Earth Rites Elders
In traditional cultures, the transition from childhood to adulthood is marked with Rites of Passage. Through ritual and celebration, challenge and connection, adolescents are supported to understand and develop their sense of self that will help them navigate the path to adulthood with awareness, strength and grace.
Earth Rites is Natureweavers’ offering of this tradition.
It is an offering to our children, to our community and to earth.
Earth Rites is a program borne from experience, intuition and love. Informed and inspired by my practice as an earth mentor, earth lover, mother of a maiden, and a woman weaving conscious community, this program is a unique offering to girls and women in our region.
Who is it for?
Elders for Girls will celebrate and honor the transition from child to maiden in our girls. It is for girls, and those who identify as female, aged 10-15 years old, and their mothers, aunts, grandmothers and female carers.
What is it about?
As young children, we develop empathy with nature and bond with our family. During middle childhood, we move outwards from our family and explore the real physical world around us, bonding with earth. As adolescents, we are capable of moving even further out into and engaging with the physical world, without our family, and we are challenged to bond with our Selves. The natural world – in both it’s most physical and it’s most abstract form – can provide the setting for challenges to be met and achieved during adolescence; a reassuring rhythm to ground the dynamism of growth; and an intentionality that ensures our girls are prepared, present, passionate, principled and potent as they move into adolescence and adulthood.
Further, children’s bodies and social relationships change during adolescence. At the end of middle childhood (ages 10-11), girls tend to be physically and emotionally sturdy, self-assured and confident. They can effect great change and inspire wonderful things within their communities. However, this self-assuredness can start to fade with the storms of adolescence. Adolescence is also a time of increasing social connections, and, with that comes the potential for a diminishing of connection to nature.
Earth Rites honours the changing relationship between girls and the earth, with themselves and with their communities as they move towards adulthood. It aims to re-establish and strengthen adolescent girls’ connection to earth and to one another, and from this ‘healthy soil’, enable our Elders to grow into adulthood as strong, confident, supported young women, both individually and as a community.
What does it involve?
The program gathers for a weekend each season, as well as a 3-day Spring Rites camp.
Time spent together is a balance of the girls with their mamas, the girls on their own (with Carly), the mamas on their own, and the group as a collective.
How much does it cost?
$1850 per girl for the 4 season program, including the camp.
Payment plans throughout the duration of the course are possible.
What does the cost include?
– Qualified earth mentoring, including bushcraft, wilderness awareness practices and survival skills. Each weekend is based on an understanding of earth’s ecological cycles – Sacred Ecology – and includes practical skills, nature awareness practices and earth-based rituals according to the seasons: Autumn is Earth, Winter is Fire, Spring is Air and Summer is Water
– Earth Arts practices including whittling, ecodyeing and weaving. Girls and their mamas will make a Journeystick (walking stick from the forest), an ember bowl from the Winter Solstice fire, ecodye a silk scarf with plant materials, wetfelt a journal cover for use throughout the year, weave a basket from natural fibres, make paint from the earth and play with wildclay, foraged from the Natureweavers forest
– Qualified permaculture instruction, with an ‘earth mama’ twist. Girls and their mamas will come to understand the ethics, principles and practices of Permaculture from a uniquely female perspective. What wisdom does a fruit tree guild, for example, offer us as maidens, as mothers and as a collective of women? Girls will plant endemic species here on the Natureweavers land and be gifted the same tubestock to plant on their own land as well
– Herbal wisdom, including making zero-waste, chemical-free herbal body butter, hand lotion and lip balm, herbal tea and smudge sticks, and girls will be provided with seeds, seedlings and knowledge to plant and tend a herb garden of their own
– Wisdom of the Cycles, including an understanding of daily energy cycles, monthly Moon Cycles and the annual Wheel of the Year. Girls will be empowered with the knowledge of these sacred cycles and how they manifest in our lives as maidens, mothers, crones and magas
– Earth advocacy. Girls will identify an individual and/or group ‘passion project’ that contributes positively to their local environment and be supported in it’s implementation throughout the year and beyond
– Rite of Passage Ceremony to mark the bond between the girls, the mamas and the group as a whole
– Yoga class and Zen Thai Shiatsu session at The Yurt
– Surfdancer class at Noosa Main Beach
– All equipment, tools, art supplies, seeds, tubestock, notes and resources
– Morning and afternoon tea on each of the seasonal gatherings
– Attendance at the Winter and Summer Solstice Celebrations
– 3-day Spring camp (shared catering)
– Girls will be equipped with their own Earth Rites Kit over the course of the program: including bushcraft tools, saw, flint and steel, whittling knife, tinder tin, herbal first aid, and art and journalling supplies
– Small group of participants (maximum 10) to ensure a quality, intimate and secure experience for all
Where will it be held?
Seasonal gatherings will be held at Natureweavers in Black Mountain in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
We will journey to throughout the Sunshine Coast for various aspects and activities of the program, including Eumundi, Noosa, Mudjimba and Cooran (TBA).
When will it be held?
Autumn: April 27 & 28
Winter: June 22 & 23
Spring: September 20-22 (Camp)
Summer: December 7 & 8
Why should my girl do this with Natureweavers?
Natureweavers has been working with children aged 1-16 in wildspace for nearly a decade. As many of our Natureweavers’ children grow and transition from childhood to adolescence and beyond, so, too, do our offerings as we continue to nurture relationships between people and earth.
Earth Rites has arisen as I bear witness to the unfolding of my own daughter, and the young women in her community, into the wild wonders of adolescence. It is an extension of the Forest Power for Girls workshops that Natureweavers has offered in previous years, honoring the widening circle we need to hold for our girls as they grow and develop. In holding space for the 2018 Earth Rites circle, it is apparent to me that this work is the beautiful collaboration of the past 25 years of my work in environmental advocacy, permaculture, education, deep ecology, yoga and TCM and nature pedagogy.
2019 sees the second cycle of this program. The need for this work, this circle, this approach, this gathering of girls and their mamas continues to hum it’s importance to me, and it is an honor to hold space for it in our community.
How can I find out more information?
Contact Carly via the website, or firstname.lastname@example.org or 0403 133 679.