Sourcing The Fire | Vision Fast Overview
Sourcing The Fire offers 10 - day long Wilderness Rites of Passage Ceremonies, also known as Vision Fasts, which take their pan-cultural form from the Rites of Passage work offered and taught by the School of Lost Borders located in Big Pine, CA.
The simple yet essential structure of the Vision Fast includes three main components: Severance, Threshold (or Solo Time, which is the actual fast), and Incorporation (which literally means: taking on the body.)
Severance: You will leave your current life behind for the duration of 10 days, severing from work, relationships, house-hold duties, school, and the hectic nature of modern life. You will find yourself in completely new surroundings, forming a new community, and listening to the sounds of the forest, stream, wind, and animals. You enter into the beginning of the ceremony, and sense that your perspective is changing. Your boundaries and walls fading a bit, and your essential questions are coming to the forefront:
What am I really leaving behind? What do I have to offer this world? What is most essential in me that brings life and love? What do I need to let die, so that a new life can be reborn?
Severance includes the first three days of your Vision Fast ceremony. You will be prepared physically, mentally, spiritually, and psychologically to fully dive into the underworld journey of your three day, three night solo fast on the land.
Crucial to a well-rounded understanding of the Vision Fast, is the knowledge that the ceremony encompasses the full 10 days you are participating. The threshold, or solo time is but one crucial component of the whole. The real source of the fire, the heartbeat of the ceremony, is the intention setting process which takes place during the second, and third day.
Intention Setting ~ Having Your Story Witnessed
Rarely are we gifted with the opportunity to sit with a community and know that we are safe to speak from the heart, our own personal truths, and our own life story. Perhaps even more elusive is the space and ability to be truly heard and witnessed, with compassion, and without judgement. As part of each faster's preparation for their solo time, a safe and open space is provided so that each might hone their intention that will support them on their fast. A group of "elders" (those who have been through the ceremony and have come back to offer support, and guidance) will witness this process, questioning, and helping to clarify one's intent.
Threshold: You will rise at dawn on the fourth morning of the ceremony, observing the silence that leads you to the stone threshold constructed the day before. You will be smudged out, sent as "spirit" into the liminal space of your solo time. You carry a strong intention with you, and the guides will hold space for you at base camp during your three day/three night solo. No one can tell you what your threshold experience will, or should look like. You will engage in your solo time in the way that will best serve you and your intention. Solo time out on the land may include: prayer, listening, silence, dancing, singing, dreaming, journaling, art making, sitting with boredom, creation of ceremony and ritual, walking, learning from the Land, and ultimately metaphorically dying to your old self, and being reborn.
When you return the fourth morning, you will carry your own deeply personal story and wisdom back to the group. You will step back into the real world, at once the same person, and radically transformed, even if this transformation will take many months to fully express itself in your life. You will return with a vision of your new life. You return having sourced your own fire. One thing we have seen to be true time and again during the ceremony is this: You may or may not get what you want from the ceremony, but if you jump in with both feet, you will get what you need.
Upon returning from the threshold, you will have some time to rest, relax, bathe, and celebrate your accomplishments. This is also a time to let your story from the past few days ferment, and gestate before you are given the opportunity to share with the group the telling of your solo time story. During the story time process, the guides will both affirm your new state in life, and offer a mirror of your story, helping to bring even more depth and clarity to your fast. The purpose of this story telling time is to ensure that your vision is taken on as fully as it can be at this point, in order that you might live it out completely for your people you return to. As Edison said: "Vision, without execution, equals hallucination." What you do with the vision you find, and how you bring it off the mountain and into the world is the ultimate test you will face.