Reclaiming wholeness: a wilderness retreat
A Contemporary Vision Quest for re-claiming your true place in the Web of Life
17 - 26 August, 2018 (South Slovenia)
We live in times of immense personal and global shifts. Daily, we experience small and large deaths, which are also opportunities for evolutionary shifts in our lives.
Inspired by ancient rite-of-passage traditions, we offer a guided process in which you can explore what no longer serves you, and what new wants to be born through you – in a brave, non-judgmental space that evokes self-trust, self-care and self-responsibility. The wildness and beauty of nature act as mirrors and allies in this quest, inviting us into re-wilding our souls.
This experience might be for you if you find yourself in one of the following life dynamics:
- You are going through a major life transition (family, relationship or career change; new life stage; significant loss ...)
- You are wondering what makes you you - and what your unique gift to the world might be
- You are longing for some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of civilization: to slow down and reconnect to what really matters – which will help you make better decisions in life
- You long for the re-wilding of your soul; for life elixir, vision and self-healing
- You work as coach, guide, trainer, consultant, facilitator – and would like to learn nature-based ceremonies to facilitate your clients’ transformations
This process follows the lineage of the School of Lost Borders, which has been offering contemporary wilderness rites of passage for over 40 years; and with whom your guides have been trained.
It does not adhere to any particular denomination, race or creed; it is a pancultural form with ancient roots to which you bring your own values, beliefs, and faiths.
Guides or ‘midwives’ will safely guide you through a three-stage ceremony; in community with other questers; with nature and wilderness as your ally and partners.
The three stages in this ten-day ceremony are:
Severance: 2 to 3 days preparation (with group support),
Threshold: three to four days alone fasting in the wilds
Incorporation: integration of your experience while witnessed by community
Severance: You will be invited to self-reflect on your own life, with the help of an ancient mirror of human nature (the Four Shields). Through reflective walks, guided imagery, council meetings, story crafting and storytelling, you will sharpen your intent for your solo time in nature.
You will also re-claim a reverend relationship with nature for a safe solo (threshold) time.
Threshold: You are invited to go alone, with no food and minimal shelter, into the heart of the wilderness, for three/four days and nights. There you live in solitude, supported by nature; listening to the answers within and without: “Who am I?” “Who are my people?” and “What is my intent?”
Once you step across the threshold, everything is pregnant with meaning: nature, once again, speaks to us in the voices of rock, tree, wind, water; offering answers to your deepest questions and prayers.
While you are fasting in wilderness, 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 presence of fellow-questers and guides, you will confirm the attainment of a new maturity. The guides 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 and then return to a life lived with new consciousness, clarity and power.
When: August 17 to August 26, 2017. Please plan to arrive by 5 pm on August 17. The programme will finish on August 26 by 2 pm.
Where: The wilderness quest will be hosted in wonderful wild land in South Slovenia (ca 90 min drive from Ljubljana Airport or 120 min from Zagreb Airport). Support will be offered to self-organise car-sharing from Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital.
Ethics: We hold Earth to be sacred. We respect, protect, and conserve her, leaving as little trace as possible of our sojourn. We construct and maintain safe frameworks for the wilderness quest. Wilderness safety procedures are taught to all participants.
Pre-conditions: You do not need to be experienced in any wilderness, council or other practice. Being without food for a few days is highly encouraged and a fundamental part of the programme. Fasting is generally less difficult than people expect. Participants should be in good physical and mental condition, and come to the quest with an adequate health insurance (valid in Slovenia, a European Union member state).
Language: The main working language will be English. Support can be offered in Slovenian or German.
How to prepare: You will be asked to do some preparation work that will help you be fully ready for the wilderness experience. Part of preparation is a conversation with one of the guides, to sharpen your intention for the quest. We recommend reading the The trail to the Sacred Mountain, a handbook for this work.
What to bring: The quest will take place in any weather conditions. A detailed list of equipment (clothes, backpack, tarp …) will be sent to all who are interested in joining the quest.
You will be asked to prepare your own meals before and after the solo (Threshold) time – except for the welcoming supper and the breakfast upon return from your solo time. There will be a chance to re-stock on essential food if needed for the Incorporation phase.
How much: As an exchange for what you receive, we propose a sliding scale of EUR 650 - EUR 950. We trust your own sense as to what you want to contribute - finding a proper balance between your financial circumstances and support to the guides. Your place is secured once you pay a deposit of 250 EUR.
If you feel called but need additional financial help, please get into a dialogue with us.
The fee covers quest the preparation and guidance as well as a very basic accommodation in wilderness before and after the solo (Threshold) time; in bunk-bed style rooms sleeping up to six people. There is plenty of space to pitch your tent if you want more privacy.
The food is not included in the fee except for the first supper together and the breakfast after the solo time. Each participant brings their own food; meals can then be created individually or collectively if the group so wishes.