Rites of Passage & The Wilderness Fast

Rites of Passage (ROP) are among the key BB best practices, actions that move us poignantly toward a more connective lifeway, toward the regenerative future we are co-creating. We support individuals, communities and larger bodies to consider the gift of rites of passage for youth, elders, organizations, couples, families, men, women, and all.

For BB, the wilderness fast ceremony is a particularly important Rite of Passage, a way of being in the world, a practice, a listening, a compass. Through the fast, one may come to know himself and his relationships more intimately. In a time of great unknowing, this can provide a sense of grounding and comfort in that unknown — perhaps the most honest thing we can cultivate. We go out for ourselves and for our people, returning home to share our gifts. We go to mark passages, as a rite of passage; to acknowledge beginnings and endings, significant change that may be needed. We go to be alone with ourselves and the deep, changing rhythms of the world. We go to connect with those who have gone before and those who will come. We go to Nature as teacher. We go because it is simple, because the truth found there is not up for debate. We go to engage, honor and cross our own thresholds, as a way to participate in these changing times and to be awake in our lives. We go to say thank you, to listen, to pray, to set intentions, to ask questions, to slow down, to open our awareness, to pause long enough for the silt to settle around us — that we might see through clear waters and perhaps drink from that source.

We re-enter our lives with all we have seen, touched, learned, continuing to live a mythic quest, knowing we will fall and fail again, and still doing our best to hold it close. We go to strengthen ourselves. We listen deeply for truth, with attentive presence we take our cues from the world around us. We enter quest to give thanks for this life, ask for guidance, confirm our work on this planet and to most simply, and perhaps most importantly say thank you.


  • When one steps across the threshold and into the unknown wilderness, boundaries begin to dissolve and our vision begins to expand. The threshold place is a dreamscape, where everything is pregnant with meaning, and nature, once again, speaks to us in the voices of rock, tree, and wind. Following the ancient pathway of this rite of passage, we step into our true nature and remember our home among the wild. We become who we were born to be.
    School of Lost Borders
  • Passage rites…are highly effective as means of accepting and finding meaning in life changes; of empowering individuals to be vital forces in the community; of engendering self- reliance, courage, endurance, and self-control; of activating self-healing mechanisms; of catalyzing personal encounter with the archetypal unconscious; of igniting insight, wisdom, and illumination. Above all, they are designed to benefit the community at large.
    The Roaring of the Sacred River, by Stephen Foster & Meredith Little