Rites of Passage – Autumn school

Sue in the landscape

It’s always a moment of joy for me when I see a note from my friends Sue Gill and Gilly Adams that they have another Rites of Passage school coming up. And every time, I want to go play again.

I trained with Sue and Gilly back in the day when rites of passage were a new concept for me. I’d not really thought too much about what it is to stand up and lead a ceremony before then.

I spent a glorious few days with them and a bunch of like-minded and very different people in Falkland, Fife, exploring concepts of how to conduct and deliver meaningful ceremonies – for ourselves or for others.

There were tears and snotters – always a good day in my book – and there was laughter. There were moving exchanges and quiet moments, using the landscape, wildflowers, music, flags, bunting, food and each other, to create beautiful spaces and use words and gestures to craft ceremonies.

And there’s a chance for you to have a go in the Autumn.

Here’s the lowdown.

From Friday 6 September to Monday 9 September, meet with Gilly, Sue and other participants at East Woodlands Village Hall, Frome, Somerset.

www.deadgoodguides.co.uk 029 2055 2389 Gilly (Adams)

This school is ideal for artists, teachers, community activists, arts workers, story tellers and anyone with a creative interest in acquiring the skills to make or lead ritual and ceremony.

Sue says: “Most of us have a profound need to mark important events in our lives with some kind of ceremony. Frequently these are the occasions that our culture finds easiest to celebrate, like births, marriages and deaths, yet there are many other significant life experiences that demand attention. In our changing social and cultural environment, where confidence in traditional religion has often diminished, the challenge is to create new and appropriate rites of passage that can be witnessed by family and friends.”

Gilly added: “This challenge will be the starting point for an intensive 4 day workshop, which will focus on the Hows and Whys of ceremony and celebration in a practical and experiential way.  We will investigate how both positive and negative life events can be distilled into myth and poetry and create meaningful rituals to contain them. Crucially, the workshop will be shaped to fulfil the needs and aspirations of participants so there will be plenty of opportunities to learn andpractise different aspects of the art of creating both public and private ceremonies in a safe environment.”

Gilly Adams and Sue Gill have been working together for more than twenty years, first as part of Welfare State International and latterly under the banner of Dead Good Guides. They will share their experience of working as independent, secular celebrants, guiding families and individuals to create their own distinctive ceremonies.

“It was one of the best trainings I have done with a great balance of teaching and direct experience that kept me active, immersed and reflective throughout. Laughter, tears, community, landscape, sacredness and plenty of profanity – marvellous. I will carry the experience with me for a very long time.”

Michael Harvey, Storyteller 

Practical details: 

The fee of £420 includes tuition, materials, meals and refreshments, but does not include accommodation. There are 12 places available and a non-refundable deposit of £75 secures one. The balance is due by September 1st and may be paid in instalments, if necessary. The learning day stretches from 9am till 10pm except on the last day when school finishes at 2pm. 

East Woodlands Village Hall is on the edge of the Longleat Estate and has a very particular, rural character. Frome has a range of reasonable accommodation nearby with friendly hosts. There is space for Camper vans in front of the hall.

To book a place and/or for further information contact:

Gilly Adams       gillyadams1@outlook.com   02920 552389

Go do it now. You won’t regret it.