Every tribal culture has had rites of passage to mark times of great transition in the human life span – birth, childhood, adolescence, sexual partnerships, elder-hood and death. These rites were usually more than a simple day of ritual. The ceremony itself was proceeded by lengthy times of preparation where the individual would learn new arts or undertake specific tasks. She or he would be guided by their family members and other mentors from their tribe. Through this process, the individual learned the lessons inherent for the next stage of life. The rite itself was then simply a ceremony to mark that the passage was complete.
The Mandorla school mostly serves this time of preparation. Our culture has done away with these rites or replaced them with quicker or less meaningful customs. The lessons of how to evolve as a human being have therefore been largely lost in our culture.
The Mandorla focuses on the passageways of adolescence, healing, sexuality and birth. The Girls’ Circles re-create an inter-generational guidance system to assist girls in learning the ways of womanhood. Healing old wounds and patterns is another way that life brings us transformation. These initiations come to us through life experiences. Likewise, transforming our sexual natures into a source of power and pleasure is a life initiation. The Birth Dancing Circles help women to prepare for birth as a sacred rite of passage, to heal the past and to feel empowered in this incredibly important transformation.
Body awareness is key to these rites of passage. The physical body is inextricably linked to the emotional and spiritual bodies. To grow into our full human potential, we need to understand and connect with the physical changes in our bodies to experience the full transformation in our spirit.