Earth, isn’t this what you want? To arise in us, invisible?
Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly
there’s nothing left outside us to see?
What, if not transformation,
is your deepest purpose? Earth, my love,
I want it too. Believe me,
no more of your springtimes are needed
to win me over—even one flower
is more than enough. Before I was named
I belonged to you. I see no other law
but yours, and know I can trust
the death you will bring.
See, I live. On what?
Childhood and future are equally present.
Sheer abundance of being
floods my heart.
From THE NINTH DUINO ELEGY
by Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Anita Burrows & Joanna Macy)
This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for you who are longing to step off-trail, take leave from the conventional knowledge of the village, break from the marching step of clock-time and sink your roots into the deep green expanse of forest consciousness and the dreaming of earth. Not for a ‘holiday’. But for the holy privilege to respond to a primordial call from deep inside to break open wide your heart to earth’s wild wisdom, uncover the passion and wisdom of your soul, and consciously embody the particular and unique gift that is yours to live into the world in service to life; inhabit your place of belonging.
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. 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.
This quest will take place over a total of 11 days. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of preparation activities to support you to become more permeable and vulnerable to the touch of the wild world upon you and let yourself be changed.
During the first five preparation days at the Station in Luzna, we will open to the mysterious Dreaming that comes through our night dreams, deep imagination and edge of consciousness. We will work with poetry, ceremonial trance drumming and dance, dialogues and sacred reciprocity with nature, the way of council, and other practices to help us slip out of the skins of our everyday lives and access deeper, wilder currents of nature and psyche.
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 gestating 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.