Our Rite – Initiation into community and land

Our Rite – Initiation into community and land

Article #2: The Great Remembering 


“The survival of cultures and their land has always depended on the initiation of youth. Without this initiation the health of the community and the earth can not be sustained.”

– Karla Riddell


It is our rite as human beings to become initiated into community. When initiated we become deeply aware and connected with self, environment and others. Losing our child behaviours of reactivity, blame and intolerance, we step into courageous compassion and accountability. This process allows us to truly live our gifts, to stand in our power and be of greatest service to humanity.

Each culture has their own unique rite of passage and initiation process that is related to their environment, their sacred land and life source. It is Earth and stars that bestow the wisdom, a road map to understanding one’s place in the world. This wisdom is received through story and immense challenge that can be life threatening. If one is not strong enough to survive the challenges of their rite of passage, they are seen to be unable to live harmoniously with Earth, spirit and community. The initiate understands that it is only through the ability to listen to the environment, self and the spirit of all things that they are able to navigate through the challenge and crisis. Initiation is therefore a process of self-mastery, whilst in connection with their environment. Their welcoming back into community as an initiated, responsible adult is celebrated and leaves the initiate forever accountable and forever appreciated, worthy of their unique contribution. You will notice, that in tribal ways there is a deep connection to land, community and a real sense of belonging.

Initiations into community and land are now scarce, leaving our environment and our people at risk of sickness and mental dis-ease. It is our rite as human beings to have a fully integrated rite of passage. Our ancient cultures still hold the traditions, our land still holds the stories and our very DNA still holds this wisdom. Whether we recreate our own process of initiation through a vision quest in nature or we seek them out, we need to find our ground, our place and our spirit to live in our fullness in harmony with all of life.

My own initiation took place over a period of ten years. It was not until I began to deliver my deepest offerings that I completed the process. My integration and acknowledgement was not complete until I began to facilitate in my role as a healer. This quest to become initiated as a healer and a Shaman took me on a long journey across the world. From Peru to Hawaii and most profoundly, back home in Australia, I always learnt most from the land itself. Now I am solely dedicated to my healing practice and my work as an initiator.

My hope for you in reading this is that you find completion and affirmation for your rite of passage. May you recognise and acknowledge your unique gifts and find your place in community. May you continue to be inspired to embark on the journey of the soul, held and recognised by community. Your initiation is your gateway to remembering.

San Trance Dance, Aha Hills, Botswana

~ I honour the traditional people of this land and all the lands I have travelled to learn this work. I write this with reverence and pure intention. I honour the custodians past, present and future and ask forgiveness if any information is misaligned to traditional belief systems. ~


Part of this knowledge is from the following authors:

  • Arnold Van Gennep: The Rites of Passage
  • Mircea Eliade: Rites and Symbols of Initiation
  • Martin Prechtel: Long Life Honey in the Heart (A story of initiation from the shores of Mayan lake)
  • Arne Rubenstein (Facilitator training for Rites of Passage)

Does this resonate for you?

You can enquire into my rite of passage work: www.youngshamanfoundation.com

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