rites of passage
Full circle, from the tomb of the womb to the womb of the tomb, we come.
— Joseph Campbell

Rites of Passage


Rites of Passage was a large-scale gathering curated and produced by The Trailblazery as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013. The entire cycle took place across three weekends in September and involved over 50 participants and performers from Ireland, Iceland, Greece, Canada, The US, Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina. We also designed and produced a series of Hedge Schools and an educational music project involving a bespoke choir with 101 children from St. Brigid's School in Killester featuring Nina Hynes and our very own contemporary music ensemble.

Our intention for Rites of Passage was to excavate the collective moments that have shaped our social, political, cultural and spiritual evolution in Ireland and beyond. We gathered together a brilliant cast of national and international participants ready to explore, reveal and re-imagine this place we call home.

Joseph Campbell celebrated the Rite of Passage as a way “for the individual to die to the past and be reborn to the future.” This great quest is a human tradition that has existed from the beginning of time. Our vision was to shine a light on influential happenings and experiences that have shaped who we are as people and where we might be going. We invited people on a journey - a passage through time and space crossing a constellation of cultural thresholds from our ancient past to our potential future.

That journey involved:

· 3 flagship events: Evolving Our Past, State of The Nation and Tourguides to The Future

· 4 learning experiences including international Hedge Schools and a Sunday Service with some of the most exciting provocateurs in the world

· Participants from Australia, Canada, US, Greece, Iceland, UK & Ireland

· A music education project including a bespoke children’s choir with Nina Hynes and over 100 kids

· A host of brilliant musicians and performers including Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Rónán Ó Snodaigh,Nóirín Ní Riain & Eleanor Tiernan


Speakers included :

Andri Snaer Magnason (Author, Iceland), John Fox (Rites of Passage Specialist UK), Matthew Fox (Spiritual Revolutionary, US), Maria Scordialos (Living Wholeness Institute, Greece), Vanessa Reid (Systems Architect, Canada), Emeli Paulo (Reach Foundation, Australia), Andrew Hyland (Social Justice Activist), Lelia Doolan (Filmmaker & Activist), Colm O’ Gorman (Amnesty Ireland), Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh (GAA Commentator), Justine McCarthy (Writer & Political Journalist), Lizbeth Goodman (SMARTLab Digital Media Institute), Tony Griffin (SOAR), Mamo McDonald (Age & Opportunity), Noeline Kavanagh (MACNAS), Manchán Magan (Writer & Documentary Maker), Ruairí McKiernan (Community Activist, Hitching for Hope), Catriona Crowe (Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland), Dylan Haskins (Broadcaster & Presenter), Geoff Fitzpatrick (Sacred Geometrician), Dolores Whelan (Iomlanu Education), Ali Grehan (City Architect), Michael Ryan (The Yoga Room), Soilse Ryan (8-year-old Evolutionary), Ursula Browne (Therapist), Una Mullally (Journalist & Broadcaster), Zlata Filipovic (Writer & Documentary Maker), Avril Stanley (Director Body & Soul), Christine Clear (Director The Living Room), Keith Molony (Entrepreneur & Founder of Indreni Orphanage), Cilian Fennell (Stillwater Communications), Grace Dyas (Artist & Founder of TheatreClub), Marie Mulholland (Campaigner & Activist), Niamh Shaw (Performer, Scientist & Engineer)and Colm Keegan (Poet)




Evolving Our Past | Manchán Magan

Writer. Documentary-Maker. Global Nomad. Author of travel books Truck Fever, Manchán's Travels and Angels & Rabies and two novels, Manchán also writes the Magan's World column for The Irish Times.



State of the Nation | Andrew Hyland

Social Justice Activist. Equality Campaigner. Andrew has worked for HIV/AIDS, traveller rights, LGBT youth issues and marriage equality. Andrew holds an MSc in Equality Studies from the Department of Social Justice UCD and has taught there on human rights, social justice and inequality. Andrew is passionate about the right of all humans to equality.


Tour-guides to the Future | Maria Scordialos

Activist. Systems Theorist. Pattern Recogniser. Maria is co-founder of The Living Wholeness Institute based in Axladitsa Avatakia, a farm and home that hosts immersion learning in Pelion, Greece. She is also co-initiator of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations, a practice that invites people to create new collective intelligence through generative dialogue.