"The greater part of the soul lies outside the body" – James Hillman
Throughout the human story people have made use of wilderness and the ‘mirror of nature’ as a means of gaining clarity in life or marking significant life transitions. Individuals have crossed the threshold into wild places to attend more closely to the movement of soul, to remember what is at one’s core, what is most important.
In this program we will embark on a wilderness threshold crossing from dawn to dusk, going without company, food or shelter for this duration. Even though we go out alone, the traditional support for such crossings has invariably been the community.
The day before the threshold crossing, we work each individual’s ‘intent’, exploring where we find ourselves in life and what draws us to a threshold crossing at this time. The day after the threshold we sit in story council to hear what has come back from the land, sharing our stories and having them mirrored back to us, offering the opportunity to see our individual narrative in a wider context, together with the gifts and implications for the life we return to.
This work is based on the premise of our seamless belonging to the wider natural world, and a further support for our work is using a four directions wheel (an eco-centric model of human development) to contextualize our experience. In this way we see that attending to our own souls is not separate from remembering our place in our human community as well as our belonging to the wider natural world. One of the most touching and heartfelt aspects of this ceremony is witnessing how these threads of soul, community and land all weave together in a mutually beneficially manner.
This course will be of particular benefit for those offering any type of wilderness solo to their people through exploring tools for creating a conductive container that attends to all three phases of a solo journey: preparation, threshold and incorporation. In particular participants will be exposed to the following elements of working with the wilderness solo or wilderness threshold crossing:
• The practice of ‘Council’
• Shaping and honing of ‘intent’ as a foundation for threshold experiences
• The four Directions of Human Nature – an eco-centric wheel of human development.
• The nature of self-generated ceremony and the role of threshold crossing.
• Experientially understanding Nature as mirror and guide
• The role and art of Mirroring for empowerment.
• Physical safety during the Threshold time
Course leader: Rupert Marques
Rupert has worked within the field of experiential environmental education for the past fifteen years with an emphasis in outdoor education. He trained extensively and subsequently worked as a guide with the School of Lost borders in the U.S. offering contemporary wilderness rites of passage. From 2016-2019 Rupert lived and worked at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to supporting social justice and ecological sustainability. At Ecodharma Rupert directed the Nature based Practice strand of work, marrying contemplative practice with a range of approaches within the field of experiential ecopsychology.
Food: evening meals & simple breakfasts included
Accommodation: Participants will be camping in a wild location in the Dart Valley, Dartmoor.
What to bring: camping gear (tent; sleeping bag/mat; torch etc); food for 3 x lunches plus any snacks. NB Full details including kit list and joining instructions will be provided on booking
How to book:
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