Rites of Passage:
Moving through Life's Transitions
Rites of Passage are ceremonies or other events designed both to mark and to facilitate a person's movement through life transition experience. Some well-known examples include:
- Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs, the coming-of-age celebrations for young people in the Jewish tradition
- the wedding ceremony
Formally recognizing and working with these transitions helps us to mature in several ways: we can gain access to more of our personal resources (some of which we may not have been aware of!) for completing the transition in a good way; and our circle of friends and relations also is assisted to recognize our transition.
Rites of Passage in the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path
The Sweet Medicine SunDance Path includes a full complement of rites of passage ceremonies. Some of these ceremonies celebrate the natural transitions that we humans all experience: birth, puberty, maturity, the elder stage and death. Others celebrate transitions of choice such as marriage or bonding.
Honoring these important milestones of human development with rites of passage ceremonies helps us to stay in touch with our own natural cycles, both as individuals and as a culture, and therefore also to align with the natural world around us. Visit our Reading Room to read more about celebrating Rites of Passage. Also, see the following: