Animas Quest Apprenticeship Program
Animas Valley Institute has been offering vision fasts since 1980 and conducting training programs for guides since 1988. Currently, we offer two distinct avenues for apprenticing to the vision fast. One is as a dimension of our comprehensive, multi-year Soulcraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program (SAIP), which has as its primary goal the training of Soul Initiation guides, for whom the vision fast is one of several methods. SAIP includes the option of a track (an emphasis) in Soulcentric Vision Fast Guiding. SAIP provides thorough training in all core areas of soulcraft, many of which are incorporated into the Animas Quest. Please see our full description of SAIP elsewhere on this website.
The other option is our Animas Quest Apprenticeship Program (AQAP), which is described in this brochure and is a one-program-at-a-time approach to apprenticing specifically to the Animas Quest. The AQAP is not a training in soul-initiation guiding (as is SAIP), but rather an introduction to our Animas approach to guiding vision fasts.
The AQAP trainee joins a regularly scheduled Animas Quest, each with two guides/trainers, and learns the structure, components, and dynamics of the quest from direct experience. All candidates for AQAP training must have previously enacted at least one vision fast of their own with either Animas or other experienced guides. Apprentices assist in base camp activities while the questers are out on their solo fast. During this time, there is opportunity for individualized training and consultation between guides and apprentices. There are up to 4 apprentices and 12 fasters on each quest.
More than half of our apprentices are in training to guide quests of their own or already have some experience in guiding. Some, however, come to determine whether or not guiding vision fasts is truly their calling. Others seek to develop skills and sensitivities that will facilitate their work with other related wilderness, ceremonial, or educational programs.