This chapter explores the pervasiveness of the sacred rather than the secular in the initiatory experience. The connection of the individual within a community and into the sacred world, the world of Nature and Spirit, is central. How we get to the sacred is examined within a generic five-part structure for ritual that includes similar elements evident across different cultures and contexts within the ritual process. These elements integrate specific design symbols and principles that can be adapted into contemporary strategies for rites of passage experiences. The five-part structure includes separation, purification, invocation, identification, and transformation. These provide guideposts in our analysis of the vision quest described in chapter 3 and are exemplified in the ritual designed by Malidoma Patrice Somé and described in chapter 9. They are also used as primary elements in the construction of contemporary rites of passage.
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