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distillation: the process of purifying and extracting the spirit, the essence

Updated: May 1

Winter to Spring Newsletter 2020 Dear, Allies,

The transition from winter to spring is one of distillation. The structures, the stories of our time, the maps, forms, and communal ties all go through the process of distillation. Similarly, the movement between winter to spring can be likened to movement of the fire which dissolves the forms, structures, and what has been carried to the fire to be released and renewed into formless. The great abyss of the unknown can certainly be a confusing time and one of grief, and our hearts go out to all.  The questions to ask ourselves are, what is being distilled? What does it feel like to lean into the great unknown? What inner gift is essential and needed to be distilled, purified, and renewed in this new transition—what is the inner song that serves in tending to the warmth and renewing pulse of the fire? Complexities of emotions sometimes arise at thresholds: confusion, grief, fear, excitement, passion, hope. How are we tending to the seasons of the dark, the soil, the compost, the quiet? Renewal is conceived in the formless, if we go there. Globally, humanity is experiencing this deep transition—we are alive in a time where we are facing great peril: climate change, global pandemic, the greatest threat of extinction, the collapse of dominant-paradigms, disregard for diversity, soil, voices. We have been living in a time of stories in which actions springing from beliefs of separation within our human species to be considered righteous, preferred, powerful, dominate, and necessary, and any sense of connection of radical, honest, whole, evolving, conscious relationship with humans or nature—has been—in a societal way, obsolete, archaic, and objectified. I agree with Joanna Macy (2014) who believes that the greatest danger of our time is not climate change or species extinction; the greatest danger is the deadening of our hearts and bodies. The greatest dangers are when we leave our bodies and forget our belonging to Earth and Spirit—when we disconnect from our embodied belonging, we cannot respond to what is happening from the felt-sense of distilled presence. MaMuse (2016) sings, We shall be known by the company we keep by the ones who circle round to tend these fires; We shall be known  by the ones who sow and reap the seeds of change alive from deep within the Earth.  It is time now; It is time now that we thrive— it is time we lead ourselves into the well. It is time now, and what a time to be alive, in this great turning,  we shall learn to lead in love.  I began writing this newsletter over four weeks ago—life has clearly shifted since the beginning of this endeavor. Like the transition between winter and spring, the currents of distillation at this time—specifically those regarding the coronavirus—are seemingly ushering us all into the liminal unknown. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by CoVid19. At this time, Alchemy of Prana is being with the unknown, liminal space; we are leaning into the heart, listening to the land, and actively monitoring the science and information recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). We are committed to responding to the transitions happening at this time, to CoVid-19, in ways that are in service to all beings—adjusting on a moment-to-moment basis and listening to creative ways to best support our community and the wilderness—while remaining attentive to preventing a further spreading of the virus. Additionally, at this time, due to the very unpredictable nature of the coronavirus, not knowing what is to come, and considering the health and well-being of all who participate, all of our summer programs are “pending.” We are still welcoming registration for summer, fall, and next winter, and we will provide full refunds should the programs need to be cancelled. Until further notice, we have limited attendance to these programs, they are being offered at sliding scale costs, and we will not be providing a communal kitchen. In case of program cancellations, we will offer full refunds and/or transfers; likewise, we will also do our best to offer alternative ways to support your unique transition including one-on-one guide calls, self-generated ceremonies at home, etc. On Wednesday, March 25th, we are hosting a VIRTUAL global Council—please join us!  We shall gather in the form of council as a way to spontaneously be with the conversations that are having us and the one's that want to be had. We will be hosting two councils this day, please sign up for the time that best supports you. Wild Land Dreaming In late December, with temperatures nearing -7 degrees Fahrenheit, nine courageous humans ventured by snowmobile and foot to 11,000 to an intimate cabin nestled in a deep snowy pine forest. Together, we dreamt, envisioned, sledded, and listened to the wild-wisdom language of ceremony, and of our body, psyche, spirit, and nature and consciously stepped into the new 2020 lunar passage. In other words, we opened to the opportunity to be dreamt by the land itself, and we listened to the song lines of the earth and our ancestors. Martin Shaw (2018) speaks about the Aboriginal concept of our modern society being just three days deep—"three days out in the wilderness and all of the paraphernalia you have put on you gets cracked open, on the fourth day, there is a possibility that you don’t dream anymore-- there’s no ambition left, there’s no hubris left, there’s not much ego left; in that sweet spot, you may get dreamt by the land itself, and that was the moment the myths used to move into the song lines of the human beings. That was the moment. As a storyteller, you are waiting to be broken open by the forces before you say a damn thing. Myth is a wild way of telling the truth; facts are a poor substitute for truth telling. That is what story is, that is what myth is, little pinpricks of eternity"  Our time together was immersed in being dreamt by the passage and the land.  One participant wrote about her experience here!

