Dark Nature: Matrix of Initiatory Growth
Of all the shields of human nature, the dark or fall shield can be at once the most compelling and the most frightening. It calls on us continually to risk everything, to let go of what has come before, to step over the edge, to go where life is lived inwardly in the mansions of feeling, dream, and memory. The dark shield is the threshold of initiation, where what is unimportant falls away, where we change or we become victims of our ways. The time we spend in the dark shield determines our behavior, our character, our destiny, and is largely responsible for our ability to love and those we choose to love.
Throughout life we are being initiated by our natural life cycles, as well as those times of crisis, loss and trauma. These times set us on the path once again of the “hero’s journey” toward further growth and maturation … unless we become caught in the Underworld. The tools of our west shield are essential for successfully navigating these times. During this week we will experientially move around the 4 directions of our west shield, exploring those aspects of our nature necessary to move successfully through these life changes, bringing balance and health back into our own lives, as well as our families and the communities we live in.
Program Overview: This will be a six-day seminar, beginning mid-day of the first day and ending mid-day of the 6th day. We will sit in council each morning; every afternoon you will go alone without food or shelter into the surrounding land to experience this aspect of our nature as body, psyche, mind, and spirit; and in the late afternoons and evenings, we will listen to and learn from the stories brought back.
Program Questions Contact: Meredith Little at [email protected]
Additional course details & Materials
Please plan on meeting in Big Pine, CA on the morning of April 17th to drive together to our basecamp. We will complete our ceremony mid-day on April 22nd. More logistical information will be sent closer to our time of gathering. Always feel free to write if you have questions.
You will be responsible for bringing your own food and equipment, though we can provide some gear if needed. 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.
To address safety concerns during the pandemic, please contact us regarding our current Coronavirus protocols as well as any current travel restrictions. These protocols may affect how you are able to travel to the program. Please note: As of May 2023 there are no longer any vaccination requirements for international travellers seeking entry to the USA.
All participants must submit the required health questionnaire and liability form.
If you have questions about the enrollment process contact us at [email protected] or call 760-938-3333.
There is no required reading for this program.
We will be camping in the remote Eureka Valley an hour east from Big Pine. This valley is land of the Nüümü Tümpisattsi who were forced by white settlers and the US government onto reservations in the area. Bordering Death Valley, this desert valley is wide open and surrounded by the Inyo and Last Chance Mountains, with sand dunes at the south end that are the highest west of the Mississippi.
To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.