For Young Adults, Ages 17-24
AUGUST 5-12, 2019
How you stand here is important.
Something is calling you. What is it? Does it feel like a gnawing question or a unseen force pulling you toward a place or thing you can’t name? Does it have little to do with what you will major in or what career you will have? Does it seem like you need to disappear from the mainstream culture/world and walk off into the unknown for a while? To become invisible to society, to social media, to a whole bunch of “shoulds?”so you can indeed become visible to your Self.
To become human
is to become visible
what is hidden
as a gift to others.
What is YOUR gift?
You stand in a potent doorway in your life—in transition between adolescent and young adult—in the place of leaving behind your youth and approaching early adulthood, at least chronologically. For some, this period can stretch out to age 50 or beyond. Some never reach true adulthood. But classically, you are at the age when something really wants to be born from deep inside yourself.
You carry a personal magic inside, and it is your gift to the world, the truest expression of who you are at this point in your life. Maybe you’ve seen and felt signs of exactly what your gift is. Or perhaps, just hints. The World Needs Your Particular Gift.
There is such value and depth in slowing it all down, in wandering a while in the wilds, in leaving behind your ordinary life for a period and crossing into the terrain of Soul, Nature, Mystery and Psyche.
What does solitude reveal?
When you are quiet and in solitude on the land, your senses come alive. When you step out of your ‘regular” life, you begin to come face to face with all that has been gnawing at you. When you are not distracted by your devices or your headphones and books, nature begins to reveal herself to you, directly, experientially, unmistakably.
The shape of a granite cliff and the brown patina pattern on it appear as the wizened elder you have been asking for. A raven flies overhead, screaming raucous cries that sound incredibly like “This way! Follow me!” so you do. A doe and her fawn walk within feet of you, unconcerned. You feel as though you fit in this world like never before.
Dreams begin to take on their own life. Trees and birds and rocks awaken you to the animate more-than-human world, revealing to you secrets from the depths of the Earth’s imagination, which is also linked to your own imagination.
Finally, your Soul has the space, the time, the quiet to reveal to you images and feelings and symbols and knowings and thoughts about your own unique place, or niche, in this world.
Your entire life stretches out in front of you. It is yours entirely. Find your most authentic path, the path of Soul.
This is your time to open to the voices of the deep, ancient Earth and your OWN Soul’s knowing. Now, what has been just whispers or dream fragments comes into to focus. You get to now listen. You get to awaken your senses and come alive on the land so that the deeper threads of your life are allowed to come to the fore, instead of being in the gloaming.
This is the time to ask some of life’s most compelling and important questions: Why am I here? What is my work? Who am I on the deepest level? What is my true purpose?
“What we need now are new stories to share with each other, new tales to live into the world, which is to say, stories to make real by living our own versions of them.”
Eight Days for diving deep, for encountering Soul, for being supported by the Mystery and seasoned human guides.
When you come to Spirit Hollow, you will leave behind the voices of the “supposed tos” and definitions of “success.”
You will be welcomed into an extraordinary circle of human guides surrounded by the more-than-human Ones. With those sacred others and your fellow/sister questers, we will enter into an 8-day Ceremony.
- You will be invited into sacred space and enter into Deep Time.
- You will be supported to speak in council your deepest longings and greatest fears, express your despair and grief, share life stories
- You will be mirrored by seasoned adults who have ‘been to the mountain and walked through the abyss” and thus know the terrain of the soul.
- You will be supported to leave behind identities and roles that you may or may not still want, to empty out and to clear space for your soul encounter out on the land.
- You will do imaginal journeys and ecstatic movement to prepare you for your solo
- You will live in a tribe where will live and cook and commune
- You will find your sacred spot on the land that draws you to fast there
- You will hone your questions and intentions for fasting
- You will discover tools to help you approach your “edges” and to explore them and maybe even push yourself to go over those edges
- You will be lovingly prepared to cross the threshold and will drop into the Land of Soul for a three-day, three-night fast
- You will be welcomed back by your guides who will help you track your story and see the signs and symbols and communications from your SOUL.. You will be lovingly guided to see the mythos in your story and how it gives you understandings about your path and purpose
- You will be given tools for integrating your vision fast experience so that your return to life is infused with soul
This is a camping quest, and you will be responsible for most of your own food (we will make suggestions about how to do this and how to form teams with others to share meals), although Spirit Hollow will provide some meals, especially the break-your-fast meal when you come off of your solo. Upon registration, you will receive a preparation letter which includes an extensive equipment checklist.
A $200 deposit is required, as is an application. Download application.
Tracey Forest (KeyTurner)
is passionate about helping others step through the doorway into the mystical and the mythical, the sacred and the sublime, the earthy and the erotic, the dark depths and high heights. She is a fearless and compassionate facilitator who has “been to the mountain” and descended into the abyss to lament for the earth, to celebrate the beauty and pain and who knows the rich gifts that lie in the dark to be mined. She stands in the portal, holding a lantern, singing ancient songs, dangling a key, inviting you to step through into the vast landscape of your Soul.
