DSC_0061After the recent tragedy in Santa Barbara, I have been considering… what role models and mentors has our culture provided the young man who committed the violence?

Professional atheletes arrested for physical abuse? Politicians getting away with stealing and lying? Musicians singing about sex and one night stands? Actors abusing prescription medications? These are the figures we young people are expected to look up to and strive to become. We allow these behaviors of icons of our culture, yet we are shocked to hear that over 30% of college women are raped by fellow students. Those growing up and turning into adults today are inheriting a world that not only ignores but suppresses the true values of who we are and how we want to live. We have to struggle with the battle of listening to our culture and listening to our Truth. In this upside down world, how are youth going to pick up the reins of our world? What beacons do we have of what it means to be a human being? We are not given the space or tools to grow yet are expected to become adults. Some of us are finding our way yet most are still lost. Ritaka is one place where we have the space to find ourselves again, to explore what it means to be a human being. Ritaka is an annual gathering for young adults to spend time in community, around the Fire with our voices. We will gather in Chapel Hill, NC 8/29-9/1/2014. There will be time to share stories, make music, play games, tell jokes and bring a piece of ourselves to the group. We will also have the opportunity to hear the Wisdom of Don Eliot Cowan, Sacred Fire Community elder and elder shaman in the Huichol tradition. For more information, please visit ritaka.org or contact an organizer using this form.

Joshua Cowan

Joshua Cowan

Joshua Cowan is a graduate from Sacred Awakening, the Sacred Fire Lifeways initiation for boys into adulthood, and he is the organizer for this year’s Ritaka.

Ritaka is a Lifeways program. Read more about Sacred Fire Community’s Lifeways.

Discover Sacred Awakening, our young men’s initiation, and Sacred Emergence, our initiation for girls into womanhood.


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