The Rite Way Blog

Slice of PIE®

Posted on December 5, 2017 by David Blumenkrantz

Planetarium Initiatory Event – PIE®©
“Finding Your Place – We Are Home”
By: David Blumenkrantz, Ph. D., Ed. M.


“I believe that it is very difficult to know who we are until we understand where and when we are. I think everyone in every culture has felt a sense of awe and wonder looking at the sky.”
Carl Sagan

The Universe is in the village and the village is in the Universe


The Planetarium Initiatory Event – PIE® is not your grandparent’s planetarium show. PIE® is a community engagement event for parents and their children entering puberty. It is designed to affirm a child’s awakening to their place in their home, school, community and the Universe. It is a whole system’s approach that includes high school mentors, who become authentic partners in helping to make and serve PIE® for younger students. PIE® can unleash the full power and potential of a planetarium to be center for learning and youth development.

Making PIE -
A Confluence of Art, Science, Technology and Spirituality

Astrophysicists, astronomers, evolutionary biologists, educators, youth development specialists, parents and youth have all come together to inform and co-create PIE. Live actions scenes between teenagers, parents and college students are integrated into narrated animation sections that depict the birth of the Universe, evolution of our solar system and the emergence of humans. Narration informed by astrophysics and evolutionary biology describe awesome animations that depict the dynamic interplay of elements in the universe. They help children awaken to their individual purpose and the purpose of adolescence: to balance the opposite forces, especially good and evil, kindness and meanness, and to help their community remember that most powerful force in the Universe.

The PIE® design also includes 3 videos for preparation, entry and exit rituals, conversations in a World Café style, delicious local food. Graphic remembrances of the event illustrate the enactment of one of our guiding principles: “Everything you need to know you already know. You just need to talk among yourselves for the right (rite) way to emerge.”


Figure 2.  A graphic remembrance of authentic conversation among children and parents at the conclusion of the “First Taste of PIE” trial in Glastonbury, Connecticut in 2016.  Art: Janine DiNatale

“Problems can not be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”
A. Einstein

For more information of PIE® visit: - view the trailer and take a journey into a new story that you can participate in to nourish life in your community.

PIE® is a registered mark of David G. Blumenkrantz.

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Read more about Youth & Community Development through Rites of Passage in the new and highly acclaimed book by Dr. David Blumenkranz.

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David Blumenkrantz, Ph.D., Ed.M., Founder & Executive Director, the Center for Youth & Community

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