Animas Quest June 2014

June 3, 2014 – June 14, 2014
Southeast Utah Canyons     Cost: $1545.00

(Requires: backpacking. Accomodations: Camping)      


This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for men and women seeking greater depth and clarity about life purpose and meaning. As a rite of initiation, the quest is a ceremonial descent to the underworld, in which you die to your familiar way of belonging to the world, uncover the passion and wisdom of your soul, and retrieve the gift that is yours alone to bring to the world, enhancing personal fulfillment and genuine service.

The Animas Quest catalyzes the encounter with soul by temporarily displacing everyday consciousness through five primary means: (1) solitude for four days and nights while (2) fasting (i.e., drinking water only), (3) being fully exposed to and enfolded within the forms and forces of nature, (4) enacting a series of ceremonies, and (5) employing a set of practices (soulcraft) that support you in crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche.

Most of our quests take place over a total of 11 days, 8 of which are spent in the wilderness. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of preparation activities that enhance your ability to benefit from the fast. The first two and a half days of these five are held at a retreat center or car-camp before we journey to our wilderness base camp (or, on some programs, remain at our car-camp).

During the five preparation days, we work with dreams, poetry, deep imagery, ceremonial drumming and dance, dialogues with nature, the way of council, and other practices to help us slip out the door of our everyday lives and access our own deeper, wilder currents.

The heart of the quest consists of the solo: three days and nights without human companionship in nature, fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. Upon your return to base camp, there are three days of reincorporation activities, preparing you to embody among your people what you received on your fast. The last of these three days takes place back at the retreat center or car-camp.

No previous backpacking experience is required. (In fact, many of those who have quested with us have never before been camping or backpacking).


Mary Marsden

Mary is a soul-guide, mentor and wilderness guide. She creatively and heart-fully invites people to be in intimate and vulnerable relationship with Nature, Soul and Spirit.

Mary is gifted at guiding individuals into their dreamworlds, accessing the power of deep imagination, and supporting those who are ready and willing to be claimed by their unique, mystical relationship with the World. She guides with humor, genuine compassion, and a deeply intuitive knowing of the soul journey. With grace, beauty, and fierceness, Mary invites sojourners to discover their unique gifts and to bring them into world – to feed Life itself.

Mary’s work is deeply informed by her love for the Colorado River Basin and it’s imperiled waters and spirit. She is a mother, river-runner, front yard gardener and tends a flock of hens in her backyard in Boulder, CO.

Mary incorporates her training and experience in Hakomi, somatic psychotherapy, trauma work, and creative movement into her guiding. She leads Animas programs, her own locally based soul programs and mentors individuals, near and far, on their soul journeys.

Nate Bacon, M.A.

Nate Bacon’s passion as a guide is firmly rooted in the fecund soil of our carnal reciprocity with the more-than-human world – and our inherence within that world. His work explores the intertwined and braided rivers of perception, language, and worldview with a commitment to the re-wilding of human culture. He is dedicated not only to undermining the psycho-cultural structures of our modern ways of being in the world, but also to re-membering how to feed and truly be fed by this wild and holy world that we call nature. A wildlife tracker, cultural ecologist, and writer with an M.A. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies, Nate brings fierce compassion and a deep love for the mysterious yearnings of soul to his guiding.

Southeast Utah Canyonssunset-arches-park-istock
Start Date: June 3, 2014
End Date: June 14, 2014 Start Time: 1:00 pm
End Time: 3:00 pm