A shamanic healer and teacher, yoga teacher, women’s guide and youth mentor and singer with 25 years experience guiding others, Tracey is currently in the Wild Mind Training Program with the Animas Valley Institute cultivating more tools to assist in the Wholing and Healing of this broken, beautiful world. Tracey has done three vision fasts, the most recent in 2017 in Capitol Reef in Utah( with Trevor and Rosanna while in the Animas Valley Institutes Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion with guides Bill Plotkin and Geneen Haugen!) where she got updated, powerful “operating instructions” about how to use her soul gifts to be of service. She intimately knows the incredible edges and heights that soul encounter brings.
Tracey is the founding co-director of Spirit Hollow for almost 20 years. There, she runs transformational summer programs for kids and teens, trains shamanic healers through the acclaimed Seeing with the Heart Apprenticeship program, offers soul and nature immersions for different populations and sees individuals and couples for private sessions.
Tracey is a graduate of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Three-Year Program in Advanced Shamanism (under the direction of Michael Harner, PhD) and a Certified Yoga Teacher with 13 years of experience, having trained with Shiva Rea. Also, Tracey is a singer-songwriter whose music reflects her belief in the sacred beauty in all beings
Trevor is passionate about bringing healing to the world, and in aiding others to clarify the gifts they bring and that the world truly needs. He first seriously discovered this passion in 2005 while participating in a series of meditation and energy healing courses at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School. Since then he has pursued a passion to increase his connection to the other-than-human world, nurturing his own intuition, exploring his own healing and that of others along the way. Early on in life, Trevor found he had natural mediation skills, helping others to find balance and agreement. This broadened into awareness of the need for a balance of the natural masculine and feminine energies in the world, and within our own bodies. This exploded further while participating in the Yearlong Soulcraft Immersion with the Animas Valley Institute, where he was set further on the path of numinous other-than-human connections and stirring up the sacred feminine and masculine in us all
Trevor is a life long practitioner of natural movement, from skipping on beach rocks endlessly as a child (like the hot lava game!) to climbing trees, and crawling through the forest on all fours or his belly, stalking wild creatures and wild humans. A lover of dance, early in his teen years he regularly pushed all the furniture in his family’s living room against the walls to let his body move to the music in that space. He found out about 5Rhythms, Sweat Your Prayers, and Ecstatic Dance in 2006 and frequents those venues whenever possible. He now has begun probing the worlds of hanging silks and acroyoga.
Trevor has a BS in biology and is a practicing field biologist part of each year, working with wild animals and plants. He attended the Anake Outdoor School and Apprenticeship Learning Program from 2011-13, learning the techniques of 8-Shields mentoring in nature connection practices, and followed that up with four years of teaching youth and teens at summer camps for Wilderness Awareness School in WA State. He is a certified Level II Tracker with Cybertracker International, a foundation for the advancement of natural animal tracking skills.
Trevor has spent his whole life close to nature, or trying to get closer. He follows the tracks and trails of animals and uses bird language to decipher the daily stories of wild places. He can occasionally be seen imitating the flapping of whatever bird is in his vicinity and talking to mammals and birds in their own tongue. He is usually as quiet as he can be while in the wilds, observing, absorbing, and ghosting along, attempting to minimize his footprint. He sleeps outside on the ground often, with the stars and the moon and nighttime sounds as his blanket.
Chris (Mowgli) Giannitti
Mowgli Giannitti first simultaneously discovered Spirit Hollow and the ancient tradition of the Vision Quest in the winter of 2011, coinciding with his graduation from high school in the area. He has since spent every summer at Spirit Hollow, co-facilitating Spirit Quest camps, co-founding Warrior Camp, hiking, gardening, practicing yoga, and embarking on further quests upon Grass Mountain. He graduated from Bennington College with a degree in Music in 2015, and has since been working professionally as a Bassist, Vocalist, Composer, and Teacher.
As a teacher, he has taught under institutions such as San Francisco’s Bandworks, Bennington College, and has worked privately with individual students. He has traveled extensively in the United States, seeking further extremes of natural beauty and mystery, and has several similarly-oriented India trips under his belt as well. Currently in his mid-20s, he is seeking to revision his art and his work with students to focus on the impending challenges facing our future generations; to make way for the richness of character and depth of soul which our earth community require in order to sustain life and creativity on this planet.
I am clearing a space—
here, where the trees stand back.
I am making a circle so open
the moon will fall in love
and stroke these grasses with her silver.
I am setting stones in the four directions,
stones that have called my name
from mountaintops and riverbeds,
canyons and mesas.
Here I will stand with my hands empty,
mind gaping under the moon.
I know there is another way to live.
When I find it, the angels
will cry out in rapture,
each cell of my body
will be a rose, a star.
If something seized my life tonight,
if a sudden wind swept through me,
I would not resist.
I am ready for whatever comes.
But I think it will be
something small, an animal
padding out from the shadows,
or a word spoken so softly
I hear it inside.
It is dark out here, and cold.
The moon is stone.
I am alone with my longing.
Nothing is happening
but the next breath,
and the next…