YPW Offering

Untangling the Threads of the Past

| Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, Duwamish Traditional Territory, Seattle, WA | hosted by Youth Passageways Extended Community
Contact: 9:30am to 3:30pm
Cost: $175-$295, sliding scale

More info

Untangling the Threads of the Past

~History and Context for Rites of Passage Today~

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 feel 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.

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 part of the Restoring Youth Rites of Passage Leadership Development Program, and is a collaboration between Rite of Passage Journeys, Youth Passageways and Queer Nature. 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 here to register. Please click here for inquiries. Queer, transgender, black, indigenous communities and communities of color, we especially encourage you to register!


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!

Led By Darcy Ottey& Pinar Sinopolous-Lloyd

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 Youth Passageways, a diverse network of individuals, organizations, and communities working to support the initiation of young people into mature adulthood in these transition times. As an initiated European-American woman (British/Ukrainian descent), she is passionate about helping people disconnected from traditional rites of passage reclaim and create rites and practices meaningful and relevant in their lives and communities at this time, in ways that are in solidarity with the liberation with all Peoples, and all beings. Darcy currently consults with youth-serving organizations on topics related to rites of passage and social justice. She holds an M.A. in Environment and Community from Antioch University Seattle.  http://www.darcyottey.com/

Check out Darcy’s recent TEDx Talk, “Tying the Threads of the Past to the Threads of the Future”


Pınar (they/them/theirs) has always been allured by how the natural world mirrors one’s internal landscape. Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar is a nonbinary QTPOC (Queer & Trans Person of Color) with Huanca, Turkish and Chinese lineages. They along with their spouse, So, co-founded Queer Nature, a project bringing earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, nature-connection and vision fast guiding. Their relationship with queerness, neurodivergence, indigeneity and belonging guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology through studies at Prescott College, Wilderness Awareness School, School of Lost Borders, Animas Valley Institute, Naropa University and Esalen Institute. Their undergraduate work was in applied ecopsychology with a somatic and depth approach through a decolonial and queer lens. Currently enrolled at the University of Vermont, they are working on their degree in Master of Science in Natural Resources with a Concentration in Leadership for Sustainability. In 2017, they co-guided the School of Lost Borders’ first Queer Youth Quest, and in 2018 co-guided Journeys’ first Queer Mountain Quest. They are thrilled to be where their soul comes alive with queer youth and the more-than-human community.


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