SOLOCAST | Rite of Passage: What Your Ancestors Are Trying To Tell You

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 510

Wellness + Wisdom Podcast Host and Wellness Force Media CEO, Josh Trent, shares why the rite of passage is an important step in transitioning into adulthood.

In this solocast, you will learn:

  • Rite of passage as a tool of maturation for individual and cultural cohesion.
  • Why young people are becoming confused about how to move to the responsibility of being an adult.
  • The three stages of the hero's journey: Separation, transition, and return.
  • What a 10-day vision quest is about.
  • How other cultures celebrate the transition from childhood to adulthood.
  • Why mass media distracts us and creates shame and comparison.
  • How to identify if you're in a need of a rite of passage.
  • The solution: Listening to what your ancestors are trying to tell you.
  • What clues our Native American ancestors have given us.
  • Why there's never a bad time to embark upon a rite of passage.
  • The signs that show you that you should embark upon a rite of passage.

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Listen To Episode 510 As Josh Trent Uncovers The Importance Of Embarking Upon A Rite Of Passage

[00:00] A Free Wellness Podcast For Your Growth

Hey, what's up Podcast world, it's Josh Trent, and this may or may not be the perfect place for you to start. Every Thursday I release a solocast, where I share my mental musings, my pontifications, and my passions about something inside of our wellness pentagon, the mental physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial ways of being, tools, and resources that can actually help us move the needle on the ground here with us in the 3-D planet earth.

There's a lot of content on the Internet and here on Spotify and Apple that really commoditizes spirituality, but it is my promise to deliver to you today zero appropriation or commoditization and 100% value when it comes to how to identify if you yourself or someone in your life is in need of a rite of passage, what the significance in the meaning of a rite of passage is for both men and women, and lastly, what your ancestors are trying to tell you sometimes with a whisper, and sometimes with a sledgehammer in the stages of your life.

[02:18] Traditional Rite Of Passage

So let's begin. What exactly is a rite of passage and why is it important for you to know?

The critical problems of becoming male and female, relations within the family, and passing into old age, are directly related to the devices which the society offers the individual to help him achieve the new adjustment.” – Arnold Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, 1908.

Throughout human history, rites of passage have functioned as a tool of maturation for individual renewal and cultural cohesion.

To contrast, it is the modernity of western society that provides little to no structure whatsoever for transitioning from one life phase to the next.

As a result, without access to solid rituals, young people are desolate, lost, and confused about how to move in a conscious and confident way into the responsibility of being an adult.

A right of passage is characterized by three distinct phases that follow Joseph Campbell is hero's journey.

The first is separation, where you leave the familiar the next is transition or initiation, which is a time of testing learning and uncomfortable growth, and lastly, the return, which is the incorporation and integration of lessons learned to share with family, friends, and community.

Traditionally, a rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a human's transition between childhood and adulthood connection to themselves and to a tribe or social group.

A few examples of a right of passage could be an African lion hunt, the ancient Spartans, as seen in the film 300, land diving, which is done by the tribes in the Pacific islands, as well as a bullet ant glove of Brazil, where the Amazonian tribes perform an initiation ritual, forcing young men to place their hands into gloves, filled with hundreds and hundreds of bullet ants for 20 times more pain than being stung by a wasp.

Another example could be taking a daughter or son to kill their first animal in a sacred way like a deer elk or moose hunt.

And lastly, there is in my opinion, nothing more powerful for us here in the United States than a Vision Quest that is inspired by Native American traditions.

Which is 10 days long with 3 days upfront of ego shedding, and intention setting, followed by 100+ hours of fasting completely alone in nature with zero distractions, that's right – no Food no Fire no tent no phone no electronics no writing absolutely nothing besides, you, water, and your breath and thoughts.

[05:55] Women's Right Of Passage

So now that we have explored the different aspects and definitions of a right of passage, let's talk about how this right of passage applies to women as well. Obviously, there is the beginning of menstruation or in the Mexican culture, they have the Quinceanera, the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday, marking her passage from girlhood to womanhood.

But how often do mothers give that to daughters in the western Caucasian culture?

Across the world, the feminine traditions of separation, initiation, and return, have been replaced with magazines and social media, and the comparison of young girls' bodies to movie stars.

Our traditions and rituals for women have been replaced with comparison and shame by the mass media, so that women can be monetized and shamed about the way their body looks or if they actually want to be a mother.

You'll definitely want to check out for our episode with Sal Di Stefano from Mind Pump for a deeper dive into this exact topic.

[07:38] Are You In Need Of A Rite Of Passage?

So, how to identify if you yourself, or someone in your life is in need of a rite of passage?

