We live in a world marked by borders. We have borders between continents, between people, even between our own hearts and minds. Perhaps one of the most pervasive borders is the one we have placed between ourselves and nature, and the ensuing belief that the natural world is both deaf and mute. We live as if we were no longer informed by the seasons of change: the ebb and flow of the river, the movement of the stars, the waxing and waning of the moon. We have also lost touch with our natural transitions and the ceremonial rites of passage, mirrored by nature, that move us from one stage of life to the next. Like the seasons, we too change, and we need ceremonies to mark and celebrate our movement through these changes. The Big Lie is that humans are not a part of nature. Or even more so, that humans are not nature.
The modern day vision quest is a border crossing practice, an opportunity to reclaim our true place in the natural world. When one steps across the threshold and into the unknown wilderness, boundaries begin to dissolve and our vision begins to expand. The threshold place is a dreamscape, where anything might become pregnant with meaning, and nature, once again, speaks to us in the voices of rock, tree, and wind. Following the ancient pathway of this rite of passage, we step into our true nature and remember our home among the wild. We become who we were born to be. And so, we ask: Do you hear the movement of the river? Do you hear the singing of your sacred ancestors? Are you being summoned to the Land of Lost Borders?
This ceremony involves several days of preparation, 4 days and nights of fasting alone in a wilderness place, and a few days of incorporation:
PREPARATION: You will be readied physically, psychologically, mentally, and spiritually, that you might fully benefit from this experience of fasting alone in the wilderness. You will be given an ancient means of looking into the mirror of nature (“The Four Shields”). Preparation will also include the study of symbols, archetypes and ways common to vision fasts and rites of passage.
SOLO FAST: You will cross the threshold and enter into your ceremony, making it your own. You will fast alone in the wilderness as so many have done before. Your teachers will maintain a safe perimeter around the area and make sure you have sufficient provisions. Safety is our utmost concern and you will be given the tools necessary to support your well-being.
INCORPORATION: During the final days, we will join together for the sharing of stories. The guides will listen, help you to understand, and challenge you to give your vision practical feet—to live the life you have rightfully claimed as your own! When all the stories have been told, we will celebrate together before you return to your community with new understanding.
We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the
wilderness, which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the
point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. —Marcel Proust
Time & Location: We will hold camp among the Pinyon and Juniper strewn landscape of the Inyo Mountains near Big Pine. We ask people to arrive on Monday, July 30th – an optional dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. and the openin council will take place at 7:00. Please allow time to also set up your tent before we meet in circle. We will complete our ceremony on the afternoon of August 11th.
Practical preparation: The School makes no provisions for meals or equipment. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather. We request all participants to purchase the vision fast handbook, “The Trail to the Sacred Mountain” available from Lost Borders Press (www.lostborderspress.com). Consult this resource for a detailed equipment list to help with preparation.
“’The School of Lost Borders’
operates under permit on the Inyo National Forest.”