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….
If something seized my life tonight,
If a sudden wind swept through me,
I would not resist.
I am ready for whatever comes.
Since earliest times, people have received profound insight about themselves and their world by means of a vision quest – a multi-day solo fast within nature, seeking personal truth, emotional release and spiritual knowledge.
Stepping into your vision quest circle, you step out of your everyday reality and into the vast unknown. By doing so, you offer a clear invitation to the mysteries of life – yours, and the greater life of we are a part – to greet you.
While abstaining from conversation with humans during this time, we are propelled instead into a deep conversation with the more-than-human world – the sacred Other. Through this conversation, parts of ourselves and our life’s purpose are often mirrored back to us in poetic clarity.
To quest is to open yourself in radical receptivity; to empty yourself completely so that you may be filled with something new and generative. Immersed in wild nature, we come back to a simplicity and clarity of knowing that is often eclipsed in our busy lives. Instead of looking for answers and healing somewhere outside of you, the quest brings it back to the wisdom of your own heart.
The Vision Quest is particularly powerful to help navigate times of transition and major life crossroads, which have the opportunity to be powerful thresholds to deep healing, growth and empowerment.
If you are called to the Vision Quest you are ready to confront the habits and patterns of your life which are limiting your potential and step into the fulfilment of your unique Vision.
The Autumn Quest we are offering is for three days and three nights of solo immersion. During this time, participants will camp solo within a small circle, free to respond to the moment as guided by their inner wisdom. The Vision Quest is a fast from all things that are familiar in our normal life and includes fasting from food during the time spent in the Vision Quest circle. The remainder of the program will be spent in camp, preparing and integrating.
The Protection Team
Claire Dunn, Rosie Cooper, Kiri Bear and Phillip Wright will be the team supporting your Vision Quest. Claire, Rosie and Kiri have all received Vision Quest Protector Training in the Stalking Wolf lineage through Malcolm Ringwalt of the Earth Heart Institute. We all bring experience in our own questing journeys and will be able to offer you safe and supportive counsel during this time.
Claire Dunn is passionate about connection - to earth, self, and other - and believes that a rewilding of our inner world is the key to rewilding our planet. For the last 15 years, Claire has been facilitating groups and individuals to dive deeply into their soul, through the pathways of traditional earth skills, deep ecology, dance, meditation, and contemporary wilderness rites of passage. Claire currently lives in Melbourne where she writes, facilitates rewilding workshops, offers personal mentoring, and lovingly tends her garden. Claire is the author of memoir My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in Search of the Wild.
Rosie first stepped into Vision Quest in the Stalking Wolf lineage in early 2016, the profound experience led to a year of mentoring, travel, assisting with the 2016 Spring Vision Quest and Quest Protector Training. Rosie also works with healing plants and runs workshops in earth-connected herbalism.
Phillip Wright is a carpenter, horticulturist, ceremony holder, and community builder based in Melbourne. Phillip has an extensive background in spirit practice and body movement, including authentic expression, Vision Quest, dance performance, massage and astrology with a strong focus on interpersonal relationship. Being involved in ritual facilitation and active meditations over the past 15 years has allowed further expansion into, and integration of this work. With a considerate, honest and grounded facilitation style, Phillip fosters the development of a safe, trusting space to support participants to dive into what’s present and unfolding within themselves, both in group settings, and also within the container of the individual mentoring and personal ceremonies that he offers.
Kiri Bear has been facilitating groups for over 15 years, teaching people about collaboration, family violence and gender equality. Her passion for living closer to the Earth has been explored through a Master's thesis on local seasonal celebrations and facilitation of Joanna Macy's Work that Reconnects processes. She blogs at humansarenature.com
We are honoured to offer this sacred ceremony & welcome you to be in touch.
"The Vision Quest far exceeded my expectations. The program was delivered with love, integrity, honour, passion and a deep respect that can only come from those who have walked this sacred path many times themselves. With gentle encouragement, I felt safe enough to challenge my beliefs about the boundaries of my own comfort zone, which led me to an awakening and insight that I could never have gotten otherwise. My Vision Quest experience enabled me to get right down to my barest bones, stripping away layers of programming to discover the root of my true essence. This is exactly what I needed. I felt completely held and supported by the team throughout - from the time I applied to long after the quest was over. My boundless gratitude goes out to these amazing facilitators, and to the lineage of teachers - past, present and future."
Rachel Tabone, Melbourne.
“I knew nothing about Vision Quest when I signed up. It is not something that is widely known about in my circles and I only knew Claire through her book. However, I had a strong sense that it was going to be very beneficial to me. I somehow ignored the voices telling me why I shouldn’t go (namely finding the time away from family obligations) and committed to investing the time in myself. I had high expectations and they were not disappointed. I found the Quest itself to have shifted me in ways that I am still discovering and the other days spent in camp quite blissful. I feel extremely grateful to the Nature’s Apprentice team for their knowledge, care and energy that was shared so generously throughout my time with them. The love and consideration that went into all aspects of planning were obvious. Throughout the process I felt tightly held and nurtured. If reading about Vision Quest has ignited a sense of curiosity in your gut, I would strongly recommend honouring that feeling and learning more.”
Kate Crawshaw, Melbourne
“The night before my vision quest, I whispered to the sky - 'please give me the experience of a lifetime.' Driving away from the site on the last day, I thought - 'yep, she delivered!' The vision quest offered me a rare opportunity to enter into and explore deep connection with nature and self in a way that felt completely held, safe and supported. Claire & Ostii truly gave all of themselves in preparing us for questing, protecting us during the journey and guiding our landing and reintegration afterwards. The atmosphere they created felt unique, intentional and true to the tradition but with a lightness and flexibility that felt welcoming and reassuring. My personal journey on the quest was utterly profound and continues to unfold daily. I thank my human and non-human communities for such gifts - gold that I will carry with me forever and that will guide my path for years to come. I highly recommend the vision quest for anyone wishing to reap the abundant fruits of deep listening in nature on the continual journey to 'knowing thyself'.”
Yael Appelboom, Melbourne
"The Vision Quest experience - being alone in the bush fasting for 3 days and 3 nights - was a deeply powerful one that I’m only really beginning to understand the impacts of. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’d thought it might be similar to a meditation retreat or times I’d spent alone in nature and there are elements of these experiences in it but it is also truly radically unique. The ritual and ceremony infused in it give it the quality of an invitation, a rite-of-passage, a marker point in one’s life. Perhaps it was so unique for me because I’ve found our culture’s rituals and ceremonies generally hollow and bereft of meaning, depth, guidance for life’s big questions. Claire and Ostii created something truly profound and transformative and work together in a beautiful, complimentary way. We were guided through each stage of the quest, step by step with help and support when needed but also a clear responsibility for our own quest. Thank you both for this truly special gift. I can’t recommend doing a vision quest with Nature's Apprentice enough."
The Vision Quest program will be held on a beautiful 800 acre bush block south of Sale near the coast in Gippsland, three hours drive of Melbourne. Accommodation is tent camping, previous experience with spiritual retreats and camping is not essential. A beautiful selection of whole food ingredients will be provided for you to prepare your own meals around a communal camp fire with the group. An essential element to questing is preparation, so we ask all who are called to participate in the Vision Quest to be in touch well before the date.
Payment types: We have provided a number of options for course cost, to allow the Vision Quest to be as accessible as possible. The full course cost is $880 early bird ($980 after Oct 1). The other options are available for low incomes or concession card holders, and are self assessing. Please enquire about payment plans if needed.
Pay as you feel: From $780 to $980