This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for all who are seeking greater depth and clarity about life purpose and meaning. As a rite of initiation, the quest is a ceremonial descent to the underworld, in which you die to your familiar way of belonging to the world, uncover the passion and wisdom of your soul, and retrieve the gift that is yours alone to bring to the world, enhancing personal fulfillment and genuine service.
The Animas Quest catalyzes the encounter with soul by temporarily displacing everyday consciousness through five primary means: (1) solitude for three or four days and nights while (2) fasting (i.e., drinking water only), (3) being fully exposed to and enfolded within the forms and forces of nature, (4) enacting a series of ceremonies, and (5) employing a set of practices (soulcraft) that support you in crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche.
Most often, our quests take place over a total of 11 days, 8-11 of which are spent in the wilderness. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of preparation activities that enhance your ability to benefit from the fast. The first two and a half days of these five may be held at a retreat center or car-camp before we journey to our wilderness base camp (or, on some programs, remain at our car-camp).
During the five preparation days, we work with dreams, poetry, deep imagery, ceremonial drumming and dance, dialogues with nature, the way of council, and other practices to help us slip out the door of our everyday lives and access our own deeper, wilder currents.
The heart of the quest consists of the solo: three days and nights without human companionship in nature, fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. Upon your return to base camp, there are three days of reincorporation activities, preparing you to embody among your people what you received on your fast. The last of these three days takes place back at the retreat center or car-camp.
No previous backpacking experience is required (in fact, many of those who have quested with us have never before been camping or backpacking).
We ask that couples, family members, or friends not attend this program together.