Come back to yourself in the time-tested rite of a Wilderness
Quest & Eco-Mindulness

Offerings online & in-person

Following a pattern of separation, transformation and integration, you begin by separating from your old life, patterns and identity the week before class in August. Preparing for your rite of passage transformation in the wilderness, you will experience your rite of passage in the wilderness at the end of August or beginning of September (with the adults in September). Afterward you will integrate your new life, patterns and identity into your life to create your new vision and new identity.
Every positive change--every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness--involves a rite of passage.
Dan Millman

Rites of Passage for our Time

Throughout time people have undergone rites of passages to help them navigate the big steps in their life, taking on a new identity, name, and purpose as they move from one state of consciousness or stage of life to another. We offer a modern rite of passage to help you find yourself and your way. Come explore and experience Circle Passages in your life.

Individual Rite of Passage

For peoples of all ages to find YOU

An 8 week rite of passage that guides you to find yourself & your way in a passage of your own design. Combining online support with time on the land of your choosing, discover a new name, call & ID.

Healing Rite of Passage

For people in need of healing

An 8 week journey that guides you as you create and undergo a rite of passage designed around healing. Like the other passages, this is a journey of your own design with an emphasis on wholeness.

Group Rite of Passage

For couples, families, & groups

An 8 week rite of passage to deepen the connection between yourself and others as you transform together, this class is designed to deepen your relationship with yourself, others, and the world.

This does NOT have to be hard

Do it in your own way, including where you go, how long . . .

Relax into yourself & BE

Unlike most of our lives, this is really simple. Remember who you are.

Do this your WAY, Anytime & Anywhere

Get to know your nature in the land of your calling. Go within to find direction.


Trailhead to wild transformation

This is a journey into your nature in nature & a time to rewild in the wild. All cultures have had wilderness quests to initiate individuals into greater relationship within us, in relationship & community. This is a modern rite of passage program designed to facilitate safe passage for all of us in the modern era who lack the cultural containers to find ourselves & way in the world.

Drop deep to root down & grow up.

Whether you are an emergent adult, going through the traditional rite of passage into adulthood, in middle age having gone through a divorce, or entering retirement & elderhood, rites of passage offer an archetypal structure & approach to help us navigate life's big steps in ways that bring us deeper into relationship with ourselves, others, nature & the world. 

Get in touch with your true nature.

The short version of our modern crisis is that we are out of balance with nature, unhealthy because we are unnatural. We are out of touch with the natural rhythms of life, eating, sleeping & working in ways that are not aligned to life. Immersion experiences in nature heal us in ways that are evidence-based & physical but also transcendent, inspiring our inner lives.

ROP Sand & Redwoods!

Come to a Rite of Passage amongst the majestic forest of the ancient redwoods & camp on the beach!

A modern version of an ancient rite done your way.

Circle Passages combines on-site and online learning for greater flexibility, accessibility and sustainability. Weaving in-person and virtual support, we plant the seeds of transformation in the natural local beauty of our nature sanctuary and nurture their growth in a safe online community. In this way, you can sustain your growth over a year and your life, reaching out when you need to. We offer teachings that naturally evolve to meet your needs, integrating the circle we hold in your life, so your growth can take root and dig deep directed by you.

A Vision Quest

Without vision people perish, so people through the ages have gone into the wilderness to gain insight about who they are, where they have been, and are going. Yet, in modern times people have lost their way and the vision quest that guided them. As a result, we are experiencing epidemic levels of depression, anxiety, and suicide--particularly amongst our youth. Circle Passages was designed to help these individuals and their families find safe passage as they navigate the journey of their lives. 

Real Power

Heal & Transform

Rites of Passage offer renewed hope, health, and love for life. They reduce anxiety, depression, addiction, ADD/ADHD, OCD, mood disorders, attachment deficit disorder, PTSD, social anxiety, suicidal ideation, nature deficit disorder, technology addiction, sleep & eating disorders and self-esteem.


