Each breath draws you deeper down, further in, toward the belly button of your true nature. Each breath expands outward, opening you to awareness of a multitudinous belonging in the web of life. The pulsating rhythm of breath leads you in a spiraling dance.
The Spiral Journey is a quest designed for those courageous and vulnerable individuals whose previous experience in nature-based soul work compels them deeper into the mystery. The Spiral Journey awaits those who already hear mystery whispering in their day and night dreams, in unusual occurrences and encounters, in water or wind, and whose profound longing is to sense and navigate life by these deep currents. The Spiral Journey is not intended as healing, therapy or an improvement of the life we are already living, and neither is it designed for those who are simply exasperated, fed up, or who have “tried everything else.”
The Spiral Journey Quest is offered for those of you who are ready to fall so deeply into your longing and lament that your old story — as good as it is — might crack, revealing the deeper strata wherein a new story, rooted in mystery, may blossom and flourish. The guides will be supportive and lovingly fierce in facilitating an ego-dismembering encounter with the Sacred Other; the guides will be lovingly fierce in encouraging the conscious emergence of your own unique, mysterious essence that longs for full expression in the world — an expression the world simultaneously longs for (and needs).
This Spiral Journey is for those who have previously quested with us, have participated in at least two Animas programs, or have had significant previous experience in nature-based soul work, however, these things do not guarantee admittance to the Spiral Journey. An application is required. If you are intrigued but not certain that the Spiral Journey is for you, perhaps you might begin by responding to the application questions — it’s possible you’ll catch yourself surprising yourself — and thereby know if the Spiral Journey is longing for you…
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.
The Spiral Journey Quest will take place over a total of 11 days spent in the Latvian forest. We will begin at The Station and then move out as a group to a campsite in the forest. Preceding your time of solitude are several days of preparation activities that enhance your ability to benefit from the fast. 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 or four 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 Station.
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 not attend this program together.
This is an application-based Quest.