Nine Passages

What a great and rare privilege to view a life in its entirety, from Birth to Death. In between these great brackets of complete transformation are smaller, often equally dramatic changes in the human psyche. This is what we call Passages.

A developing being, more spirit than body, comes from stardust for a walk or a waltz around and through earthly lessons. Individual PDFs are available for download for each of these Nine Passages. Each one contains a snapshot of the Passage, a slice of the developmental pie, with a single beautiful story of the ritual.


BIRTH Sloan at birth PASSAGE

Speaking symbolically, we are born in the East on the Life Spiral, like a newborn sun where day begins. At the moment of birth, a baby comes through the womb portal and greets her soul just arriving from the stars. What a Passage, perhaps the most dramatic of all. Welcome, welcome, baby has been through a tremendous ordeal. Mother has too, what a holy moment for celebration, this time shortly after birth. Watch for her second birth when this baby reaches nine months old, mythology calls this the second birth because new levels of awareness appear every day and baby becomes wholly a member of the Earth family. Then, her 3000 days of early childhood ~snapshot~  so much happens in these first 8 years—she crawls, talks, walks, teeth grow in, teeth fall out, first bike, first school—then one day a ceremony transforms your little girl to her big girl stage. Most important are the foundation stones of these years.



On many days, a girl’s Genius will peek out from your protective shields and she begins to discover a depth of passion for her natural gifts. At the crucial moment when she seems different and asks for more responsibility, wrap her up in a community Rites of Passage ceremony.

These are the best years! Do you remember being 8 or 9, 10 or 11? An emergence stage, Body-Mind-Soul synchronize, big girls feel magical, mystical, and filled with fantasy. Allow her to express everything, this is so important; take care not to hush her, the culture will do that. Her relationship with all of Nature and with her core identity deepens, she claims the world as her stage. The treasure of these years will forever support the woman she will become.


All too soon, puberty begins to show. The hormones that entered her blood stream at age 8, kick-in fully at age 12 or 13. Elders still hope for age 13 before the blood arrives. Breasts emerge and she’s alarmed about little hairs on her pubic bone. Quiet her fears with information and ritual instruction. Training about ritual and ceremony begins before, during, and after her first Moontime

Teach her to watch the Moon, make a big deal out of her menses, her Moontime, first, second, third, every time. She gets three days every month to be quiet. If she is bleeding with you, Mother, model this quiet, holy time for Women’s Ways. Practice letting go, become more of her confidante than her protector. Teen years provide opportunities to unify her masculine with her feminine. We live in a blended, harmonious, and inclusive world. She wants to know everything so she can pretend to know everything and she wants to know all about you. In a wink, she will choose your opposite to be different as she individuates. Just as often she will swing back to be quite like you. This is how we all end up being, at least partially, a mirror of our mothers.


What does she need from you and from Mentors, Aunties and Grandmas before she leaves home? What do we wish we had received? What does she desire for her womanhood?

Rigorous trainings provide the discipline to give her inner core confidence a fiery passion. She learns that Mastery needs 10,000 hours to fully develop one of her major gifts. By your side, she discovers generosity in her spirit and how to use her gifts to enrich the cultural layers of her whole community. While you supply the safety of her home nest, experience and inner discipline will take her far.

Surround her with a ritual weekend or a week; invite all the women who held her for these years of early development. Surround her with those in relationship who help you teach her about Women’s Ways for inspiration and grounding. Ask your women to talk about their spiritual practices. Trust that she will blossom under the tutelage of new Mentors, then let go—entirely—or as much as you can. 


On a date between 29- to 30 years, the Saturn Return in her astrological birth chart causes a shift because Saturn offers the cosmic threshold whose influence is powerfully felt. A woman exhales all of the lessons of her first decade out of the home nest. Sometimes a ritual of extended length will coalesce to make this shift complete, if long.

We will always recommend Nine Passages to women in their Bloom who feel stirred to explore their soul’s purpose with an Elder woman along as a Grounding Force. This year-long ritual using Soul Stories, will bundle the first third of a woman’s life and realign Self with inner Genius and natural gifts.

A thorough review of the Child and Adolescent years through the Life Spiral will reveal great and forgotten riches. The culmination of this review we now call Soul Stories, corrects the course for adult adventures ahead leading to Deepening Womanhood in the middle of one’s life journey.


Has the Dream of your life been knocking on inner doorways, seeking a way out or a renewal? We each have a Destiny that arrived at Birth in the form of this Dream. Perhaps you’ve perfected a stride or a groove through healthy choices so your inner assessment easily creates a conscious mid-life. If you have worn through your groove, close attention to this Passage for Deepening Womanhood may avert a classical mid-life crisis which may be guided by your agreement with suffering. You choose. We live long. Give yourself a spiritual boost if your nest is empty: Allow wonderment to reappear. Spend as much time as you need to sit and remember the Dream of your life.

Then gather sisters and relations and honor yourself in ceremony. There is much to be gained—together and for one another— by consciously bringing Women’s Ways to all your relationships. Around our Women’s Circles we see only teachers, teach one another! Utilize expertise close to home. At this age, we are so abundant. In this River of Life, we have so many more seasons to enrich ourselves and those we love. Refer to Angeles Arrien’s The Second Half of Life.

ELDER: ENCOREelder encore

The heart of the Elder, born in puberty, finally blossoms. Although all the Boomers are now Elders, few completely embrace this stage. There is an Encore waiting in each one of us. What will yours be?

Every Elder woman is so very beautiful and young at heart, but the wrinkles and the sagging breasts might bother one’s confidence. If this rings a familiar tone, it’s time for the ceremonial ritual that will invite your Encore. Look inside to the fire in your core, you may only need to fan the flames. What must you do before you die? Must. Must!


If you look back to our symbols, you will see that this Spiritual Elder rebundles her life as Mind-Body-Spirit into three piles. Only when she feels good and ready, absorbing all of the riches of a life well lived, well loved, and spiritually guided, she begins to let go of the things she loves.

One by one, the inclination or the capacity leaves as she discovers how truly shiny her facets were. All that multitasking completed now, the final releasing is devoted to loved ones. We hope these two steps, the bundling and the letting go are filled with grace and ease.

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We have embraced and carefully, lovingly, watched Elders during their last days leading up to the next great journey and we have held them while they crossed. Great stories and the spirits they inhabited on this Earth move across this last threshold taking a whole life along. Nelson Mandela’s people showed us chanting, dancing, and gathering in throngs. I pray for such a celebration of every great life.

Death happens on a timing not exactly of our choosing: We all hope this last event happens with a great crescendo! Find Death in the center, following every stage of one’s life!


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