Find Safe Passage

OUR MISSION is to help people find safe passage as they navigate the hard terrain of their lives. Through modern rites of passage, we guide individuals on a path of self-discovery, authenticity, and empowerment to foster natural and sustainable growth within a circle of power, family, and community. 


Envision your Future

OUR VISION is a world in which individuals achieve independence within circles of interdependence. People are whole because they are held within circles of family and community. Like a circle, we offer a vision of unbroken connection based on respect for all life held within the circle of the earth.


Connect your nature to nature

A transdisciplinary approach synthesizing psychology & ecology to promote living harmony & sustainability for all life.

Terra Psychology

Spirit of Place & Land

Connecting to the spirit of the land that you are on to co-create in service to the soul of the place, ancestors & community.

Nature-Based Skills

Eco-Mindfulness Tools & Skills

Discover & explore ways to co-create & interrelate with the land in collaboration to cultivate earth-based individuation.

Nature is your teacher

 Circle Passages - Founder
We teach in a circle in which nature surrounds and centers us. Yet Heather also provides a touch stone, as the person to contact.
Contact me...
Web: circlepassages.com
Email: heather.nparadigm@gmail.com  

Buck Pavoni

Certified Counselor, 2 Masters

Buck is drawn to the circle of rites of passage as a way to open to all that life offers. Extending his work with youth as a counselor, he is excited by the gifts of the land that are waiting to be received.

Jordan Zimmerman

Youth Counselor, Yoga Instructor

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.

Heather Zimmerman

PhD in Eco-Art Therapy

Heather has a deep calling and commitment to help people live lives of purpose, passion and potential: to be themselves. She feels a special call to help youth find themselves and their way.

You are held in 3 CIRCLES

Like any rite of passage, you walk alone into the wilderness, but you are also held by a partner and a circle to provide safe passage home. There is a reason we are called circle passages. We evolve & move in circles. As Black Elk says, everything that the native does in circle because this is the way of nature.

Transform Alone

 You walk alone

This is between you and you.

Support Partner

You have a partner

Your have a power partner.

Group Container

You are held in group

The group holds you.

Live an authentic life (your life)

Do you feel a call to have fun, make friends and live a life that is natural, real and free? Are you called to a deeper relationship with yourself, family, community and world? Circle Passages offers renewed hope, health, happiness, and gratitude by fostering a love of life based on deep self-acceptance and true self-esteem. Found to reduce everything from anxiety to depression, suicide to addiction, rites of passage guide you to where you want to go. We help you live a life that is wildly authentic: YOU.

Healing ourselves and the world.

We are called to help you heal yourself & the world, to live our life purpose & offer our gifts to the world, because the world needs us. We know that not all who wander are lost, but we have lost our way & the ways that we have evolved through the years. The epidemics of depression, suicide, anxiety & addiction testify to a world in which we are not living in balance or not really living. Youth & young adults in particular have been adversely impacted by COVID, ecological crisis, grief & an increasingly unstable world. It's on ALL of us to help recenter & return to a natural homeostatic balance & Vision or Wilderness Quests are the time-honored way to do this. Let's GO!

Climate Discussions

Heather, Buck, Jordan & Pat have their own show, but here is one example on what we can do & enchantment. (Heather gets to have a hobbit sword!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Tools to help you on your journey . . .

You can create a necklace, rattle, or drum to help hold your vision. Necklace packages come with the course that allow you to draw a symbol of your vision, along with a rattle. Drum supplies can be purchased.

Create a necklace

Vision Quest

A necklace helps you to hold your vision.

Create a drum

Power Circle

A drum helps hold your power circle.

Create a rattle

Support Rattle

A rattle helps to hold sacred space.

You create your own ceremony.

