Elders Rites of Passage
The Elders’ Rites of Passage (EROP) is a five-day intensive retreat that serves those beginning or already on the eldering journey. Eldering like all of life, has its own seasons, beginning with the most socially active and energetic eldering years, through the release of roles and responsibilities, the lifting of the eye to a broader more distant horizon, and the dawning of the Holy Fool within. The EROP holds all these seasons of the Elder, tending to each in turn.
Thus for some the EROP serves as an entrance into the journey, and for others it is a deepening of work that has been ongoing for a long time. Using ritual, story, time in nature, council, and image, participants are invited to harvest all that has been, sit with death, practice deep listening to the cries of the world, and discern what is theirs to do (and not do) in their final chapter. It is an encounter with life and death that is uncontainable, and calls one deeper into their own story as well as The Great Stories.
After the EROP one finds they have been ushered into a community of Elders, who have gone before, and are welcomed into a council of elders in which the work began can continue. In the end, how each Elder chooses to bless the world is as varied as their fingerprints, but one thing in common is that one cannot elder alone- there are no solo journeys into the sunset, eldering is a communal experience.
“Elder” by definition is a relational word, naming a sacred connection and responsibility on behalf of others. On whose behalf are you being called to elder? It is not (only) for or from one’s own self that the call comes. The call is on the lips of descendants, in the dreams from the ancestors–even the more-than-human world is crying out for men and women to rise up as Elders: to give, live, die, laugh, bless, on behalf of all that is…