Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Letter from Publisher - June 2022

May 31, 2022 09:31AM ● By Dave Korba

“There has never been a better time in all of human history to raise a son.” – Michael Reichert, author


I recently wrote to a friend, “You’re already doing more for your son than you probably realize just by being you, being there, listening, acknowledging, teaching and loving him unconditionally—what a gift for any child.” We were discussing the challenges she’s facing while trying to raise her son today.


For millennia, indigenous cultures practiced a rite of male initiation to clearly mark when a boy crossed the threshold and became a man. Generally, boys were raised by the mother until early adolescence and then the men in the village would come and “take” him from the mother, who feigned despair and offered mild resistance.


The boy would be taken into the wilderness, and for several days and nights, faced a series of challenges in a rite of passage—an initiation into the sacred masculine—and returned to the village as an initiated man.


The mother could not provide an initiation into manhood for the boy, as it is separation from the mother that is the psychic demarcation that crosses the adolescent from boyhood to manhood. The male elders, shamans and spiritual teachers initiated the boy into manhood.


In our country’s early agrarian beginnings, young boys worked in the fields, had a direct relationship with their fathers and were mostly raised by men and trained by men to work, provide for the family and survive.


With the advent of the industrial revolution, men started working in factories and foundries, and young boys lost their daily connection to the masculine energy provided by their fathers. The lack of a distinct rite of passage into the sacred masculine for generations in our culture may be partly reflective of what we see in our society today—uninitiated boys in positions of power and authority—grown men who act out without a solid connection to what it means to be initiated into the realm of sacred masculine energy that provides them with purpose, mission, emotional literacy, clarity and accountability.


The ManKind Project’s New Warrior Training Adventure is one pathway to the sacred masculine; certainly not a panacea, but, an eye-opening and life-changing experience that provides insight, tools and support for being a man and no longer living as a boy.


Read more about Michael Reichert and other resources in Marlaina Donato’s feature story about authentic masculinity on page 18. The journey continues… as we all follow our unique path to feeling good, living simply and laughing more.