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Western Gate: Roots and Wings Foundation

Los Angeles, California, US

When a society fails to provide adequate Rites of Passage for an individual, individuals create rites of passage on his/her own initiative no matter how warped or skewed they might be.  The determination of the self-made ritual on the outside is to match the intensity felt on the inside.

Most uninitiated and teenagers from broken homes in Western society will, on their own, experiment with mind-altering drugs and over consume alcohol, which, outside of a ceremonial context and without guidance, are unlikely to lead to successful encounters with the Soul, and are invariably physically, psychological, and/or spiritually harmful.  Youth will also often initiate themselves or others through substance abuse, gang initiations, and becoming pregnant.

Similarly, when a veteran returns home with his soul frayed by war, his intense experiences make for an extra-ordinary transformation that often comes as an “accidental initiation.” Without the care of elders and mentors, initiations such as these, without guidance, leave one incomplete, at best; and some become more violent and destructive.

It is because at-risk youth and veterans are two unique populations which are vulnerable to unguided initiations and traumatic circumstances that Roots and Wings was formed.

The Western Gate Roots and Wings Foundation’s (“Roots and Wings”) purpose is twofold: our primary mission is to provide guidance and adequate preparation to youth and veterans for closures and openings at each stage of life: childhood to adolescence, adolescence to adult, adult to elder, elder to ancestor.

Our corollary purpose is to provide Rites of Passage that initiate youth and veterans to be responsible and purposeful adults, thereby eradicating the levels of violence, suicide, gangs, and drug use among the youth and veterans through a cultivation of a deeper understanding and connection to nature and Elder Wisdom.

Our programs include:

  • Nature Retreats
  • Mentorship
  • Community Based Partnerships
  • Educational Programming for Schools and Correctional Facilities
  • Life Re-Integration Workshops for Veterans

Organizational Information