Thursday April 9th, 5 – 6:30pm PST
The event is at capacity, so i have had to close sign ups.
If you are interested in Wilderness Rites of Passage you can contact me directly.
As with all rites of passage, the transition from young womanhood into mid-life is an essential quality of nature. All living things participate in the cycle of generation and decay: the growth and decline of plants, the germinating seed, the rise and fall of rivers, the waxing and waning of the moon. As women, we are no different than the world in which we live: no more or no less valued. And yet, in the eyes of western society, women in mid-life tend to feel invisible, or even infirmed, as if aging is a disease or weakness.But would we undervalue an ancient oak tree standing stately in a forest, or a stone carved by millions of years of erosion? Would we shun the small, yet magnificent, creosote bush, one of the oldest life forms on earth? If we marvel in the presence of our ancient ones, why not marvel at ourselves as we mature into the women we were born to become?
When we consider nature, age begets respect. And we know, too, that wisdom is born from life experience. Traditional cultures knew this: That the elders were the holders of essential knowledge. Not facts, necessarily, but a more in-depth knowledge, perhaps even secrets, informed by the seeds of understanding that can only come about through a lifetime of dreams, disappointments, losses, and joys.
What is missing in modern culture are rites of passage ceremonies to mark this stage of life, to claim mid-life as having value, to give it meaning. And for women, wild nature offers a perfect mirror of this stage as we move beyond the confines of expectations, and the need for external approval. Consider wildness: unruly, uncontained, undomesticated, outside the Garden, unbound, and liminal. Here, in mid-life, we can move through the seasons more fluidly, with a greater sense of the whole.
Please join me in this 90-minute free offering. During our time together, we will talk about the elements of a mid-life rite of passage; we will speak of wildness and the seasonal cycles of our lives. Please come prepared to share an experience you have recently had in nature. It could be as simple as a sit in the park, or an encounter with a non-human being. It could be whatever you decide. And if you’d rather just join and listen, that is fine too.
Betsy Perluss, Ph.D. has fifteen years experience as a guide and trainer of vision fasts and rites of passage ceremonies with the School of Lost Borders. She is a Jungian psychotherapist in Grass Valley, CA, focusing on women’s development and mid-life transitions. Betsy teaches ecopsychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, and is passionate about helping others foster intimacy with wild nature.