NM Women’s Vision Fast
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, the land her friend. 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. . .
Program Overview: Severance: The 12 day ceremony involves four days of preparation, four days and nights of fasting alone in a wilderness place, and four days of incorporation. 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 on Ghost Ranch Land above the Rio Chama, near Abiquiu, NM. This is the landscape of painter Georgia O’Keefe. It is a place of raw and intense beauty as well as kind whispering winds and souring birds. Your guides 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 story council, you will confirm the attainment of a new maturity, a new stage of life. 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, we will celebrate with a celebration dinner.
Program Questions Contact: Emerald North at [email protected]
Additional course details & Materials
Time & Location: We will meet at the group camp at Cochiti Lake campground, among the Pinion and Juniper strewn landscape. We encourage people to arrive on May 16th, the night before we officially start. The group will then come together for its first meeting at 10:00 a.m. on May 17th. We will complete our ceremony on the afternoon of May 28th. ADDITIONAL FEES: Camping Fees TBD. All additional fees will be communicated by guides and collected at the time of the program.
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 November 2021, unvaccinated international travelers are not currently permitted entry to the USA as per current CDC Guidelines.
Cochiti Lake is ancestral and contemporary lands of the Cochiti Pueblo people. The Cochiti people are thought to be descended from the Ancestral Puebloans. They settled in this area around 1250AD. Life under Spanish rule was harsh with endless mandatory tributes, the banning of traditional religious practices, slavery, and false imprisonment. The Cochiti participated in the Pueblo revolts of 1680. Afterward, they fled to their present-day village. In 1696, the Spanish came back and completely destroyed the pueblo. The Ghost Ranch was once Ancestral Puebloan territory. The Tewa Pueblo, Apache, Navajo and Ute peoples lived on and traveled through these lands for thousands of years. In 1766, the land was granted to a Spanish conquistador. Spanish rule in these lands consisted of unspeakable horrors and loss for Native Peoples. They were forced onto reservations by the US army as it took control of New Mexico in the mid 1800's.
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