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The ceremony of Wilderness Fast has long been practiced in indigenous cultures to assist with major life transitions. It is a deeply transformative experience in which participants spend four days out of ten alone on the land with no food and a minimum of material comforts. The three stages of rite of passage are guided by experienced facilitators.
Stage One is Severance: Letting go of all ordinary comforts and concerns in order to enter fully into the realm of Spirit. This begins when one makes the commitment to take part in the ceremony. It deepens as the time of fasting approaches, and occurs in its fullness when the individual is smudged out of the medicine wheel and begins their time alone on the land. Stage Two is Threshold: This means “no longer in the human realm but entering fully into the realm of Spirit.” During the four days of fasting, one is alone with Spirit and fully open to the messages of Mother Earth and the Spirit world. Stage Three is Incorporation: The individual re-enters the human world and now the real vision quest begins, as the experience is processed, metabolized, and integrated into ordinary life.
(Counts as 20 contact hours toward the Ecopsychology Certificate.)
Carol Parker, Ph.D., LPCC, is the former director of the Transformational Eco-Psychology Certificate Program. She is trained as a Wilderness Fast guide with the School of Lost Borders and has studied with indigenous healers from the Amazon and the Andes. Since 1997 she has led groups to sacred sites in the southwestern US, Peru, Hawaii and the Yukon. Katherine Ninos, M.A., LPCC, is Executive Vice President of Southwestern College, and Director of The New Earth Institute. She is an experienced clinician, ceremonialist and consciousness teacher.