The Medicine Quest is a contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast, a dynamic wilderness rite for men and women seeking greater depth and clarity about life purpose and meaning.
As a rite of initiation, the quest is a ceremonial descent into the wilderness and the underworld, in which you die to your familiar way of belonging to the world, uncover your “Medicine,” the passion and wisdom of your wild soul, and retrieve the gift that is yours alone to bring to the world, enhancing personal fulfillment and genuine service.
As healers we long to find “our medicine” beyond education and training, beyond title and position, beyond what we can possibly imagine. Each of us has a unique gift to bring to the world, this is what we have been longing to encounter, to embody, to joyfully live into the world. The quest is the passage to pierce the veil into “wilderness consciousness” and find our “medicine.”
The Medicine Quest catalyzes the encounter with wilderness consciousness and soul medicine by temporarily displacing everyday clinical and “village” consciousness through five primary means: (1) solitude for four days and nights while (2) fasting (i.e., drinking water only), (3) being fully exposed to and enfolded within the forms and forces of nature, (4) enacting a series of ceremonies, and (5) employing a set of wilderness practices that support you in crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche.
The Medicine Quest takes place over a total of 12 days, 8 of which are spent in the wilderness. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of preparation activities that enhance your ability to benefit from the fast. The first two and a half days of these five are held at a car-camp or retreat center before we journey to our wilderness base camp.
During the five preparation days, we work with dreams, poetry, deep imagery, ceremonial drumming and dance, dialogues with nature, the way of council, and other practices to help us slip out the door of our everyday lives and access our own deeper, wilder currents.
The heart of the medicine quest consists of the solo: three days and nights without human companionship in nature, fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision of your medicine. Upon your return to base camp, there are three days of reincorporation activities, preparing you to embody among your people what you received on your fast.