A Revolutionary Stag Weekend

another friend just proposed last week. The time is ripe, in my world, for the infamous Stag Weekend.

And there is a powerful and subtle revolution underway.

Firstly; the A-typical stag party usually involves a few lads getting together, vast quantities of alcohol, usually a stripper or two and a terrible headache the next day. Not only is this behaviour positively destructive at the best of times, us men are also missing out at what is potentially one of our only opportunities to engage with the concept of male initiation in our western culture.

Men, honestly, we have to ask ourselves; is getting drunk together really the best we can come up with to mark this divine transformation into a committed, life-long relationship?

As I see it the demise of the stag-do is symptomatic of a culture-wide demise of proper manliness.

We have lost sight of what real masculinity looks like.

We’ve lost our role models, our mentors, our Kings, and we are left rudderless in a culture that preys on our weaknesses; our fundamental urges for intimacy and partnership are sabotaged by the ubiquitous nature of sex to sell us stuff and the availability of internet pornography; our sense of seeking security is disrupted and manipulated by the media forcing us into crushing mortgage deals and work we feel we have to do though we hate it.

On top of this we have lost nearly all vestiges of male initiation rites that were once such an important part of a man’s life. These ancient rites usually marked the various transitions and transformations a man makes throughout his life; boy, teenager, young man, adult, father, teacher, wizard.

Various in their manifestation, ubiquitous the world over, and many in their form, male initiation rites gave any man growing up a sense of belonging, clarity, a support network, a community of men to learn from, contributed to and, at times, survive because of.

Today we have more or less completely lost all productive initiation rituals from our culture, at least from where I’m standing.

We do have a default though that stands in replacement when our imagination and opportunities are so limited:

Getting drunk in the local pub:

Loose your virginity = get drunk

Go traveling far from home = get drunk

business success = get drunk

What if there was another way?

What if the only people would could create a new way are the Men (and I’m including myself here) who are currently devoid of initiation rituals?

A Stag Weekend can be a powerful opportunity of shared male initiation. It’s an time to recognise our calling to mature gracefully into Manhood; a chance to be in the presence of real Brotherhood, to be brutally honest and real with each other and to grow together.

There is immense power and potential within us Men to heal and serve the world. Many of us are not giving our best, not allowing our truest potential to shine through. Many of us waste our best years working for faceless institutions bent on nothing but profit, and sacrifice our freedom and personal power in exchange for apparent security.

Men. I call you to dig deeply into what you know is true. We have a responsibility to create a new vision of how we show up in the world. A vision based on equality, ecology, power, freedom and grace.

A revolutionary kind of stag do is one that honours our transition from boys to men. One that creates opportunities for openness and sharing, one that creates the kind of support that creates balanced yet powerful, visionary leadership which our world is so in need of.

Don’t let your stag party (whether its yours or you’re organising for a friend) pass you by. It could be one of the greatest opportunities for a real experience of male initiation.

It’s right in front of us, take the opportunity.

Originally published at chris-hardy.com on June 8, 2015.

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