Courting the Holy Dark
Stalking the Face of the Feral Feminine
for Womxn Identified Beings
Summer 2021 I with Amanda Fiorino & Sara McFarland
Due to ongoing events, we have decided to reschedule this program for next year. Dates coming soon
Imagine you are standing barefooted at the edge of a staggering cliff. Below you is an ocean, or perhaps a chasm in the Earth. Your feet tingle, and your toes grip the crumbled rock and dust underfoot as you peer over the edge into this holy dark place. Your heart is pounding as if it were a drum sending out the rhythm of your deepest longing. A rhythm even you are surprised by, and don’t yet understand. You feel a slight pull at your stomach, a tug at your cosmic umbilicus from the oceanic chasm beneath you. A long and slow wave of warm, moist air passes over your face dewing your skin and the tips of your eyelashes. A breath from the depths. And you could swear you feel the sinking ground beneath your feet the way any soft belly melts upon and exhale. And then, you hear it! You lean just a bit more over the edge, for surely you must be mistaken. But there is no mistaking the mysterious echo calling out to you.
For some it will be a grunt or yip, for others a silky melody. It’s faint, but not for lack of power and life force. No. It’s faint because it’s waiting for you, deep down in the belly of the Earth. It’s waiting for your own ripening. Your readiness. Your hunger. Your exultant terror, and aching love. It’s waiting. Will you follow the call? Some climb down, others jump. The question that’s really important is, are you ready? Are you ready to offer up a “yes” that promises nothing to your plans, and might even devour some of your grandest dreams? It's down there, lurking in the dark with vibrant eyes that know how to cut through the small life that has kept you safe.
Will you say yes to the feral feminine lurking in the holy dark, singing out to you from the womb of the Earth?
The old ways are dying. That patriarchal kingdom that has spent its life colonizing the Earth, and feeding the hungry toxic mythologies that would have one believe they could actually save the world, is crumbling. The ground beneath those towering walls of industrialized forgetting is quaking. Tectonic shifts are cracking open the collective unconscious of humanity (and the Earth), revealing caverns that drop down into the Holy Dark where an ancient one of many forms resides. An ancient one that licks its own wounds, and rubs dirt into its skin like an exfoliant. Never to be owned, tamed, or domesticated, it left the Patriarchy’s kingdom a long time ago. It waits in the depths, howling deep through the bones of subterranean forests, clambering over craggy rock faces, peering out through lit and wild eyes waiting for others to re-member a more sacred and spacious way of belonging to the world. This ancient one is the Feral Feminine.
Moving in and out of shadows through caverns of the soul, the Feral Feminine has been safeguarding something very precious and dangerous: your medicine for the world. A medicine that is your deepest way of belonging to the world. The sacrifice asked of you to be initiated into your gifts: your current way of belonging to the world with all of its refined and intelligent mechanisms of safety, security, and predictability. It is a fatal reciprocity, where the compost of your former life will feed your gestating soul.
REGISTRATION & FEES
An application is required for this offering. To apply, please contact Amanda at .
Participation Fee: $1210 - $1610 (sliding scale) Includes Food & Lodging
Deposit: a $250 deposit is required when accepted into this offering to reserve your spot.
ACCOMMODATIONS & FOOD
We will be gathering in Cortez, CO at Sage Canyon - Canyon of the Ancients. You have the option of bringing your own tent, or reserving a spot in one of the tipis on the land.
Breakfast & Dinner will be catered by Erica Rhinehart of Ritual Foods. You are responsible for bringing your own lunches so as to maximize time spent out on the land.
Meet the Guides
Born in the watershed of the Connecticut River, along the shores of Long Island Sound, Sara McFarland is firstly a member of the Earth Community. She bridges the distance between the ancient practices of being embedded in the conversation of the wild Earth and the creation of a future paradigm of human culture, which embodies the Dream of the Earth for us all. She is a Wilderness Guide, Deep Time Ceremonialist and Earth Witch, who helps especially women and Highly Sensitive individuals heal the trauma of civilization on the path of Wholeness and Soul Initiation by Mystery. Sara works with individuals who long to take their place in the Golden Web of Life, bringing all of their gifts, powers and abilities to the people, in service to Earth. In her practice, she utilizes elements of energy medicine and shamanic techniques, sound and voice healing, dream work, herbal spirit medicine, and her vision of the 4 feminine Archetypes of the Labyrinth Path. In semi-wild and wild places, she guides Programs and Vision Quests to assist humans to re-member themselves into the body of the Earth Community.
Forged by ocean storms, rolling tides, dense forests, elusive wolves, wailing whales, fire-bellowing dragons, and cunning cougars, Amanda feels herself as a feral, trans-species creature born from a chthonic womb. Awake to the living and embodied presence of her ancestors, she continues to listen to and is guided by her Greek, Macedonian, Passamaquoddy (Peskotomuhkati), Sicilian and Celtic ancestry. As an agent of the mythopoetic mystery of our shared and collective existence, she calls upon dreams, mythology & cosmology, body-based knowing, death & dying, grief, wounds & trauma, shadow, the Feral Feminine, and that which has been banished and oppressed by cultural systems of industrialization and colonization to conjure a new way of belonging to the world. She is a Mythic Medicine Guide, Somatic Ecologist & Educator, agent of the Feral Feminine, Mother & Mountain Dweller, Interspecies & Place-based inquiry guide, and Writer & Poetess.
She believes these urgent, unpredictable, and exciting times are calling each of us to participate in a co-dreaming of impossible feats, as well as a co-conspired dismantling of patriarchal, industrial, and colonizing structures. As a guide, she supports others along their spiraling journey of remembrance and healing, helping to track and gather the sacred images, dreams, visions, bits of shadow, shards of wound, and numinous encounters that emerge from the relational web of ones belonging.
“Wearing nothing but snakeskin
boots, I blazed a footpath, the first
radical road out of that old kingdom
toward a new unknown.
When I came to those great flaming gates
of burning gold,
I stood alone in terror at the threshold
between Paradise and Earth.
There I heard a mysterious echo:
my own voice
singing to me from across the forbidden
side. I shook awake—
at once alive in a blaze of green fire.
Let it be known: I did not fall from grace.
Ansel Elkins I “Autobiography of Eve”