A rite of passage for you and those you love
An 8 week rite of passage class designed to lead groups to deeper intimacy, honesty, and integrity together. Whether you go camping in nature, on a vacation in a cabin, or stay at home, this is a path that helps you transform in relationship with others. Whether your group is a family, team, or couple (s), this is a chance to strengthen and deepen relationships, building trust and commitment. "Nature is alive and talking to us. This is not a metaphor." Terence McKenna
Explore an online support group & other options
Change your perspective to deepen your relationship to yourself & others through understanding, acceptance & love. This is a path of collective healing transformation.
- A simple but profound path of minimal guidance
- Weekly content with activities, reading & prompts
- Support structures to hold & transform you in relationship
- Lifelong practices & skills to continue your growth
- Live Support with partner, family & group structures
Circle Passages is a wilderness rites of passage designed to help you find yourself and your way as you embark ever deeper into your life. The group offering is an approach that research shows helps you improve: your mood and satisfaction with life; your health; your ability to think clearly; and your sense of self. This path decreases your material attachment; humbles you; makes you feel you have more time; makes you more generous and cooperative; and (not surprisingly) helps you feel more connected to other people and nature.
Who is this path for?
You do not have to be a survivalist to walk this path or be willing to risk your life in nature. This is a path designed by you for you. This path is for anyone who is ready to take the next step on the path of their own transformation journey--wherever it leads. The real question is: do you feel called to a new name, identity, life, and purpose? Are you called to move deeper into a more intimate connection with yourself, others, and the world? This is a chance for you to transform as a couple, family, group or community.
What people are saying . . .
Rites of passage lead to a life of greater authenticity, integrity, and intimacy. They offer a path of healing and transformation that can be characterized as a greater love for life embodied in the image of the sunrise that marks the end of the passage on the third day with hope.
The experience was transformative. My parents had not talked for decades and we had years of emotional trauma. I was hoping to simply be able to communicate with each other. What occurred far exceeded my expectations. We are not only able to communicate but my parents have become good friends. We were able to reclaim our family.
My family right of passage led by Dr. Heather Taylor-Zimmerman brought our family not simply closure on the past but a future. We were able to process old wounds and see each other in a new way. We have transformed our relationships to emerge with a deeper understanding, compassion and love for each other.
Heather Taylor was able to walk us through a group dynamic with remarkable ease. I was concerned that it would be emotional and resurrect our historical conflict. We were able to move through obstacles and reunite as a family. It was a truly transformative process. My rite of passage opened me to a new love of life and a hope for the future.
Our family healing rite of passage has been profound for me, facing the pain I caused, regaining harmony, feeling the love we all have for each other and our life, remembering and laughing together, all this has been a joyful transformation.
I learned things about myself and from that made forward movement in healing which is great, huge and appreciated.
Getting to know Heather and the PATH
Licensed Counselor, MAROP certified leader
Buck is drawn to the circle of rites of passage as a way to open hearts and minds. Extending his work with youth as a counselor, he believes in the gifts of the land that offer hope and renewal.
Youth CounselorROP certified leader
Jordan is passionate about helping people find their way to a deeper and more authentic life. A youth counselor for years, Jordan loves helping people discover their passion and purpose.
Eco-Art Psychology, PhDROP certified leader
Heather has a deep calling and commitment to helping people live authentic lives of deep meaning: to be themselves. She feels a special call to help youth find themselves and their way.
Certified through 4H, WSU, & More
Buck, Jordan, and Heather have undergone training through the School of Lost Borders, a pioneering rite of passage group of 40+ years. They offer unique gifts that reflect their diverse backgrounds, cultivated through their experience leading rites of passage to provide common ground--the circle. Their orientation reflects the archetypal nature of rites of passage that has remained consistent throughout human history. Reflecting the collective wisdom of traditions through the ages, they help you create your own tradition and your own rite of passage to encircle you.
And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with the singing birds.
separate from your past to receive the call of the earth & soul
root down to transform from an acorn into an oak of your own
integrate life's nutrients to grow into your soul's image
continue the circle of life & give back to the forest as a whole
Each person enters the world "called," like an oak tree, to fulfill their soul's agenda. Oaks bear acorns, but acorns are pregnant with oaks. [not firs or flowers]
We grow in circles of support
Rippling out from ourselves to our families and communities, we help to nurture the common ground of our psychological (soul) soil. This takes the form of a sharing circle in your rite of passage, an archetypal form of group therapy (therapeia = healing) that has existed throughout human history, while also taking the form of other circles in which you support other's growth.
Stages of your PASSAGE
There are 4 basic stages that you journey through to return back "home" to yourself.
So many paths, postures, prayers . . .
Combining synchronicity, emergent
Imagination is more important than knowledge . . . the language of the soul. Pay attention to your imagination and you will discover all you need to be fulfilled. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world.
nature reflects you, offering insight & guidance
self-generated rituals create meaning & power
telling stories heals your collective memory
unite people to renew commitment & support
tools to center inward & expand outward to connect
healing journey to join your nature to nature as one
draw, write & reflect on dreams & experiences
raise your consciousness to meditate & pray
I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.
Root deep to grow up
Groups offer a chance to return to shared roots and earlier memories to access common memories and complexes.
A Circle Holds You
The Circle Provides safe Passage
While you are in the open expanse of nature, you are held in circle. Whether you are in circle in your yard or a local park or in the deep wilderness of the rites of passage, you are held within a circle of support within and without. This is the power of the circle to hold, protect and support you as you grow and transform. The circle provides safe passage, keeping you safe as you go out on your own into the world. Like a cocoon, a circle provides the space for you to take wing and fly.
