initiated. That maintained the energy and provided a European Gregorian touch to the ceremony." ( Barton E. [ 1998]. "One man's small step, one giant step for mankind: Reflections on the 1st European men's gathering." Transitions, 18, 8, 20.)
Today, I probably would call the ritual an elder blessing, rather than an initiation. First of all the men felt a need and asked to participate in the ritual that was developed rather spontaneously. I feel the men felt an emptiness that this ritual blessing helped fill.
I agree with John that this was rather superficial, especially compared to the intense weekend initiatory experience of the New Warrior Training Adventure and still the blessing by older men fulfilled a need, want, and hunger that the men felt.
Neither John nor I know what the long term impact of that elder blessing has or will be. Yes, intense therapy often is necessary to make permanent, transformative change. These men's work events can and do move men toward therapy and can enhance the therapeutic process for those already in therapy.
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