Becoming Human: The Four Shields Model of Nature-Based Therapeutics (Full with waitlist)

May 16th, 2021 - May 21st, 2021
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“If there were a measure of ‘mental health’, it would involve the ability of individuals to grow into the fullness of each season – that is, the ability to fully become, or enact, the contents of each shield.”


- Steven Foster and Meredith Little


All that we do and teach at the School of Lost Borders may come down to this simple intention: to tap into the deep memory that we not separate from Nature, that, indeed, we are no different from 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” which asserts that we are different from Nature – separated and above – such a path is not so clearly marked. 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, 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 that occur, for whatever reason, when the natural cycles become hindered in our lives. Thus, the Four Shield provides an excellent diagnostic tool, as well as the means for restoring movement and wholeness.    

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 shield. 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 Earth.

Time & Location: We will hold camp along the flowing waters and sweet mugwort at Baker Creek Campground located in Big Pine, CA. We will begin at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 17th and finish by early afternoon on May 22nd. We ask that you arrive before dark on May 16th to set up your camp and be ready to begin the following morning. 

Practial 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 will set up a simple kitchen and provide water for drinking and washing. 



The School of Lost Borders has created a sliding scale for all its programs 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.

Scholarships are available.

Tuition: $650 - $1150

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

Extra Fees: Camping Fees $65-75 (Dependent on group size and # of vehicles)


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