Ritesâ€“ofâ€“passage storiesâ€¦were cherished in preâ€“literate societies not only for their entertainment value, but also as mythic tools to prepare young men and women for lifeâ€™s ordeals. A wealth of such stories can be found marking each major transition in the human life cycle: puberty, marriage, childbirth, menopause, death. Other ritesâ€“ofâ€“passage, less predictable but equally transformative, include times of sudden change and calamity such as illness and injury, the loss of oneâ€™s home, the death of a loved one, etc. These are the times when we wake, like Dante, to find ourselves in a deep, dark wood â€” an image that in Jungian psychology represents an inward journey. Ritesâ€“ofâ€“passage tales point to the hidden roads that lead out of the dark again â€” and remind us that at the end of the journey weâ€™re not the same person as when we started. Ascending from the Netherworld (that grey landscape of illness, grief, depression, or despair), we are â€˜twiceâ€“bornâ€™ in our return to life, carrying seeds â€” new wisdom, ideas, creativity and fecundity of spirit.