Rites of Passage Guide Training Program

Our training program
focuses on learning to guide rites of passage in nature, utilizing practices and tools derived from native and non-native teachers and teachings, spiritual pathways, ecopsychology, and wilderness experience.  This program will appeal to those in the helping professions, those who wish to bring spirituality and ceremony into their wilderness work, and those who wish to follow these teachings more deeply into their own healing.  It takes about two years to complete the program, depending on scheduling trainings and on completion of the required field apprenticeships.

The training program will prepare trainees to be able to guide wilderness vision quests following the Rites of Passage model, which has been developed over 35 years of practice.  We'll touch on other applications of the training model, including day and weekend programs, seminars, classes and coaching.  For those that wish to work with youth, the training provides an opportunity to apprentice on youth vision quests. 

Upcoming Training Events:
We're presenting a Mirroring and Guide Skills workshop in Tecopa, California from December 2-6, 2015. Follow Link  


The Complete Training Consists of Five Elements

1.  Personal vision quests.  Two vision quests as a participant, the first at the beginning of the training, the second sometime during the training period.

2.  Apprentice quests.  Two quests as a guide-apprentice, under the supervision and support of Rites of Passage staff.

3.  Training workshops (2):  Medicine Wheel, Mirroring & Guide Skills.

4.  Online group mentoring sessions (6):  Feedback and supervision on guiding scenarios, practical situations one might encounter as a guide.  Sessions are scheduled once a month.

5.  Program leadership (2):  Planning and guiding two day-long or weekend-long program events, as a further form of apprenticeship.

Upon completion of all 5 elements, Rites of Passage will certify the individual as a Wilderness Vision Quest Guide.

Selected Training Topics
1.  Rites of Passage and the Hero's Journey

2.  Overview of the Medicine Wheel:  spirit, body, soul and mind; aspects of initiation and rebirth.  Principles of Council.

3.  South Shield:  inner child, play, and the summer season of life; physical plane preparation for guides, safety practices.

4.  West Shield:  the adolescent (inner and outer), the dark shield and addictions, soul journey, animus/anima, transformation, risk and the rite of passage, assessment of readiness, descent vs. ascent, the child-to-adult rite of initiation.

5.  North Shield:  the adult, the warrior, finding and giving one's gifts, real adulthood vs. pseudo-adulthood, the meaning of power, becoming one's own parent, learning to create ceremony in the natural world, mirroring skills, nature skills.

6.  East Shield:  the spirit; creating ceremony in the natural world; use of song, dance, silence, story, prayer.

7.  Practical elements of safely conducting a rite of passage:  equipment, safety issues, locating appropriate sites, wilderness skills required.

8.  Focus on Severance, including Mirroring for Intent, Confirmation Statement, group agreements, buddy system, emergency procedures.

9.  Creating ceremony in the field: how to do it and how to teach it.

10.  Incorporation: Mirroring Stories, the Return Council, Community Building practices.

11.  Working with youth.

12.  Guide ethics, business practices, self-assessment as a guide. 

Program Fees 

Tuition for 9-day vision quest as a participant is $1,495, plus food + camping costs.

Tuition for 9-day vision quest as an apprentice guide is $795, plus food + camping costs.

Tuition for 5-day workshops is $795, plus food + lodging costs.

Tuition for the online group mentoring program is $375 for six sessions.

Rites of Passage will pay apprentice guides to lead day-long or weekend-long programs, as part of their  apprenticeship.

Other Training Opportunities

For those who have training as rites of passage wilderness guides and wish to deepen their practice, we offer Field Apprenticeship, arranged on an individual basis.  Contact us for more information.

For More Information

Call Mike Bodkin at Rites of Passage, 707-537-1927

Or email him at mikeb@ritesofpassagevisionquest.org

Contact Us

By email
By phone: 707-537-1927
By mail: PO Box 2061, 
             Santa Rosa CA 95405


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