Rob Miller ~ Cascadia Quest

Rob Miller is a wilderness guide, wildcrafter and ceremonialist who creates and facilitates rites of passage for young men and women in the US.

“I have the commitment myself - and am inspiring others to have that commitment - to prioritise our lives so that we have this essential piece of rites of passage back in place. I really believe our culture - the world, people - needs it now and needs us to grow up.” ~ Rob Miller

In this interview Rob shares with us the story of how he came to this work, talks us through the necessary elements for a rite of passage to be meaningful and effective, and gives us an intimate insight into the form and nature of his programmes.

Rob began his adult life as a musician, where he first learned what it means to harmonise with others, coming into close contact with inner and outer rhythms for the first time. After years of self-exploration through music, he returned to a life in community and started a family, working as a wild crafter and eventually beginning to lead vision quests and youth initiations.

In his late 40s Rob suddenly “bottomed out” in his life, leading him to question his work in the world, and how he should be investing his remaining time and life energy. It was then that Rob made the commitment to “live in his brilliance” - doing only that which he can uniquely do best - and encouraging others to live in theirs.

Israh and Rob discuss the role of mortality, community and mentorship in rites of passage work and how these different elements come together to challenge, hold and witness a young person in their transition to adulthood. They speak about the urgent need for - and the challenges associated with - bringing rites of passage into the mainstream of our culture and reinstating them in a place of priority. Finally, they discuss gender: the importance of gendered spaces for rites of passage and the opening enquiry into what else could be offered to meet needs that are different.

“I hope that - generations from now - any young person who comes of age has a meaningful rite of passage for their heart to open deeply to nature and to spirit.  And they will know how to live. I don’t know what they are going to see but I believe that we have to do this part of bringing back meaningful, effective rites of passage and that the next generation will take the talking piece, the guitar, and go places we couldn't dream.” ~ Rob Miller

Rob Miller is the lead guide, executive director of Cascadia Quest. He is a wilderness guide, ceremonialist, wildcrafter, council leader, loving parent, and fun-loving instigator of radical and sustainable earth-based culture change. He guides and teaches rites of passage and other related growth activities, ancestral skills and more for Cascadia Quest and beyond. He has completed the School of Lost Borders comprehensive wilderness guides training program, Wilderness First Aid with NOLS/WMI, has studied grief work and ritual with Sobonfu Some of Burkina Faso, and most importantly incorporates his entire life experience into his work as a guide.

Israh Goodall