Listening to Earth: The Fertile Soil of Uncertainty

Saturday, JULY 11, 9 am – 9 pm and Sunday, JULY 12, 10 am-3 pm


Spirit Hollow, Shaftsbury Vermont

Register by June 30, 2020

Be earth now, and evensong.

Be the ground lying under that sky.

Be modest now, like a thing

ripened until it is real

–Rainer Maria Rilke

On the wind, in the songs of birds, in the pulse of the trees and the bubbling of the waters, Earth speaks to us in countless voices. Through all our different windows of knowing, we can attune to the trembling of a tiny wild flower or the croak of a raven, the shimmer of a white quartz boulder, or the wellspring of tears that arises from deep underground.  These and so many others entice us into conversation, into relationship.

In these days of uncertainty, everything is different, constrained, and sometimes overwhelming.   Although the human world feels chaotic and anxious, there is a different frequency that we can access.  Earth carries on in her own infinitesimal ways, giving birth and composting the dead, expanding and contracting, making her way around the sun in perfect timing and unbounded attunement to invisible and elemental forces that shape our universe.

And while the urge to return to normal, to pick up where we left off before things got chaotic in the world, is real, we likely will not return to the way things were before.  And in this moment of unknowing, perhaps we are being invited into the possibility that there is something ELSE, something unseen, perhaps even unimagined, but something that stirs us to our core, something so unknown that it feels both breathtaking and terrifying.  By leaning in to the allure of this potent invitation, there is surely a letting go of old ways of being, so perhaps there’s grief or anger.  But in giving ourselves over to that lamenting and release, there is a cleansing and a making space for something new to be born through us.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell

It’s all a blank slate, all yet-to-be revealed.  How can we gain access to what our next steps are?  How can we begin to unearth what our new world might look like and what our part in it might be?  By returning to Earth.

 This two-day offering creates a safe space on sacred land for that opening to occur.  

We will gather in the wild forest of Spirit Hollow for deep council, for wandering the land with our uncertainties and our grief and longing, for honing our connection through wilderness skills, and for really listening to and feeling what Earth wants to say to each of us, through us.  

We will participate in the art of tracking on the land and tracking our own mythos, stargazing and befriending the dark, fire making and tending our own inner fires.  You will have much solo time on the land to reflect and release, listen and receive.

Vermont State Guidelines for Covid-19 will be followed.  We will observe physical distancing by working outside and everyone will bring their own food, so we aren’t sharing kitchen space.  We will, however, still gather in circle, and much of our time will be wandering in solitude on the land.  

If you’re traveling from outside of state, we request, in alignment with the state guidelines, that you have isolated for 14 days prior to coming 


Please bring your own tent and camping gear, all your own food for the weekend, good shoes for woods walking and stream crossing, a daypack, water bottle, emergency whistle, notebook and writing utensils, and a pocket knife, preferably a fixed blade.  A outdoor kitchen will be available with a propane stove and cold water sink.  If you plan to cook, you should bring all you need (pan, bowl, utensils, etc).  Please bring a cooler in which to keep your food fresh.  Also, we have outhouses.

 Questions?  Email Tracey.


Dave and Tracey combine wilderness skills and soul guiding to bring you a rich blend of exploration of both inner and outer landscapes.

Dave Muska (Muskrat)

Dave is a Wilderness Skills Instructor, Naturalist, and Licensed Outdoor Guide. He is the founder of Ondatra Adventures, an endeavor devoted to providing people with a deeper connection to the natural world through educational programs, guided hikes, and excursions. Dave works with children and adults to develop meaningful and personal relationships with the natural world and its fellow organisms throughout the Northeastern US and beyond.




Tracey Forest (KeyTurner)

Co-founding Director of Spirit Hollow, Tracey is a shamanic healer and teacher, yoga teacher and singer of soul-stirring songs.  With 25 years of experience guiding others, she is currently in the SoulCraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program (SAIP) with Bill Plotkin and  the Animas Valley Institute learning to be a Soul Initiation Guide and cultivating more tools to assist in the Wholing and Healing of this broken, beautiful world.