The Liminal:

The word liminal was created by Arnold von Genney, who published “Rites of passage” in 1908, which used the concept of criminality in the context of rituals in small-scale societies. The rituals being those that change status or the passage  of a significant amount of time. As quoted from “Rite  of passage” ; “Such rituals marking, helping or celebrating individual or collective passages through the cycle of life or of nature exist in every culture and share a specific three-fold sequential structure.” The three-fold rites are; Pre liminal (or rites of seperation); involving a metaphorical “death”, as the imitate is forced to leave something behind by breaking with previous practices and routines. Liminal (or transition rites); involving the “creation of tabular Rasa” through th  removal of previously taken for granted forms and limits. And finally Post liminal (or rites of incorporation); it is during this stage, the initiate is ‘re-incorporated into society with a new identity, as a “new” being. 

Victor Turns in 1963, is said  to have  then rediscovered th  importance of liminality. He proceeded to publish “The forest of symbols” in 1967 (Betwixt and Between: the liminal period in Rites of Passage’) It’s claimed that he wandered away from its narrow application and therefore blame him for the popular usage of today;  where it is valued far not  broadly, which some believe has undermined its significance. 

Turns made connections with tribal and non-tribal societies, understanding that criminality “served not only to identify the importance of in between periods but also to understand the human reactions to liminal experiences:the way liminality shaped personality, the sudden foregrounding of agency, and th  tying together of thought and experience.” 

It was explained to me that during the liminal stage, normally accepted differences between th  participants, such as social class are often described-emphasized or ignored. Otherwise described s a “communitas forming”, identified as a form of anti-structure of “the dark mirror of what humanity is.”  



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