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Sep 12

Earth Craft Gap Semester

September 12, 2024 @ 8:00 am PDT

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FALL 2024
Earth Craft — a place-based semester program for 18-26 year-olds — is an initiatory program rooted in the living earth and dedicated to cultivating natural and soul-centric living, focusing on practical life skills, holistic health and authentic embodiment. This experiential learning immersion takes place in the Taconic Mountains in the southwest corner of Vermont and New York on the shared lands of Spirit Hollow and Pompanuck Farm.

During our eight weeks together at Earth Craft, we will collectively re-create culture and build a soulful, place-based and eco-centric community in complete microcosm. We will actively be the change that we wish to see and that both earth and our ailing society are desperately calling for, right here and now, with the tools we have, without waiting for ideal conditions or permission from any external authority.

A community of 18-26 year-olds will live together in land-based community while being mentored by seasoned guides in permaculture, soulcraft, wholing and self-healing, embodied arts, natural living, wilderness skills and more to nurture reciprocal relationships with themselves, the human and more-than-human worlds.

Together, we will reimagine and recreate a life-enhancing, genuinely healthy culture: one in which youth are supported in eco-centric human development by initiated adults. Together, through hands-on, nature-based, soul-centric work and experiments in ecological living, participants will gain tools with which to live meaningfully in these unprecedented times.

We will focus on FOUR AREAS:
We cannot show up for our people, the earth or our own deepest calling without learning how to tend to our own bodies and minds. Time will be spent on wholing and self healing (using Wild Mind Models), and we will venture out into the inner and outer wildlands listening both deeply to the dreaming of the earth and to the whispers of our own soul’s calling. We will enter the wild and listen to our dreams, uncover and follow emerging threads of our soul images and numinous encounters.
–>Individual Body/Mind Soul/Spirit (Meditation; Connected Movement Yoga/Qi Gong; Wild Mind Work/Tools of Emotional Resillience; Individual Reflection and Inquiry/The Journey of Self-Discovery; Nature-based Physical Activity)

–>Soulcraft/Actualization/Life Purpose (Soul-centric Dreamwork; Soulcrafting –Animas Valley Institute style–; Solitude in Nature, including a Vision Fast ceremony; Development of Personal Mythos/Storytelling; SoulCentric/EarthCentric Artistry: Expressive and Ritual Arts

By taking up the ways of respectful communication, deep sharing, working collaboratively, resolving conflict and creating shared vision, we will learn to share life together. We will need practical skills that keep the fabric of the village alive and well, ensuring that our people are fed and healthy, with proper shelter. Each of us will have the opportunity to follow our own calling and find our niche in how we particularly support the village.
–>Practical Skills (cooking, carpentry, permaculture, natural building, herbalism)

–>Community Living Tools (Sharing chores, cleaning, and house upkeep; Self-governance strategies–councils and check-ins
Planning, shopping and cooking meals together-Collaboration/Co-visioning and Conscious Culture Creation; The Way of Council; Non-Violent Communication and Conflict Resolution)

In order to be in right relationship with the natural world, we will need to know the wild lands around our village as well as we know our homes and hearths. We will spend much time on the land and take periodic excursions into the forest around us and become acquainted with the wild others who dwell there as well as our own natural capacities to be at home in the wild.. We will also learn to read the land, know the plants and animals, and hone survival and permaculture skills.
–>Cultivating Relationships with the Animate World (-Meeting the Wild Others; Re-inhabiting Our Wild, Animal Selves; Intentional Wanders in the Forest; Vision Fasting; Deep listening to the Earth)

–>Wilderness Awareness and Survival Skills (-Friction Fire, Shelter building, Knife skills; Camp craft — Minimalist Camping; Map Reading/Orienteering; Backcountry Navigation; Animal and Plant Identification and Tracking; Wild Crafting for edibles and medicines)

Not only are we in service to how we were born for these very days, but we also extend our awareness and dedicate our actions beyond our lifetimes–including all that has gone before and all that comes after. The present moment contains the past and the future within it. Where we find ourselves in any given moment includes all that has gone before–that has shaped us and our world–and a sense of how our actions now will shape the future.
–>We Were Born for These Days (The Work that Reconnects; Exploration of What Lights You Up; Tracking Your Deepest Longings; Working with Your Dreams, Imaginings and Numinous Experiences)

–>Ancestors and Future Ones (-Connecting with Ancestors; Healing of Family Lineage; Soulcentric Activism and Collaborative Service Projects; Opportunities to learn from and engage with existing and historical movements for change; Planting perennial food forests)

Visit the webpage for more information and APPLY.


September 12, 2024
8:00 am PDT


Spirit Hollow, Vermont
2509 Shaftsbury Hollow Rd
North Bennington, VT 05257 United States
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Spirit Hollow, Vermont
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