Dark Nature: Matrix of Initiatory Growth


Apr 11th, 2021 - Apr 16th, 2021 | Eureka Valley, California | Meredith Little | Training

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]

To join the waitlist for this program, please fill out this form. No deposit is required to be added to the waitlist.


TUITION: $700 - $1,125

Sliding Scale: To honor the vast difference of financial resources among us, all of our program tuition is based on a sliding scale. We set forth no criteria and ask that you pay what is appropriate for your circumstances and access to financial resources. You can see recommendations on using the sliding scale here. If the low end of the sliding scale is still too much, scholarship assistance is available , please reach out to the office for more info.

Cancellations: Cancellations are hard on the participant, the School, and the guides. We respect the unpredictability of life, and we are diligent about running an organization sustainably.

-If you cancel 60 or more days prior to the start date of your program, you will receive a full refund of any tuition paid, minus any deposits.

-If you cancel 59 days or less prior to the start date of your program, and we can fill your spot, then you will receive a full refund of any tuition paid, minus any deposits.

-If we cannot fill your spot, and you cancel within 59 days of the start of your program, then we hold you accountable for paying the tuition at the lowest end of the sliding scale.

Submit enrollment form

 Please fill out and submit the enrollment form and then pay the program deposit below. Before you pay the deposit, please read deposit section below, all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. After your enrollment form is complete, please submit all health and liability forms.

Pay program deposit

Deposits: This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the tuition balance. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. They cover the work of the specific course you signed up for, including all communication involved as well as the fee that guides pay to the school administration for the course accounting. 

Additional Deposit: Some programs require a second deposit to help us affirm commitments. Last minute cancellations make it hard to fill openings and incur a loss of income to the School and the guides.

Tuition Balance: Balance of tuition can be paid before or upon arrival. Simply deduct any deposits made from the amount you’ve chosen on the sliding scale.

Submit Waitlist form

This program is full; however, you may add your name to the Waitlist by clicking the Waitlist button below.

Additional course details & Materials


Please plan on meeting in Big Pine, CA on the morning of April 11th to drive together to our basecamp. We will complete our ceremony mid-day on April 16th. 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. 

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.

program guides