2018: June 21-25 (Open to All Adults)
Basecamp Guide: Keely Owens
Smoke Hole Gorge, WV
5-Day Workshop: 10am Fri - 2pm Mon
Wilderness Rite of Passage
$300 Suggested Price (Sliding Scale: $200 - $400)
Timeline for Wilderness Solo Experience
May - Commit to Solo: Begin 'Severance' Phase. Key Task: Explore Intention.
June 4 - Check In With Intention
June 21 - Drive to Gorge, Explore & Strengthen Intention, Choose Spot.
June 22 (Dawn) - June 24 (Dusk) - Solo
June 24 - Reincorporation Feast
June 24-25 - Sunrise Anchoring Vigil
June 25 - Mirroring Circle
June 25 - Return Home: Begin 'Reincorporation' Phase. Key Task: Enacting Your Vision.
About the Solos
Rites of passage are a powerful tool to support significant, meaningful change in a person's life. A strong identity is a critical thing for survival in society, but from time to time throughout our lives, our identity needs to undergo change. The need for change might be due to a change in life status or circumstances, might be in response to a major loss or gain, may be an act of healing a self-defining wound, or may be a call to grow into a previously unexpressed part of one's potential. Sometimes relationship turbulence or mental health unrest can signal that there is a need for this kind of change to one's identity; other times it feels more like a longing. The problem is, it is very difficult to make major change without retreating from the network of social relationships and daily habits that hold one's identity in place. It requires a special type of withdrawal, an exiting of the known world in order to re-enter as someone new. Rites of passage, found in the heritage of all cultures, are designed to support this creative withdrawal and reconnection. But this kind of rite of passage is largely lost to modern society. Instead, the withdrawal is usually achieved through depression, distraction, and addiction.
Based on the model developed by Stephen Foster and Meredith Little through the School of Lost Borders, the Smoke Hole Gorge Wilderness Solo is an opportunity to undertake a modern rite of passage. The rite itself involves spending three days alone in the woods of West Virginia's Smoke Hole Gorge, without food and distractions, and with minimal shelter from the elements. You will be prepared physically for the experience, as well as prepared mentally to use the time to fully explore the change you are making in your identity. On the evening of the third day, you will return to a feast to break your fast, and then on the final morning you will tell your story, and prepare to return home to begin to live according to your new identity and new purpose.
The rite of passage experience will support the change you want to make in your life, both by itself and through the preparations you will be called upon to make in your life to get ready for it. If you feel like you are called to pursue a rite of passage this June, contact Keely to explore this opportunity further.