On leaving school I went into hairdressing. I lasted three months. Part of my initiation involved being sent to an ironmongers for a “long stand” and “skyhooks.” This prank may have worked better if the salesperson had got what I had been sent for. In all my years, it’s the only thing I can bring to mind as any kind of initiation rite or ritual.
Richard Rohr identifies five elemental truths from ancient and traditional cultures, naming these as five spiritual challenges and promises:
Life is hard
You are not as special as you think
Your life is not about you
You are not in control
You are going to die.
The young person would face their own mortality and return to be a contributing member of their society, moving from ego to eco, from the self to the tribe.
These elemental truths feel to me as if they need completing with some hope: Life is hard but …”
There’s something mythological about these journeys – a myth being something that is seldom true specifically and always true generally. The child cannot continue as a child, the adolescent as an adolescent, and so on. Each must transition, crossing a threshold into a new mode of existence.
We’ll be exploring living elementally through the following doodles.
SOMETHING TO DO: Why not complete each of the five elemental truths with your own hope or promise. There are no correct answers only what we find within when we reflect on these.
RESOURCES YOU MAY ENJOY:
Adam’s Return by Richard Rohr