There comes a time when you must leave family, friends and work behind and go off
alone, looking within to discover your purpose and your gifts. A modern enactment of
an ancient ceremony, the quest enables men and women to engage in a sacred
journey in three stages: release of an old life, stepping across the threshold of sacred
time and space, and return to the world reborn. The Rites of Passage Vision Quest will
provide core teachings and practices for this journey into the mythic world.
We have incorporated the ancient pan-cultural components of a vision quest or vision
fast in designing a program for people living in our contemporary society. Our staff
are guides and teachers, serving to mirror and support participants by helping them
first to prepare for their solo, and then to understand and integrate their experience.
The quest can help you find purpose and vision at any life stage—for example coming
into adulthood, finding a soulful work path, preparing for marriage or children, healing
of old wounds, or entering elder-hood.
The program follows the principles of the Four Directions teachings:
South: Leaving everything behind and trusting the leap of faith.
West: Listening to one’s own inner voice and guides to find strength and support for
the journey, moving through fears, and descending to the realm of dream and vision.
North: Claiming the power of the journey as an adult, one capable of living one’s inner
East: Recognizing a connection to one’s own guiding spirit and the spirit of nature, a freedom and wildness that can be best experienced in solitude.
FIVE CORE ELEMENTS OF THE WILDERNESS QUEST
The Wilderness Quest program has five core elements that serve as both challenges and supports for the journey: Solitude, immersion in nature, fasting, and community.
Solitude has been a part of mystical and initiatory paths throughout human history. It puts us in touch with ourselves and our world, inviting us to discover our own deepest nature and to open ourselves to the richness of our inner soul life.
2. IMMERSION IN NATURE
Immersion in nature takes us back to the truth, that we are part of the Great Mystery and not separate. We return to our place in the natural world with humility and gratitude, finding renewal and reflection in the wonder of creation.
Fasting is another ancient cross-cultural practice, one that opens the mind and heart. Most people are able to fast during the solo period of the Wilderness Quest, generally 3 days. This practice can be modified for people who cannot fast.
4. PAN-CULTURAL TEACHINGS
In our work, we apply practices and teachings drawn from more than 40 years’ experience guiding rites of passage in nature, including the Four Directions teachings (given to Rites of Passage by a Native American teacher); dialogue with the natural world; singing, chanting, and dancing; journaling; and other eco-psychological practices. We also teach and model ceremonial practices, such as the all-night vigil on the final night of the solo, and personal ceremony for quest participants.
Traditional rites of passage always take place in the context of community. The gifts of understanding, love and compassion that flow from the ceremony help renew and nourish the whole of society. On the Rites of Passage Wilderness Quest program, we work to develop community in the field, so that group members feel safe to speak from the heart, knowing that the container of community will safely hold them. This allows for deep sharing and witnessing; from there, the healing circle of community is carried home to loved ones, and out into the world.
MEET THE FACILITATORS
After she qualified as a psychologist, Salomie wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and started to explore more alternative therapies, where she realised how closely everything is connected.
Circumstances dictated that she not complete her PhD, and during her Vision Quest in 2006 she receive the insight that there is so much more to life than academic achievements. She discovered her vision to build a place where people could be in nature and still enjoy all the luxuries of everyday living.
She currently practice Integrated Healing, and is constantly amazed by the connections of the muscles and body. Drawing from her own experience, she decided that it is her calling to help people learn from their own difficulties and path in order to connect to their higher self. She has a gift of teaching others that great healing and wellbeing can come through pain and turbulence, which have the ability to lead you to your inner vision and the answers inside.
From her years of practising as a psychologist, she learned that people are stuck in their own life stories and need a few adjustments to make life easier and feel free again. Salomie loves to work with different facets of life, using various methods and modalities to guide people.
When she started to build the house in nature, Leopards Rock, she envisioned a place where healing can take place – where guests can feel special and enjoy relaxing activities like spending some time in the sauna, jacuzzi or simply in solitude. While building the house, she discover that whatever you need or want is within yourself, if you trust enough to let go.
Chrisna began her spiritual journey when her son was diagnosed with ADD. She decided after two years that Ritalin was doing more damage than good to her son. It wasn't an easy journey, but she persevered. She completed every course under the sun, reading every book possible. She qualified as a reiki master, body spin facilitator, mind coach, more to life facilitator and international kundalini yoga instructor. She is a qualified kinesiologist.
Chrisna runs a practice where she helps children who are not fitting into the mainstream to find themselves, and gives them the tools they need to cope in everyday life. She is also passionate about teaching women The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
The difference she makes in the lives of others brings her great fulfillment, and she is living her dream every day. She has a yoga studio in her house where people practise yoga and tai chi every day. She loves working with her sister, and together they combine their specialities perfectly. While she focuses on the raw, vegetarian food, her sister specialises more in the psychological work.
Chrisna sees a child in every person who wants to play. She keeps herself open to the higher force in life, and works closely with Native American practices and philosophies.