Returning Home

Re-awakening to our Path with Heart

9 Day Residential in South West France

Dates: September 3rd - 11th 2022

The Retreat

We invite you to join us on a 9 day journey of nature-based personal repair & restoration, exploring how nature can give us a map to bring all the parts of ourselves back into balance.  

 

Clearing


Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.


Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life


and wait there patiently,


until the song that is your life
 falls into your own cupped hands
 and

you recognize and greet it.


Only then will you know how to give yourself
 to this world


so worthy of rescue.

                                                                                           - Martha Postlewaite

 

We used to ‘know’ our belonging deep within our bones. As a culture, most of us have grown away from intimacy with the more-than-human world, yet it patiently awaits our return. This initiatory journey is an invitation to remember what we most deeply belong to and are part of, what we have always belonged to.

Throughout the human story people have made use of wilderness and the ‘mirror of nature’ as a means of gaining clarity in life or marking significant life transitions. Individuals have crossed the threshold into wild places to attend more closely to the movement of soul, to remember what is at one’s core, what is most important. Such transitions in a person’s life were often marked through rites of passage ceremonies, as a means of reinforcing both to the initiate and the community the new orientation, direction or phase of a person’s life, enabling them to fully embody that change.

The old world is dying and the new world has yet to be born. Ordinary citizens all over the planet, who’ve been struggling with the deep divisions across society in today’s fraught and fear-based social, economic and political landscape, are coming together in active participation to co-create and embody a new story for their lives, families and communities.

 

What had previously been, perhaps, a seemingly remote possibility of systems collapse in our changing times, has suddenly and undeniably become a reality, directly affecting the way we live and care for each other and our planet on a daily basis. This brings into sharp focus how fragile the balance of life is, how interconnected we are as a global family, what is truly important in life, and what the impact is of our human presence on the Earth. 

 

 

What to expect

We begin by sitting together in circle, learning the ‘way of council’ through practicing presence, non-judgemental deep listening, and speaking concisely from the heart. In this way, we truly meet and are met by each other in a manner we are unaccustomed to in daily life.

 

You will learn the teaching of The Four Shields or directions of human nature, which acts as a map for navigating the symbolic terrain of the visionary landscape, and provides a shared language for talking about it.

You will be guided in developing your intent, which will be an anchor and guide during your solo 24 hour Fast. We’ll also cover the safety and emergency protocols.

 

 

This retreat draws on the work of pioneers in the field of contemporary wilderness rites of passage and will attend to both the experiential work of learning the skills and approaches to holding initiatory work, as well touching on the theoretical underpinnings of this work. The four directions teachings honour the many generations of indigenous cultures’ intimacy with the wider natural world and provides a map for us to navigate the wilderness within, back home to Self. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those of our ancestors who walked out into the land, listened with open hearts, and made maps of the teachings of nature to guide us. Their careful observation and depth of relationship with the more-than-human world can help to bring us into a new and more wholistic relationship with ourselves, each other and the world.

This retreat isn't about how much recycling you are doing or learning how to make a rattle. It is about remembering how to live as a complete human being capable of recognising and experiencing the sacred in all creation - including within yourself.

Join us and expand your own natural intelligence and inner knowing, allowing a new relationship of respect, dignity, humility, courage and perhaps most importantly, kinship, to emerge. You'll discover how your visions and purpose are interwoven with the purposes and destinies of those around you.

 

Areas of learning

  • A deepened sensitivity, appreciation and sense of belonging to the wider natural world including the significance of our own life as an expression of nature.

  • Exposure to a range of experiential approaches within the four directions framework and how these serve particular needs and communities.

  • Experiencing self-generated ceremony within the liminal space and meeting the land as ‘mirror’.

  • Utilising the practice of ‘Council’ throughout the retreat as a tool for the creation of a safe container for sharing where diversity, vulnerability and honesty are foundational.

  • Experiential understanding of how the natural world can serve as a refuge and catalyst for personal maturation and individuation, supporting an increased resilience in meeting the challenges of our times.


Number of participants: max 12

Breakdown of fees:

Accommodation Options (8 nights) 

 

Simple gite

  • 4 x Shared twin rooms for (up to 8 people): €120 per person

Camping on our riverside meadow

Use of bathroom with hot shower in gite

  • 4 x Camping places: large shared tent & sleeping pads provided: €80 per person

  • Option for any or all participants to camp with your own equipment: €50 per person

sauna

  • Available on designated days

Meals

We provide daily:

  • continental breakfast of cereal, fruit, yogurt, cheeses, honey, nuts and seeds etc, locally made artisan bread, teas and coffee.

  • vegetarian evening meal made, when possible, using produce from our organic potager (vegetable garden).

  • Selection of teas, herbal teas, coffee, and fresh drinking water, to consume at your leisure. 

We do not provide lunch, however, you are welcome to prepare your lunch in the mornings using the breakfast provisions. A large coolbox with ice will be provided.

Bring your own snacks.

*Dietary restrictions, allergies or intolerances can be catered for.

Breakfast and evening meals: €350.00 per person


Course Fee

Sliding scale: €700 - €900

 

Total

Inclusive of accommodation option, course fee & meals (as set out above)

1100 - €1300 camping with own equipment option

€1130 - €1330 shared camping (provided) option

€1170 - €1370 shared twin room in simple gate option

We invite participants to arrive at noon on the day the programme commences. You will be greeted on arrival and introduced to the land and facilities.

Travel to the venue is at your expense. Pick up from the local train station at Carmaux can be arranged.

Parking is available on site. 

Program Language: English (+ conversational-level French if required) 

This retreat is for women who were born and raised as female.

Use the contact form below to enquire about the programme or to apply.