Supporting Young People From The Inside-Out

Newsletter sent: 18th October 2022

Welcome back Friend,

"If the young are not initiated into the tribe,
they will burn down the village just to feel its warmth"
- African proverb

What was it like for you growing up? Did you have elders guide you through the often-bumpy transition from childhood to adulthood and honour this important threshold crossing? Most of us didn't (and still don't) really know what we were missing.

In this edition we share:

* A 1973 journal entry from Steven Foster, co-founder of the School of Lost Borders, from his first ever trip experimenting taking young people on a rites of passage journey

* Our Cups of Tea process with rites of passage guides supporting young people across 8 countries - and its clarion call to pilot a community approach to supporting young people

* A musing from Bill Plotkin, founder of Animas Valley Institute, on the importance and limitations of rites of passage for young people journeying into adulthood

* A wonderful film about rites of passage with young people (10 mins) made by Frederick Marx, author of Rites to a Good Life

* An invitation to join us in conversation with Israh Goodall, Cups of Tea Coordinator, exploring ideas for piloting a community approach to supporting young people from the inside-out (see below for more info)

From left to right: Bill Plotkin, Meredith Little, Steven Foster, and Israh Goodall.

Rites of passage:
Supporting young people from the inside-out

Young people today are facing such challenging times. Modern society throws intense and complex experiences at them within the context of unprecedented social and ecological collapse, without providing them with the means to grow the ground needed to relate with, digest, and expand into possibilities of what it is to be a young person in these times.

Rites of passage journeys support natural developmental stages like birth, puberty, adulthood, elderhood and death by marking and celebrating these threshold crossings. They offer a way to help equip young people for the path ahead, connecting them to self, others and the wider web of life. Historically they have been an integral part of ongoing community process the world-over. Where a rite of passage is not available, young people rarely experience the support/challenge needed for a deeper sense of self and commitment to their place in the world.

There is an urgent need to tend to the health of our young people, our communities and the Earth, and re-integrating rites of passage back into the epicentre of our communities and priorities feels a vital step.

Our Cups of Tea approach:
A clarion call to return to a community approach

Israh Goodall, herself a longstanding rites of passage guide for young people, coordinated a ‘Cups of Tea’ process with more than 20 rites of passage guides supporting young people across eight countries.

These exploratory conversations revealed the urgent need for an ongoing community approach to supporting young people. We are now in the early stages of exploring how we might pilot a project that supports this community approach with the wisdom of rites of passage at its heart.

The findings from these conversations somehow felt both profoundly fresh and exciting whilst at the same time tapping into deep tap roots of ancestral wisdom from those for whom rites of passage was simple a natural way of community life.

Join us in conversation

How can we support young people today? Exploring a community approach from the inside-out

We will be hosting a Zoom conversation with Israh Goodall exploring her Cups of Tea process and the need it revealed for a community approach to supporting young people with the wisdom of rites of passage at its heart. If you would like to join us then please register your interest below and we will let you know once we have confirmed the date.

What next?

In future updates we will share emerging threads and stories from other Cups of Tea processes and inner landscapes from the margins of social and ecological change.

You can find out more about who is involved in Starter Culture on our Who Are We? page on the website.

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Sent with wild allied Love,
from all at Starter Culture