Mapping Catechism and Permaculture as Rites of Passage in the Sustainability Age. By Willi Paul, PlanetShifter.com Magazine
Mapping Catechism and Permaculture as Rites of Passage in the Sustainability Age. By Willi Paul, PlanetShifter.com Magazine

The new Rites of Passage in the Sustainability Age are really operating on multiple channels, on and offline. In the garden and in the heart. We require a map, destination and ample evaluation through personalized design and ownership of the goals of the journey; a spiritual center. There are few global rites of passage that include all world citizens.

Damage control and mass grave digging in Haiti is not a Rite of Passage; war games between North & South Korea and the US is not a Rite of Passage. What about the long-term environmental and economic damage from BP's unconscionable taking of oil in the Gulf? IS there a rite here? Passage to anywhere?

Furthermore, the constant "horror movie and coupon" conditioning of the public by the wealthy few is not about "passing" soulful rites, but just more unsustainable profit and more environmental decay.

Alchemy teaches us that a true passage is about the process not the thing.

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A rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person's progress from one status to another. It is a universal phenomenon which can show anthropologists what social hierarchies, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures. Rites of passage are often ceremonies surrounding events such as other milestones within puberty, coming of age, marriage and death. Initiation ceremonies such as baptism, confirmation and bar or bat Mitzvah are considered important rites of passage for persons of their respective religions.

Rites of passage have three phases: separation, transition, and re-incorporation.

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I. Permaculture as a mythic and alchemical rite of passage in the Sustainability Age

Permaculture Rite of Passage map:
  • Understanding the principles in ecology (looking at broader theory and specific examples)
  • Working the land in harmony with the principles (hands-on experience)
  • Teaching the values to next generation (sustaining the good)
  • Creating new songs, symbols and stories for a new mythic base


II. Catechism as Ritual for Youth

Catechism Rite of Passage map:
  • Memorization
  • Standardized testing
  • Ceremonial (join the club)
  • Separation from the larger group


We need to develop new systems and rites of passage that are Nature-based, alchemic and individualized, and phase out those dogmatic, top-down spiritless rituals that prevent our evolution.

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We desperately require new stories, better values and new rites of passage. As a human race, we are collectively stuck treading in deep water as the planet shrinks beneath us. Drowning in the lies from our militaries and corporations that twist their brands and shovel their dirty little stories.

So we choose: ancient, heartless, dead-end initiations, self-centered "graduations" or spiritual evolution with all people.

Permaculture rites of passage are critical if the [ myth + alchemy = sacred ] theory can grow.

Candles and the Lord's Prayer? A Rite to where?