Rites of Passage Training Program Curriculum

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 12-18 months 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 30 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 Schedule:

1.  A new section of the monthly Santa Rosa training group will begin in Spring, 2014.  Contact us for more information.

2.  We'll be presenting a workshop on Mirroring & Guiding, which constitutes a portion of the training curriculum, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from July 11-15, 2014.  Follow link to learn more or to register.

3.  We'll be presenting a Medicine Wheel workshop, which constitutes another portion of the training curriculum, in Tecopa, California from December 5-9, 2014.  Follow link to learn more or to register.


The Training Consists of Three Elements

1.  Personal vision quests.  Two vision quests as a participant, the first at the beginning of the training, the second at the end to confirm one's readiness to become a guide.  The second quest may be undertaken with another qualified organization or guide.

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

3.  Training days.  A series of twelve one-day trainings in Santa Rosa that cover the theory and practice of guiding rites of passage in nature, scheduled as one day per month.   Alternatively, each year we offer two five-day training workshops  containing the same material as the ongoing training days.

Each training day will present information, theory and practice, including time on the land with assignments that relate to the day's theme. 

Training Day 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 each all-day training event is $125.

Tuition for 9-day vision quest as a participant is $1,200, plus food + camping costs.

Tuition for 9-day vision quest as a guide trainee is $700, plus food + camping costs.

Note:  All training events qualify as Continuing Education for Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, and other professions under a California Board of Behavioral Sciences license.  There is no additional fee for this service.

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

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