Voice from Down Under: Opening to a New Vision
Rites of Passage honors the wisdom that each participant shares. Aussie participant Vicki Dean shares her insights in her story below. (On their last trip to Australia, guides Mike and Renee led a training on the four shields followed by a quest. We are excited to report they will be returning Down Under (Australia) this February to offer another ROP program!)
I awoke one morning knowing I needed once more to sit on the land for my healing, renewal and deep listening. I researched quests and was most interested in the model of the ten days; the work seeded by Meredith Little and Steven Foster. A time to fully prepare, then go on a three day solo, followed by a period of integration before re-entering life. Fantastic! I found what I was looking for, however it was all on American soil. Who wants to be eaten by a bear whilst seeking a vision? It was a tongue in cheek reaction, but also a metaphor for my craving to be on my own land – the place of my heart. I had quested previously in the centre of Australia, sitting on the red earth, three days within the Medicine Wheel. If you left the confines of the wheel the quest was finished for you. It was 46 degree heat (115°F), the winds blew the red dust into every known crevice – such an ordeal I couldn’t open my ears to the voice of the land, as survival captured all my attention.
I was very attracted to the model offered through various places in America and was ready to book, yet had reservations. It was my delight to read Mike and Renee from Rites of passage were coming to Australia to do some training on Stradbroke Island and then the Quest would be at the foothills of Mt Warning – a place that had been calling me for a number of years.
Again I was attracted and yet in question what could Americans offer in terms of our land. Could yanks really offer me what I was seeking? What was a delight for me was that Mike and Renee shared their extensive knowledge of the questing process, and also brought an openness and respect to the land here. The modification to their teachings included the Medicine Wheel as informed by this land.
A pivotal part of my own quest was to open to the expression of emotions. I feel this is poorly held or understood in many spiritual and shamanic offerings and I experienced a gentle yet strong holding and acceptance as I explored my emotional contours. This has been a milestone in terms of my own ability to hold deep imaginal processes in myself and for others.
There was something in the freedom of being able to walk the earth. I was catapulted back to my childhood where I roamed the streets and the bush always in adventure. I knew the bush and she knew me – one of my earliest memories – being lost at 4 years old pushing my pram with a friend, seeing a black snake glistening on the rock – fear and intrigue in equal measures. This freedom was re-evoked in my being – the birthing of my intent and the mirroring back I received from the land. My quest continues to unfold on many levels.