Solstice Wilderness Crossing

Do you find yourself at a crossroads in your life? Do you feel called to make a change? Need space in your life to find a new direction? Or to celebrate and mark a transition? Join us for a wilderness threshold crossing and guided rite of passage ceremony in the beautiful fells of the Lake District from 19 June to 23 June 2024.

Panorama from Lord's Seat, the summit of Whitbarrow Scar by Stephen Dawson.

For thousands of years people have engaged with the wilderness and the ‘mirror of nature’ to find clarity in life. To answer the questions that life throws up, or to mark significant life transitions. Taking time out from the busyness of everyday life, people cross 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. Nature is healing. She brings to our attention the ways that we can change and enrich our lives.

The subconscious mind is the origin of inventiveness, perception, motivation, inner understanding, interconnectedness, and spiritual illumination. When we encounter Nature, without the mental chatter of our day-to-day lives, we are given signs and symbols that bring meaning to our lives. Our perception of reality alters and broadens, forming a framework that is much more flexible and multi-faceted than what the conscious mind perceives. By accessing and spending time in this liminal space, we free ourselves from the limitations of our rational and pragmatic thinking. Our dreams and the fundamental symbols, or archetypes passed down to us by our ancestors, communicate to us what is exceptional, genuine, and sacred to each one of us. When we listen to and act on these messages, we are following the course of our Soul’s growth.

Take some precious time out for yourself. Listen to the conversation your Soul and Nature have together.

The threshold crossing was a profoundly simple yet deeply meaningful way to enter into a dialogue with wild nature. The guides held the space beautifully, supporting our individual intentions as a group and co-creating a meaningful community of complete strangers.

Participant, 2023
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Course Content

This guided 5-day course, limited to 12 people, prepares you for your threshold crossing with the support of your guides Mo and Mungo, using the four directions teachings of Bill Plotkin.

Day 1: On the first day we examine the framework for the course and get to know each other. As participants we come together as a supportive community. We forage for some plants and explore the beautiful camp, getting to know the plants, trees, rocks and waters of this location. We have dinner around the campfire, perhaps sharing songs and poems.

Day 2: The day before the threshold crossing, we sit in a council circle to prepare ourselves. We work with each individual’s ‘intent’. We explore where we find ourselves in life and what draws us to a threshold crossing at this time. Each person can also speak to the guides one to one if called to.

Day 3: The third day is the solo threshold crossing. This a fasting day spent alone with the wild spirit of nature on the fells. You take water but are without company, food, phones, books, and other distractions. From dawn to dusk you journey alone across the beautiful fells of the Lake District before returning to the community circle, being welcomed back and enjoying a celebratory supper cooked for you

Day 4: The day after the threshold we sit in again in a story council, to hear what has come back from the land. We share our stories and have them mirrored back to us, offering the opportunity to see our individual narrative in a wider context, together with the gifts and implications for the life we return to. We witness each other in council circle, reflecting on the messages and symbolism of each person’s experience.

Day 5: On the fifth day we close our ceremony preparing to incorporate our discoveries and return to the world. The guides are here to support you throughout your journey.

As someone who hasn’t fasted much before & has never fasted whilst spending time alone, I found it a really energising, intriguing & fulfilling experience that left me with a desire to continue the practice when camping in the future. I found it hard to pull away from the fell (that evening sunshine was blissful) & as someone who enjoys food a lot & I didn’t think I would find it so liberating to fast for a day and not be distracted by eating. I found the experience quite empowering. I also found the container of the fell a wonderful place to explore the inner realms.

Participant, 2023.
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Your Guides

Mo Wilde

Monica ‘Mo’ Wilde has introduced people to plants, fungi and the natural world for two decades, as a forager, teacher and herbalist. In sharing her own deep connection to nature and our planet’s other-than-human inhabitants, she inspires a significant personal relationship with Gaia. Mo ran rewilding retreats for eight years before training with Rupert Marques. She loves the transformative wilderness rites of passage through which nature acts to guide us. Through soul work and psycho-spiritual healing, we bless our lives with meaning and significance – even when we have travelled through the dark lands of trauma and loss. Mo Wilde is also the author of ‘The Wilderness Cure’ and teaches foraging. As well as guiding, Mo will also forage wild foods to add to our suppers and is happy to introduce you to the plants.

Mungo Dalglish

Mungo Dalglish is a NO HANDS® Massage therapist & apprentice Wilderness Rites of Passage guide, with greening fingers and a yen for wildness. He co-founded a 27-acre Natural Farming & Permaculture project in Cheshire where he tries to live in attentive, harmonious, and ceremonial relationship with self, other, land, and Mystery, and runs mythopoetic & spiritual ecology workshops and retreats. His training and interests include the Way of Council, Ignatian Spirituality, and Vipassana meditation, alongside touch & song & story & poetry.

The Location: Cumbria

The beautiful carbon-neutral Oak Howe site run by Ben and Debs of Wild Human is on 13 acres of young woodland and ancient oaks, within easy walking distance of Whitbarrrow Fell for your solo wilderness crossing day. Here, by the river, we will gather and grow in friendship and community.

You can learn more about the location here.

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Oak Howe is a 15 minute drive from Junction 36 of the M6 or 20 minute drive from Kendal Rail Station near Crossthwaite. Parking is available just a 3 minute walk from the campsite. Car sharing or taxi pickup from Kendal Station can be organised near the time.

The course takes place over 5 days in the summer from midday Wednesday 19 June to midday Sunday 23 June 2024. The price includes all meals, tuition, course materials and site fees. You will need to bring a tent and bedding. A suggested kit list will be sent out after booking. Transport to and from the site is not included. Please let us know if you would like more information.

I encourage anyone seeking change, self-discovery, or a connection with nature’s transformative power to seize the opportunity of a wilderness crossing and embark on a wonderful journey of personal growth

Suzanne T, Edinburgh

Further Detail

This work is based on the premise of our seamless belonging to the wider natural world, and a further support for our work is using a four directions wheel (an eco-centric model of human development) to contextualise our experience. In this way we see that attending to our own souls is not separate from remembering our place in our human community as well as our belonging to the wider natural world. One of the most touching and heartfelt aspects of this ceremony is witnessing how these threads of soul, community and land all weave together in a mutually beneficially manner.

Books you might enjoy:

Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness by Mary Reynolds Thompson.

Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche by Bill Plotkin.

Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness in a Fragmented World by Bill Plotkin.

Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche by Bill Plotkin.

The Journey of Soul Initiation: A Field Guide for Visionaries, Evolutionaries, and Revolutionaries by Bill Plotkin.

Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred by Victoria Loorz.

Gaia Alchemy: The Reuniting of Science, Psyche, and Soul by Stephan Harding.

Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit by Lyanda Lynn Haupt.

The panorama photo is by Stephen Dawson / Lord’s Seat, the summit of Whitbarrow Scar / CC BY-SA 2.0

The second photo is by Tom Richardson / The path along Whitbarrow Scar / CC BY-SA 2.0