Here are the behaviors to look out for in young men, and unfortunately, even older men who themselves were never taught by their fathers or tribe how to go through a heroes journey of rite of passage:

  • They exhibit a “high chair tyrant” archetype, where nothing could be delivered to them, fast enough, or get enough. You'll know these people when they hide behind a cloak of perfection, and their demands on others are articulated with intensity and anger.
  • Next is that they seem lost in their career or purpose, easily switching from one thing to the next, and never staying still for too long. Their lives are filled with instant gratification, and as soon as things get challenging, they quit or turn the cheek the other way.
  • They have no sense of honor for themselves, they suffer from low self-worth or even self-hatred.
  • They long for positive male figure role models, or female, figure role models, and they project their mother or father wounding onto these role models, unconsciously.
  • Lastly, a symptom of a human being in need of a right of passage is a deep well of hurt in their soul, and the longing for connection to a higher power, to the creator.

[09:59] Native Americans And Their Right Of Passage Traditions

Now that you know the symptoms and the definition in regards to the right of passage, what is the solution, how does a human being take action, and place themself in the fire for a coming-of-age tradition otherwise known as a right of passage?

Well, first, you must listen to what your ancestors are trying to tell you.

For thousands of years, our ancestors have left written, artistic, and even in the past hundreds of years, music and recorded voices that all point towards the clues of how to live life well.

But living life well when you are a child, it's different than living life well, when you are an adolescent, teenager, young adult, adult, middle age, elder, and senior.

All of these life phases have unique and potent lessons of growth and wisdom if a human being is following the map of how to absorb integrate, and embody the wisdom that our ancestors are sharing with us.

Across the world, there are many many clues that our ancestors have given us, but just for simplicity's sake, I will focus on the wisdom of the Native American elders, as an example of what our ancestors are trying to tell us…

As I mentioned before a vision quest is a right of passage in some Native American cultures. It is typically only done by young males entering adulthood, but we have seen a resurgence because of the atrophy of young women's traditions around entering womanhood, there are many women who embark on Vision Quest as well.

Here are the clues, the lessons, and what our ancestors are, trying to tell us spoken through the four Native American values

Harmony with nature, the endurance of suffering, respect and non-interference towards others, and a strong belief that man is inherently good and should be respected for his decisions.

Native American values lean toward a cosmic identity, a harmony of the individual with the tribe, the tribe with the land, and the land with the spirit of the universe.

Central to this quest for harmony is a sense of constancy – the timelessness and predictability of nature as the foundation of existence. This cycle symbolizes eternity- one reality, and it transcends everything in its absoluteness, giving respect to everything.

So these whispers, and sometimes the sledgehammers that come, not just from the Native American values, but also from the European, and basically in every continent of the world, the values of our ancestors are always around us if we can be still enough to hear them.

Here are some signs that it is time for you, yourself, or someone you know to embark upon a rite of passage, whether they are 13, 15, 55, or 65 there is never a wrong time to embark upon a right of passage.

  • If you cannot remember the last time, you spent time by yourself, or time by yourself in nature, and even the thought of you, being in nature, makes you feel uncomfortable, or brings up fear, it is time for your rite of passage.
  • When you hear the word family, you get uncomfortable or you have a view of what a family actually is, or when you do your emotional inventory process if the sound of the word family makes you angry or sad, it is time to do a rite of passage.
  • If you only are working for retirement, and the thought of working for a purpose is completely foreign to you, it is time to do it right of passage.
  • If you are a hard follower of rules, and you never push your edge, and always be a good little boy, or a good little girl, if you have no idea about the thrill of breaking rules, or the thought of breaking rules, or even questioning authority, scares you, it is time to embark upon a right of passage.
  • And lastly, if you are focused on the youth and you compare yourself to how life was 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago if you find yourself melancholy and dwelling on the past on a regular basis, and you were unhappy with your present moment and you just can't seem to snap yourself out of depression, or anxiety, it is absolutely 100% time to embark upon a right of passage.

[15:22] A Message To Your Subconscious Mind

My intention with this solocast was to speak to a deep place in your heart to talk to your subconscious mind to connect with a part of your soul that I have been disconnected myself from many times in life.

But right at this moment I can share with you that my heart and your heart are connected, the fact that you are here, listening to me, we are connected, the fact that anything I'm saying is touching your heart, is making you feel emotions, welling up energy inside of you… That is proof that we are connected.

I want to inspire you to reach out to me, [email protected] need support in selecting a right of passage or a vision quest I can connect you personally to two guys who have both been on the wellness and wisdom podcast.

And if right now you feel is the time that you want to integrate and go deeper and get more information about a right of passage head over to and make sure you click on all the resources and books that I have linked in the blog post.

Until I see you again next Week. I'm wishing you love and wellness.


Links From Today's Show 

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About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, daughter Nayah + a cat named Cleo. He is the host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath + Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 20+ years as a trainer, researcher + facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. Helping humans LIBERATE their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual + financial self through podcasts, programs + global community that believe in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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