A woman's journey is both vigorous and introspective. As she covers ground outwardly, so she ventures deep within herself. Stirred by nature’s calling to be creative and complete, and beckoned by an irresistible urge to cross personal boundaries, she travels the path of her unique destiny. Her passions and gifts are her map. Psyche is her guide. Dreams are her nourishment. Perhaps, it is the intensity of her innate connection to the cycles of nature, to fertility and death, and the ever pull of the moon that prompts her to undertake this passage to reconnect to the sensual and mysterious nature of the feminine. She goes alone, with an empty belly and a bare minimum of equipment, into the heart of the wilderness, for four days and nights. There she lives with herself, in perfect solitude. She looks into the mirror of nature and sees herself. She ponders the questions:Who am I? Who are my people? What is my intent in this life? She wanders along the edges of loneliness, where vision lies waiting. She drinks at the springs of emptiness and is filled with self-knowing. What is unimportant falls away. The life that must be lived lies ahead. . .
The goddess, the all-powerful deity of fertility,
represents the creative power which resides in all female things.
Severance: The eleven-day ceremony involves four days of preparation, four days and nights of fasting alone in a wilderness place, and three days of incorporation (elders circle). Two vibrant elder women will be your guides. 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). Preparation will also include the study of symbols, archetypes and ways common to vision fasts and rites of passage the world over.
Threshold: The time of fasting and aloneness will take place in the Galisto Basin near Santa Fe, NM. 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 through creative expression. 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 in a ceremony of gratitude, and then return to a life lived with new understanding.
Time & Location: We will hold camp among the Pinyon and Juniper strewn landscape near Cochiti Lake, NM. We encourage people to arrive on May 14, the night before we officially start. The group will then come together for its first meeting at 10:00 a.m. on May 15. We will complete our ceremony on the afternoon of May 26.
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.