Workshops and Trainings
Residential Workshops & RetreatsEarth Initiation - a Wilderness Rite of Passage
with Rupert Marques, Amy Clarkson & Margaret MacDonald Kearney
1 - 12 August (starts Thursday evening 6pm)
The greater part of the soul lies outside the body – James Hillman
We used to 'know' our belonging in our bones. As a culture we have grown away from intimacy with the more-than-human world, yet it waits for us. This initiatory journey is an invitation to remember what we deeply belong to, what we have always belonged to.
For much of our story as a people, the wider natural word has long been respected as a necessary partner in initiatory journeys or rites of passage. The land offers itself as mirror, as ally, as fertile container in which to draw close to the roots of our life, to what is important and what so easily can be forgotten in the fullness of contemporary life.
This journey will be divided into the three classic phases of a passage rite: Preparation, Threshold and Incorporation.
The first days serve as our preparation as we come together as a community to clarify our intentions. Here we listen to each other’s stories of where we find ourselves in life and what brings us here. Specifically, we explore in some depth our intention for this passage rite, what is it in our life that is asking to be honoured or marked through an initiatory journey?
The threshold phase will be a traditional four day and night fast held at 'Samach', the ancient woodland near Golspie that is now part of the Anam Cara community. Each person goes alone into this wild landscape (with the support of guides at base camp), without food and minimal external trappings. The threshold time allows for one’s intention to be revealed and to be unfolded in the mirror of Nature. It is a time for self-generated ceremony, for becoming intimately receptive to one's life and for experiencing both the challenge and the beauty of taking our place amongst our relations as a simple human animal on this Earth.
The final days are devoted to incorporation. We share the stories of our threshold time and explore its gifts and implications for the life we return to. We sit in 'story council', sharing our stories and having them mirrored back to us by the community, offering the opportunity to see our individual narrative in a wider context. This can be one of the most touching and heartfelt aspects of our time together: being witnessed and affirmed by those who we have come to know intimately.
Rupert Marques 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.
A practitioner in the Insight meditation tradition for over 20 years, he is interested in how experiences in wild places can serve to open the mind and remind us of what we belong to. "I am interested in how we come to find our place, our sense of belonging in the times we are living through, how we meet the magnitude of the challenges we face in a manner that calls forth our integrity and even our gratitude."
To book: Go to our 'How to Book' page
Maximum participants: 12
For more information contact:
Tel: 01463 711702