to have support and mentorship in carrying out these tasks.
For an inspirational dive into re-visioning our approach to the developmental stages of life (and therefore the health of our culture and world,) readers might like to take a look at Bill Plotkin's Introduction to the Eco-Soulcentric Developmental Wheel here. This model has been a foundational inspiration for both my personal work and several organizations I have worked with.