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Darcy Ottey

Winthrop, Washington, US

Rites of Passage have been a key part of my life since my own Coming of Age experience when I was 13. I have guided hundreds of youth and adults through wilderness-based initiatory experiences, for such diverse institutions as Aspen Youth Alternatives, Outward Bound, and others. I was the Executive Director of Rite of Passage Journeys from 2006 – 2011, and the Rite of Passage Supervisor/Interim Program Director of Pacific Quest. Most recently, I helped to birth Youth Passageways, a diverse network of individuals, organizations, and communities working to support the initiation of young people into mature adulthood in these transition times.  I hold an M.A. in Environment and Community from Antioch University Seattle.

As an initiated European-American woman (Briton/Ruthenian) ancestry, my strongest passion is exploring how those of us disconnected from our traditional rites of passage can reclaim and create rites and practices meaningful and relevant in our lives and communities at this time, in ways that are in solidarity with the struggles of marginalized communities in our home places and around the globe.

I help individuals, organizations, and communities navigate transitions in meaningful and culturally-relevant ways. My work can be described with a number of different titles, including rite of passage guide, facilitator, educator, consultant, and mentor. I see myself as a bridge-builder and shapeshifter, often showing up differently depending on the needs in which I work.

Still, there are some common threads I bring to all my work:

  • Commitment to help individuals and/or groups unleash their unique gifts and talents in ways that serve and strengthen their communities;
  • Understanding of initiatory processes, and how to support individuals, organizations, and communities to find their way through transition moments;
  • Broad and deep study of many lines of thought that converge in modern-day rites of passage, and how to help people access the tools needed to become skilled rite of passage guides in their own communities;
  • Talent in creating space to come together across differences through shared ceremony, dialogue, and collaboration;
  • A strategic mind and a loving heart, comfortable in a wide terrain of topics and able to shift gears to serve what’s needed for individuals and groups.

Organizational Information

Age range

  • All ages