Our Upcoming 2020–2021 Retreats, Immersions, Vision Fasts Desert Day Quest May 2nd, 2020 Dominquez Escalante, CO Stepping out onto the land can bring forward, heal, and transform our understanding of where we are in life. A day quest is a day’s journey upon the face of the Earth—a microcosmic liminal exploration. The quest is a mirror that reflects the signs and symbols of your inner landscape. The quest serves as a beacon, a guide, in navigating your inner wilderness. During this sunrise to sunset time, you will cross a threshold into your own self-generated ceremony with psyche and the land, exploring your intention while navigating the transition in your life.  Reserve your spot Meeting Wholeness in the Wilderness May 15-18th, 2020 Rabbit Valley, CO In this immersion, you will make contact with wholeness by exploring the four shields of human psyche with nature ---- specifically the primary, current shield you are working with and any obstacles and gateways within the shield. Our time together will be a blend of medicine walks, yoga, council, sound healing, a blend of solitude and community, guided & silent meditations (seated and hiking), art, and primitive practices for relating deeper to the wilderness.  Solstice Meditation & Nature Immersion June 19-June 21, 2020 Raggeds Wilderness Marble, CO Following these ancient traditions during the solstice time, we will spend this fertile time to retreat and reconnect with the beauty of the Earth and align our inner realm and tune into the instinctual rhythms of light by meditating outdoors and immersing ourselves into the natural world. We will open ourselves to the exquisite wonder, beauty, instinctual rhythms of light, and the wisdom of the natural world as a mirror of our true nature --- whether through sunset and sunrise meditations, listening to the soothing sounds of the natural world, sound healing sessions, deep reflections, Council, conversations and medicine walks with the land amidst pine forests and aspen groves, and star gazing.

Sacred Water Dance July 17-20, 2020 Twin Lakes, CO Paddle across the lake to basecamp where you are accompanied by the land and water—a sacred place for revising and reclaiming your water-connection and exploring the interconnected ways in which our human life force flows; this immersion facilitates the opening to the doorway for exploring your relationship with water through meditation, water bathing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, medicine walks, backpacking/hiking, story-sharing, mirroring, and somatic practices.  Sign up here!

Late Summer Day Quest August 1st, 2020                                6 AM-10PM Stepping out onto the land can bring forward, heal, and transform our understanding of where we are in life. A day quest is a day’s journey upon the face of the Earth—a microcosmic liminal exploration. The quest is a mirror that reflects the signs and symbols of your inner landscape. The quest serves as a beacon, a guide, in navigating your inner wilderness. During this sunrise to sunset time, you will cross a threshold into your own self-generated ceremony with psyche and the land, exploring your intention while navigating the transition in your life. We will meet at a remote site just before dawn and engage in an intent circle; following the intent circle, you will cross your threshold and go out on the land alone, fasting from sunrise to sunset; at sunset, you will return back to a meal and the community which held you on your day quest/fast and each person will share their story and have it mirrored back. The ceremony will end late in the night (approx. 10 PM). Some options for this journey are to come the night before and stay the night after the day quest; however, it is not necessary. Fall 24-Hour Vision Fast (3-day ceremony) September 11-13, 2020 Grace Camp | Raggeds Wilderness, Marble, CO Poet, Mark Nepo, speaks directly to taking the step toward the threshold to fully inhabiting our lives in the phrase EXQUISITE RISK. The threshold symbolizes the liminal space of stepping toward the deepest and wisest part of our being that intuits our gifts and our belonging; however, sometimes we find ourselves moving through life in autopilot---not fully inhabiting our lives with meaning, purpose, and intention. Our human experience in life is an invitation to open to vulnerability and intimacy, but we have been conditioned to fear, tense, and distract ourselves from taking the risk to step beyond the cultural conditioning; however, the step through the threshold of what is known and conditioned is exactly what frees us to fully inhabit and be awake for our unrepeatable and EXQUISITE life. Join us this fall to sever from the habitual ways of relating to unlived parts of your life as well as put down your masks, and step through the threshold and dare to live authentically awake, create meaning, and inhabit/belong to your life. Equinox Meditation & Nature Immersion September 18-20, 2020 Marble, CO Free—gift to our community A gift to our human community—gather around the fire for song, solitude, community, and celebration for the abundant harvest from the summer as we transition to the season of autumn.  Ocean Myst Nature Immersion Late October 2020—5 days Pawleys Island, SC *details coming soon 2021 New Year Visioning Passage December 29, 2020 -January 2, 2021 Marble, CO Free—gift to our community Over the course of these four nights and five days you will be immersed into the passage of the new year atop the mountain and create a sacred space for the creative, clear, and wild aspect of your being to accompany yourself & others (human and more-than-human) into the new lunar passage. Connecting to the wilderness of the natural world is reciprocal to connecting to the wilderness of our being. Our days together will be taken up with weaving the four shields of human nature & ecopsychology as the foundation for engaging in group council, nature-snowy-explorations, gentle yoga (yin & flow), snowshoeing/ski touring, medicine walks, and meditation.

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