What is Eldership?

Eldership is what happens when a person with the qualities of an Elder fulfills the role of an Elder.

A person may try to fulfill the role, but lack the qualities. Or they may seem to have the qualities yet never play the role.

Eldership is the qualities actively and consciously applied.

For more detailed discussion of the Qualities and the Roles of Elders, go to each of the pages specifically addressing those things.

At The Eldership Project, we believe Eldership is an essential element in a healthy, functioning community.

We believe a person cannot truly progress through life – passing over thresholds – unless they have been seen and blessed. And that Elders, especially, must be there to bless.

We agree with Michael Meade who said, “The Elders hold the ground while the youth make their glorious mistakes.”

We see everywhere the loss of Eldership – the absence of Elders at significant events, the stashing of old people into homes to wait for slow death, the disintegration of community, violence perpetrated against old people, the disregard for experience in many organisations, and in many more examples.

And we have also seen Eldership alive and well – sometimes in the conscious, intentional part that older men and women have played in gatherings, rituals, ceremonies or discussions; at other times, in spontaneous eruptions of grace, healing, wisdom or presence.

We believe the loss of Eldership is part of our sickness.

We believe the rediscovery of Eldership is an integral part of our healing.

And we appreciate your contributions in helping us to realise this vision.

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What is an Eldership Project

Find out more about Eldership Projects.

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