The rites of passage are designed by each person to reflect the unique vision and experience of their own process. While a basic 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. So, we help facilitate this process for & with you, whether in person or in a kit, integrating the different elements of the rite of passage for you to create your own self-generated ritual & meaning.

Teens 14-18

Finding yourself and your way

Fostering resilience and independence. 

Young Adults 18-25

Coming into your power

Embracing your calling and power.

All Ages

Remembering wholeness

Healing past wounds to emerge whole.


Rites of passage hold us, providing safe passage from one state or state of consciousness to another through 3 stages: separation; transformation; and integration. In these stages we go through 3 steps or Rs: reflection; respect; and remembering. In these 3 steps we leave our old self and life, entering into the unknown liminal space to cross over and claim a new name, life, and calling.


Leaving the PAST

Reflect on past patterns and experiences, preparing for your transition and transformation. What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to take with you? Is there anything that needs to be resolved? Prepare for your journey.

Leaving your old circle.


Entering the PRESENT

Enter into the present moment and opportunity for transformation. This is a time out of time that you enter onto the land and into yourself to discover your path, calling and identity. Drop deep and be with the silence and stillness.
Entering a new circle.


Envisioning the FUTURE

Look to the future from the place of new revelation. Who do you see yourself as and what do you see yourself doing? How can you support this vision? Imagine into your future and what will help you moving forward. Creating your future circle.


Dig Deep

This is your chance to really be with yourself and the land of your being. What have you buried or forgotten? Dig up your buried treasure and power.


Be Open

Having an open heart and mind is what allows us to develop and grow. We help you open to new experiences and perspectives. To open to your potential.


Embrace All

Ultimately the rites of passage result in an expanded acceptance and love of yourself and others. It is the magic of the land that teaches you to let go and love.

Tell Your Story

We know that each individual, family and community has a story that informs the rite of passage, guiding our life. So we spend time discovering and retelling our stories in journals, art and ceremony. By honoring the unique experience of each individual, we recognize and honor their heritage. We believe that in order to move forward into our futures, we need to connect with our past, researching our roots through stories and inner reflection that help us understand ourselves. In retelling our story, we reclaim our power f.

Circle Up

A circle is whole because it includes everyone, young and old, black and white, male and female . . . and everyone in between. Circles are unbroken, holding diversity within unity in which each part and person is needed as a whole to be whole. They symbolize an equality based on difference not sameness. With a primary focus on creating authentic, self-generated rites of passage, we embrace and celebrate all you as you. 

Circles are Perrenial and Natural

Circles have been used throughout time to gather people together. Circles create a sense of safety, equality, wholeness, healing and community. They offer a model of leadership and sharing in which all voices are heard and honored. Circles hold diversity in unity, everyone together helping each other. Circles are found in nature and reflect our nature.

Circles Connect Us 

"Everything the world does is done in a circle. The Universe is circles within circles, and everything is one circle, and all the circles are connected to each other. Each family is a circle, and those family circles connect together to make a community, and the community makes its circle where it lives on the Earth" Black Elk

Common Growth

On your rite of passage you grow up and root deep, rippling out in circles of influence like the growth rings of a tree. Like the forest that supports the tree, we foster independence as interdependence. Our circle reflects the forest as a systemic whole, offering a holistic support network to nurture sustainable growth above and below ground. We grow within the circle of community.

Circle Community

Through these circles we work (and play) with individuals, their families, and communities. We map our journey using the cycles and seasons of nature that allow seeds time for dormancy and growth. We provide support before and after your initiation, giving you resources to help you transplant into your life. We want your tree to survive and thrive.

Circle Passage Family

We are a circle gathered to help support your growth. Balancing age and gender, wisdom and knowledge in our leadership circle, we offer a powerful combination of knowledge and experience. With circles that include participants and parents (with youth), we have gathered a circle to meet the unique needs of each individual and group that gathers.

Beyond Judgement: You being YOU

We meet in a field beyond judgement where we can be ourselves.  
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about." Rumi