In your bones you hear the singing of your sacred ancestors. You follow in their footsteps. You go alone, with an empty belly and a bare minimum of equipment, into the heart of the wilderness, for four days and nights. There you live with yourself, in perfect solitude. You surrender to the mirror of your wild environment, and to memory, the looks-within-place. You enter the mansions of nature’s soul. You ponder the questions: “Who am I?” “Who are my people?” and “What is my intent?” You wander the precincts of loneliness, where vision lies waiting. You drink at the springs of your soul and are filled with self-recognition. What is not important falls away. The work that must be done lies ahead.
The twelve day ceremony involves four days of preparation, four days and nights of fasting alone in a wilderness place, and four days of incorporation. You will be readied to physically, psychologically, mentally, and spiritually benefit from the experience of fasting alone in the wilderness. You will be given an ancient means of looking into the mirror of nature (the Four Shields).
Threshold: The time of fasting and aloneness will take place at Hole in the Wall, Death Valley. Your teachers will maintain a safe perimeter around the area while you are alone and make sure you have sufficient water. Another person will fast nearby. The two of you will be “buddies,” each day leaving assurance of your well-being at a stone pile erected along the borders of your respective areas.
Incorporation: You will return to human companionship and a feast. In the council of elders you will confirm the attainment of a new maturity. With the others, you will tell your story. The elders will listen, help you to understand, and challenge you to give your vision practical feet -- to live the life you have earned. When all the stories have been told, you will celebrate with the others and then return to a life lived with new understanding.
Accommodations: We will meet at 11 AM on Feb 6th at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center and then drive out to our base-camp as a group. There is a $20 entrance fee that will need to be paid upon arrival. Come prepared to live and camp simply. We will provide a small camp kitchen for everyone’s use. 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.