"Healing, it turns out, is a journey. It doesn't happen all at once."
A Circle Opens You
Your are Your Guide
The rites of passage are designed by the individual and they are initiated to reflect the unique VISION and experience of YOUR process. While a fundamental archetypal (universal) structure is provided, individuals are encouraged to create their own circle of support and self-generated ritual, including options in terms of where and how the rite of passage takes place. While in the past the rite of passage was determined by culture and gender, we believe that people’s processes are best reflected in initiating ceremonies of their own design
Rites of passage have been held for thousands of years but have been lost in the modern world. So, we gather in circle to help hold you celebrate your transition from one state to another. Are you called to claim a new sense of power, purpose, and identity? We are offering ongoing courses remotely during the pandemic to help you find yourself and your way.
This is your ceremony.
Your rite of passage reflects you--your values and identity, crisis and calling. So, you design a ritual and ceremony to guide and honor your transformation. From high school graduation to midlife crisis, you will design a rite of passage to hold you as partners, friends, or family. You get to create and celebrate this experience together. What is important to you? What reflects your power, purpose, and story? Find your way.
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This does NOT have to be hard.
You get to design this YOUR WAY. This can mean renting a cabin in the forest or a beach house for your group. It can include playing games, building a fire in a fireplace or on the beach . . . whatever is meaningful for you. The activities, rituals, and prompts we offer represent an archetypal structure for you to build on and modify. Make it your own. Make it together. Part of the power of the process is your collaboration.
You must feel alone sometimes
In ways this is a lonely process in which you travel by yourself to find yourself.
You have a partner to help
You are partnered with another to help you through mirroring and support.
You are held in a group
Whether you are alone or with your partner, you are held by the group.
8 weeks guide you to a new relationship to yourself and each other, growing together.
Week 1 & 2. Beginning with the stages of introduction and separation, you step away from your old life and self toward a new way of being. Week 3 & 4. Learning about self-generated ritual and thresholds, you design your rite of passage, as we circle up together creating intentions. Week 5 &6. Entering the liminal space of transformation, you experience time on the land before coming back into a circle of story and power.
Week 7 & 8. Returning to integrate your experience within the circle of family, tribe, and community, you embrace your new power and identity.
Create a circle
Creating a circle introduction and introducing new skills.
Who are you and why have you come?
Begin to separate
Holding circle and beginning to separate from your old life.
What do you want to leave behind?
Prepare a design
Designing your rite of passage for YOU.
What do you want to bring with you and experience?
Circle for intention
Circling up for intention: gather in ceremony.
Who are you and what calls you?
Entering onto the land to transform and create a power circle.
What is your calling, purpose, and identity?
Returning into a circle of story, ceremony, and power.
How are you witnessed and mirrored in your power?
Join in community
Re-entering family, tribe, and community as your new identity.
Who are you now in relationship with the world?
Rippling out in your new life, purpose, and vision.
What do you want to do looking forward?
Coursework and play . . .
Each week your content drops down for you below.
A power instrument
Reflecting traditions through the ages, you can create a rattle, drum, or necklace to help hold your vision on the land and carry it into your life. This is an optional but powerful element of a rite of passage that allows you to bring something back as a reminder of your quest.
Creating a necklace
Make a symbolic image
Decorate a carved wooden pendant with a power image and cover it with glass. Then string your necklace with leather. Supply packets are available for groups. "Healing, it turns out, is a journey. It doesn't happen all at once."
Creating a drum
Design a power symbol
Create a drum as a power circle to hold you on your quest and remind you of your passage. Recommendations for drum supplies are available on request.
Creating a rattle
Tell your story your way
Decorate a rattle to take with you to mark your passage, tell your story, and symbolize your new name and identity. Rattles are available for groups.
Embrace each other's nature
This is a journey from your past to your present to envision your future, moving from separation and preparation to transformation and integration. This is a journey to find yourself and create your life. Each step on this journey represents a change and a threshold crossing.
Celebrate the rebirth of sunrise
Rites of passage move from the darkness of night to the literal and metaphoric dawn of the sunrise. We all need a fresh start and the ability to leave things in the past. Each day and year we get a new chance to grow in a return to ourselves, souls and each other. In the dark we can feel cold and lost, but the sunrise offers insight on our path and potential as well as hope and inspiration.
Create a power circle of love
Your power circle is a circle that supports you on the land and in your life. We offer drum making as a way to reinforce your power circle.
You are telling your story
Retelling your story in your own way has the power to transform you and your life, taking control of the narrative of your past and future.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story.
Open to the wisdom of lineage and land
What calls to you on the land? It could be the call of your ancestors and traditions or a call from the land itself. Open to the possibilities.
Our ancestors knew that healing comes in cycles and circles. One generation carries the pain so that the next can live and heal. One cannot live without the other, each is the other's hope, meaning and strength.
Gemma b. benton
Fresh start & rebirth
When you are in nature you get in touch with your nature, becoming natural. In the mirror of nature you discover your power.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
This is a time to embrace who you are.
On the land you connect to your land and embrace your nature.
You are gifted in circle.
On your rite of passage you realize that you are the gift of your soul given to the world, and you are given a vision of how to offer your gift.
A gift of being & being together
On the land you have time to really be with yourself and discover who you are. This is a chance to rest a recover yourself.
Integrate back into society
When you are on the land you receive and offer the gift of yourself.