Rites of Passage: When Your Soul is Calling for Change w/ Jeddy Azuma (085)

December 22, 2022

MTW PODCAST - Jeddy Azuma

Have you ever undergone a rites of passage?

Have you ever felt called to do a rites of passage?

Do you even know what I’m talking about?

In this episode, my guest, Jeddy Azuma … the founder of Rising Man Movement and the Podcast of the same name, … and I mine these questions and more for useful insights to make a meaningful difference in your life.

When I was 19, I asked my dad and my step-mother to drive me 3 hours from their home to a cave set deep in the hills of Kentucky … I wanted to spend 3 days in that cave, alone, with only myself and the spirits for company, and in mostly darkness. I somehow got it in my mind that I needed to be initiated. Only thing is, I had no idea what I was wanting to be initiated into. So, not knowing at all what I was doing – my dad had no idea what I was doing either, but he was excited to drive me to that cave – I took some candles, a sleeping bag, and some grapes, and walked about half a mile into the dark. 

I don’t think I lasted 24 hours. I was so bored, so disillusioned, that I walked out of the cave probably not long after I’d ran out of grapes, and never looked back. Initiation failure. I didn’t realize, I had walked into that cave because I was hearing and listening to an ancient voice deep in my soul that was crying out for something essential. I just had no guides at the time to help steward me through.

Which brings me to Jeddy Azuma. Jeddy is another beautiful and wise man I’ve been blessed to cross paths with in recent years. In our conversation today, we talk about rites of passage. Jeddy guides men through rites of passage, specifically through the indigenous tradition of multi-day vision fasting in the wilds of nature. We talk about the three stages of rite of passage, and some things you can do, if you feel called, to prepare for stepping into a rite of passage. Jeddy brings a deep and nuanced understanding of the deep need for men to regularly mark the transition points of our lives– whether from boyhood to manhood, from single man to married man, or vice versa, or from simple man to father. Jeddy shares an ancient wisdom practice that our modern western world is tragically missing, and with tragic consequences. Our conversation is a fascinating and essential one.

At the end, I ask Jeddy Azuma what his 5 emotional triggers are … this is one of my favorite parts of the interview, so stay tuned all the way through to the end of this episode of Men, This Way.


(04:16) What shaped Jeddy to become the man he is today?

(07:53) What is a rite of passage ceremony?

(11:09) Why are boys desperately seeking initiation? 

(17:22) Signs that a man is ready for a rite of passage

(24:01) Vision Quest Format

(34:03) What should man expect after a rite of passage?

(38:44) The Compass Process

(43:13) What does the integration look like?

(47:20) Jeddy’s key insight on rites of passage


Website: https://risingman.org/ 

LinkedIn: Jeddy Azuma

Facebook: Jeddy Azuma

Instagram: @jeddyazuma

Twitter: Jeddy Azuma (@jeddyazuma)


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[08:39 – 09:56] There are things that we can go back and survey our lives, really audit our lives, and say, okay, these were transitional moments, because rite a passage at a functional level is AI transcription from one stage of life into another. We make transit from one chapter into another at many different intervals in life. And there’s many different reasons why we may mark those. For example, some rites of passages or things that are acknowledged as a rite of passages. Losing your virginity, getting drunk for the first time, becoming a father as a rite of passage. And obviously, there’s healthy and unhealthy versions and conscious and unconscious versions of these rites of passages. 

But then there’s rites of passage for transitioning from one phase of life into another, where I’m consciously choosing to release myself from an identity, from who I’ve known myself to be and who my community’s known me to be, in order to make space for the identity in me that wants to emerge for the next season of life. And that’s where these intentional ceremonial rites of passages come into play that I’ve been involved with and that I think is really instrumental in a man’s life. What you said there about wanting to initiate yourself, to me, an initiation is a form of a right of passage. But not every right of passage is an initiation.

[11:28 – 12:17] Fraternity is a word for brotherhood. And here we are right now in this, what I think of as the second generation of the men’s movement, trying to reclaim what brotherhood really is and what it looks like because we talk so much about how we work to get better together as teams. We were meant to hunt as a pack end of the lone wolf. And really all of that requires these initiatory practices to build a level of trust and recognition of preparedness for the world. 

That’s really what these ceremonies and coming of age rituals were about, was determining an individual’s readiness and preparedness for life and the responsibilities that lie on the other side of the threshold. And so it’s instinctual not just for humans, adolescents and juveniles, but also other animals.

[34:58 – 35:23 ] One common thread has been a greater sense of clarity. Men emerge from this experience with a greater understanding of who they are, greater understanding of what their life is for something that they want to bring back and give to their community, even if it’s just showing up in a different way or creating something different than just moving the needle on that compass slightly closer to that northern star and beginning to move in that direction. 


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