Young Men’s Rites of Passage

Thoughout the millennia, society has been initiating its young men, teaching them how to handle their power and role in life responsibly for the betterment of society and the fuller embodiment of what it means to be a man.  Our own generation, here in the West in particular, succeeds in breeding young men who rarely know how to make the transition without a massive mess.

This last week I was involved with a team in delivering ‘Rites of Passage’ for 9 young men between the age of 18 and 25, the first event of this type run by the organisation that offer the annual rites for all men each year that I participated in for myself last year, ‘The Male Journey UK‘, which is a sister organisation to Illuman.

The 5 day event was quite simply invigorating, wisdom packed, physical, spiritual and life changing not just for the young men, but also for the Elder team.  To see the young men taking in some of the wisdom that is always true, experience moving ritual, and to see lights switch on, hearts open and facades soften was truly humbling.  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I’d have given my right arm to have had the opportunity to participate in this event when I was 18.  It would have saved me many a catastrophe, it may well have helped me avoid my deep plunge into depression which would plague me over a decade and would have made me a better leader, father, and general better adjusted individual.

Most of us handily manhood badly…we end up with bags of burdens, naval-gazing and self-serving attitudes which don’t really serve us well, or the world in which we live.  We need to have something to get us out of our heads, our cynicism, our general male malaise, and the pressure of workaday life that can suck the soul right out of you.

Having initiate the young men, we invited them to a Journey of Illumination which has 5 touchstones:

JOI1. Centering – we are men grounded in the power of the here and now.

2. Gathering – we are men who listen deeply to each other’s stories.

3. Connecting – we are men who choose another to walk with – shoulder to shoulder.

4. Releasing – We are men who let go of the ways that no longer serve us.

5. Serving – we are men who honour the earth and serve the whole human community.
We seek to form future generations of men who will restore these practices – serving to build a world that celebrates the beauty of all beings.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a kind of generation of men worth investing in.  The question needs to be asked of my male readers…how are you doing in becoming the kind of generative man the world needs?


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