Becoming Human: The Four Shields Model of Nature-Based Therapeutics

May 13th, 2019 - May 18th, 2019

All that we do and teach at the School of Lost Borders may come down to this simple aim: to tap into the deep memory within ourselves that we as humans are not separate from Nature, that, indeed, we are no different than the land on which we live. To know this simple truth sets us upon the path to becoming “fully human”*. Nevertheless, after centuries of being fed the cultural “Big Lie” that we are different than Nature, separated and above, such a quest is not so easy. As a result, we find ourselves feeling alienated and disconnected from ourselves, from others, and from this place we call home.

The Four Shields model offers us guidance in the form of a map to help us find our way back to our origins on this living planet. This medicine wheel of human nature was handed down to Steven and Meredith in the early days of Lost Borders and has become essential in helping us regain our human wholeness within the wholeness of the Wild.

The Four Shields demonstrates that our lives move with the seasonal cycles and directions found in the natural world all around us, and incorporates all aspects of being: body, psyche, mind, and spirit. It begins in the summer of physical awakening, turns into the fall of our inner depths, moves into the north of our intellect, and emerges in the mysteries of spring. The Four Shields also helps us understand the maladies and symptoms of a life that fails to move in this cyclical way. Thus, the Four Shield provides an excellent diagnostic tool, as well as the means for restoring movement.

During this six-day experiential ceremony, we will dive deep into the Four Shields, evoking each shield through teaching, solo time on the land, council, story-telling, and mirroring. Each shield will reveal its essence and provide a doorway to the next. We will also look at how the Four Shields teaching is used in wilderness rites of passage, and how it can be applied in other therapeutic settings, schools, and organizations. This will be a hands-on, practical program, as well as a time to deepen your practice of becoming more fully human as a being on this Earth.

*See page i of the Preface of Foster & Little, The Four Shields of Human Nature (1989), Lost Borders Press.


The School of Lost Borders has created a sliding scale for all its fast and trainings in an effort to keep our courses affordable to a wide range of people. We set forth no criteria and trust that each individual will pay what they feel is appropriate.

Tuition: $650 - $1150

Deposit: $200
(Non-refundable & non-transferrable unless seminar is cancelled)

Extra Fees: Camping Fees $60


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