Date & Time Details: September 25 - October 6,2023 - Start Time 6pm End Time 1pm

Location: Aravaipa Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Contact: [email protected]

What To Bring: This is an all camping quest. Participants are responsible for their personal camping/backpacking gear. Please CLICK HERE for our Quest Equipment List.

Meals : Participants are responsible for bringing their own lunches and snacks - breakfasts and dinners will be provided by our gourmet caterer. There will be more detailed information in the prep materials sent out prior to the start.

Sliding Scale Price: $2,800.00 to $3,500.00

Into the Dark Womb – Sonoran Desert Women’s Quest – September, 2023

September 25 - October 6, 2023

With Laura Blakeman, Ph.D. and Laura Gunion

The application deadline for this immersion has passed and the program is full. If you would like to still apply, please do so, and the guides will review your application if a cancellation occurs.

Women, do you hear a great love call singing within your bones? A call from the earth, the cosmos and the ancestors, asking you to fully inhabit your true place within the earth community and protect the web of life?

We invite you to join us in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Arizona for a contemporary Western enactment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast ceremony and wilderness rite. This is a unique ceremonial gathering designed specifically and intentionally for women-identified humans seeking greater connection, depth, and clarity about life purpose and meaning.

This Quest is intended to serve as a portal through which women might enter into the Dark Womb—a ‘place’ of fertile dreamtime, transformative darkness and profound mystery. In this place, you’ll be supported to render yourself beautifully vulnerable to mystical encounter– soul encounter– that may very well ask you to let go of the life and world you have known, until now… While this is a solitary journey, you will co-weave and be woven into a ceremonial web with other women who are similarly choosing to risk at this level, while also trusting that the embryonic seed of your deeper life is viable and vital, and with devoted tending will emerge.  In entering the portal of the Dark Womb you are gifting yourself with the opportunity to encounter the dreaming earth and cosmos, the mysteries of this living-dying world, and the soul images that source your soul-rooted belonging in this life. Your commitment to this ceremony is a recognition that there are truths and potent contributions meant to be born through you that are too precious to be hidden from this world any longer. 

We are called to offer this quest out of a recognition that there is an increasing number of women who are reconnecting to their innate wild, erotic, and embodied power—a power that is reflected in the patterns, cycles, and forces of nature. We are bearing witness to more and more women who are encountering symbols, images, and archetypes that are connected to the ancient feminine mysteries–an indication that our collective evolutionary moment is ripe for the (re)emergence of the vital and multifaceted powers and perceptions that can be birthed from womankind. We craft this journey from the knowing that the times we are living in require powerful and soulful embodiments by women, as we join forces with the living intelligence of earth and cosmos to birth a new era for humanity.

This quest will take place over a total of 12 days. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of guided preparation activities that enhance your ability to slip supplely into the waiting tomb-womb of your solo time. During these preparation days we work with dreams, poetry, deep imagery, ceremonial drumming and dance, dialogues with nature, and the way of council. We enact a series of ceremonies and employ various other soulcraft practices to help us slip out the door of our everyday lives and cross into the mysteries of nature, psyche, and the deep feminine.

The heart of the quest consists of the solo: three days and nights without human companionship in nature, while fasting (or, partaking in ceremonial nourishment), while being fully exposed to and enfolded within the forms and forces of nature and, while engaging in personal ceremonies. Under the magnificence of the Sonoran Desert sky you’ll surely find yourself in a womanly web of solitude; vibrating with individual and collective praise and grief, longing, and deep lament. Perhaps you will listen as if your one true life, and even life on earth, depends upon birthing a vision from the mysteries of the Dark Womb?

Upon your return to base camp, there will be 2 ½ days of reincorporation activities, preparing you, preparing each other, to embody among your people what you received on your journey. Women, we cannot and do not make this journey alone…

Note: This is an all camping event, and you will need a backpacking pack to walk out into the landscape with your gear for the 3 day and night solo part of this ceremony.

We ask that couples, family members, or friends not attend this program together.

Perhaps you would particularly benefit from this opportunity to participate in a radical ceremonial container woven with the intentions of women within the magical dreamtime landscape of the Arizona desert. If you are so called, please step forward and make your application so we can discern together whether this quest would serve you and if this is the time. We would feel honored and blessed to guide and hold you. 

Although this is an application-based program, we invite ALL to apply!



Nestled at the foot of Brandenburg Mountain, Aravaipa Canyon Ranch invites you to a quiet getaway for reflection, healing and spiritual renewal. Miles of secluded, ever-changing terrain in the midst of natural, pristine beauty unfold to the accompaniment of the singing waters of Aravaipa Creek, one of Arizona’s all-year-round streams. For more information, go to




Laura Blakeman, Ph.D.
Laura Blakeman is a southwest desert-dweller who draws from her unique trans-disciplinary background in the performing arts, and her lifelong study of human flourishing, to invite worldview shift for individuals and collectives across the corporate and cultural sectors. She spent the early part of her life working as a somatic educator, producing dance events, live art immersions, and land-based programs that centered marginalized ways of knowing, doing, and being. Her academic work has bridged integral, developmental, and eco-depth psychology, complexity and systems theory, and transformative learning. Her doctoral thesis explored beauty as a catalyst for change. She is a co-founder…
Learn more about Laura Blakeman, Ph.D.
Laura Gunion
Laura believes that humans have tremendous potential, much of it hidden and unconscious. As a mentor, wilderness guide and naturalist, it is both her privilege and responsibility to support others as they encounter their true nature. She feels it’s essential that we grow, not only for ourselves, but also to create cultures that will benefit future generations. She insists on bringing the soulful and sacred into daily living. Her curiosity, acute listening, and precise questioning support people in living boldly and courageously. Laura has been a mentor at Wilderness Awareness School since 2002, and continues to love instructing at their…
Learn more about Laura Gunion