The vital and timeless ritual of initiation has been lost to our modern culture.  As a result, many young people are confused or resistant about entering into adulthood. They long to discover their life’s purpose and their relationship to the wholeness of life.  The summer right before I turned 25, I had the opportunity to participate in a coming-of-age initiation.  This was a huge gift in my life that allowed me to connect with the person that I was born to be, to find a deep trust, knowing, and connection with my true path. 

Although I am not at privilege to divulge all of the intricate details of that powerful and magical week of transformation, I can share my experience.  At that time in my life, I knew there was more to life than what I was currently experiencing.  There were signs that showed up for me before going through initiation.  The wake-up call for me materialized in the form of depression, dislocating my knee, and a compelling urge to indulge in risky behaviors such as drugs and alcohol.  I had lost connection with my mother and had rekindled relationships with my dad, step-mom, and little sister.  I had been living with a close friend in our own apartment for almost a year, and was trying to make up for all the partying I had missed out on by not going to college.  When one of the women in my community asked me if I was interested in going through this process, I jumped at the chance!  Something inside me knew how important it was and how lucky I was to still be younger than the cutoff age… barely!

As the 9 of us girls and our warm and loving guides came together and opened the sacred space, the skies that had been clear and sunny all day filled with clouds and the showers blessed us.  The amazing week started with the powerful grace and presence of nature. 

During the week, I had a number of chances to connect with nature.  At first it was sort of like going for a hike.  Then, it was like going camping.  Then, it became an opportunity to sit with my emotions.  It was extremely uncomfortable for me; to sit with Mother Earth and let her hold me.  To remember that She was our true mother.  No matter what life had brought me up to that point, I knew that Mother Earth would always be there for me.  It brought tears to my eyes to allow myself to be held.  I realized that she had always been there for me whether I recognized Her or not.  This was the beginning of my re-connection with my rightful mother.  The mother to us all.  Even if my birth mother had disowned me, I could still find comfort knowing that Mother Earth was here for me, no matter what.

Ask yourself these questions:

1.   How do you feel about Late Summer, harvest time?

2.   What is your relationship like with your own mother?

3.   How do you feel about Mother Earth?

4.   How do you feel about the way we treat Mother Earth?

5.   Do you feel comfortable nurturing others?

6.   Do you feel comfortable being nurtured by others?

7.   When was the last time you put your bare feet on the dirt?

8.   How do you feel about the color yellow?

9.   How is your digestion?

Late Summer is the time of the Earth element in the Chinese 5-Element Philosophy of Plant Spirit Medicine.  Are you feeling fed and are you digesting what life is bringing you?  The good thing is no one has to go it alone.  My hope is that you find the healing and nurturing you need. 

If you feel called to get what you need from the plant spirits, who offer nurturing and balance and bring you back into harmony with nature, Plant Spirit Medicine is available to you.  If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can make an appointment with me here:

If you are living in another state or country, you can go to the Plant Spirit Medicine Association website to find a PSM Healer in your area!  Click here to visit the PSMA website:

If you are interested in Women's or Men's Initiation or other programs for all stages of life, click here:

AuthorCourtney Shelburne