Untangling the Threads of the Past

History and Context for Rites of Passage Today
(Leadership Training Series 3)

Ages 18+ |  March 28 - 29, 2020  | Return to Restoring Culture Programs

“Rites of passage tie the threads of the past to the future.” - LA Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez

Program Details  |  Program Staff  |  Journeys Pricing | Other Programs



All of the work we do exists within context. Wherever we step, we have impact, yet how to have impacts that match our intentions can sometimes feels like a mystery.

When we cultivate rituals for young people to step out of childhood, as well as when we seek to restore lost or buried traditions of initiation into adulthood, our efforts exist in a web of place, power and culture. Our efforts can challenge oppressive power structures, or unwittingly reinforce them. By understanding the forces, histories and collective stories that create and reinforce this separation - and the ones that foster healthy relationship - we can build practices for transformation and healing.

Rites of passage facilitate not just personal growth and development, but societal and cultural transformation.

Untangling the Threads of the Past is an introductory body-based encounter with what ceremony and ritual make possible. This program is for parents, mentors, teachers, social workers, therapists, others that work with young people, community organizers, or really anyone who cares about supporting healthy young people today.

Rites of passage facilitate not just personal growth and development, but societal and cultural transformation as well.

Together, we will:

  • Explore the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression and difference; the ways these manifest in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, class, citizenship and more; and how this impacts our work and the youth we serve.

  • Engage in ceremonial practices designed to recover connection with our ancestors, and partner with them toward healing and liberation.

  • Investigate the causes, consequences and complexities of cultural appropriation, and explore alternatives.

  • Explore our unique ancestral inheritances and what this can inform us about our roles within youth rites of passage work, as well as the role of youth rites of passage work today within the systems of oppression that affect our communities and our nations.

  • Investigate decolonization as a political liberation movement steeped in a robust global intellectual framework, and how rites of passage fit into this.

This workshop can be taken alone or as the third installment in Darcy Ottey’s Restoring Rites of Passage Master Training Series, and is a collaboration between Rite of Passage Journeys and Youth Passageways. Please join us as we create ripe conditions for cross-pollination, with the intention to empower the youth in our communities!

*The title from this workshop comes from a speech given by LA Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez in 2016, in which he said that “rites of passage tie the threads of the past to the future.” This past November, he and Darcy had a conversation in which he talked about the need to untangle our legacies to free ourselves and create a just, equitable world.

Please note: This workshop contains challenging and possibly triggering material. Participants will be expected to review and agree to a baseline set of agreements before the program starts. If you don’t have previous experience in anti-racism and anti-oppression work, please reach out before registering.

Please click below to register. Queer, transgender, black, indigenous communities and communities of color, we especially encourage you to register!

Making a program payment will reserve your space. If you have questions first, you can contact us.




Ages 18 +
All Genders


Saturday, March 28, 9:30am - 5:30pm &
Sunday, March 29, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Phinney Neighborhood Center, Brick Building
6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, WA
(Duwamish Territory)


$175 - $295, Sliding Scale
Due at Registration


Questions? Check out our FAQ page or send us a message!


A Note on Journeys Pricing

Rite of Passage Journeys is committed to making our programs accessible to all who are called to join us, and we use a sliding scale to encourage everyone to help make this possible. The scale for this program is based on an estimate of moderate enrollment of 12 people:

  • $175 per person falls short of covering our direct expenses

  • $200 per person covers our direct costs of running the program

  • $250 per person covers our full costs (administrative overhead)

  • $295 supports those paying on the lower end of the scale and helps Journeys develop future programs

Journeys has never turned away a participant for lack of funds. If the low end of the Sliding Scale is beyond your capacity to pay, please contact us for information about further financial aid or a payment plan that could make your participation possible. Thank you for supporting this movement towards greater financial equity and transparency!




Darcy Ottey


Journeys has been part of every major transition in Darcy’s life, since her Coming of Age program when she was 13. She was the Executive Director of Journeys from 2006 - 2011, and helped to birth…


Watch Darcy’s recent TEDx talk about rites of passage


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Crucible of Youth
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Creating Soulful Ritual
w/ Tamara Walker
Feb. 29 - Mar. 1, 2020

Restoring Youth Rites of Passage
w/ Darcy Ottey
Spring 2020, TBD