Join us for this five-part journey over 3 months as we explore our relationship to fire and the elements, and prepare for an ancient rite-of-passage known as a Fire Quest.
Part 1- Saturday 14th May
Part 2- Saturday 28th May
Part 3- Saturday 11th June
Part 4- Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd July (Fire Quest)
Part 5- Saturday 23rd July
Reconnecting to The Magic of Fire
In all cultures across the globe, humans have had a deep and powerful relationship to fire. We relied on it for warmth, light and energy, and in times gone by it would have been at the heart of the community. More than this, it has been revered as a transformational force with a life and spirit of its own. These days, we might enjoy the sun, share a campfire occasionally, or (if we’re lucky!) have a log burner in our living room, but we no longer have that integral relationship and connection to this magical element.
The Questing With Fire programme is designed to reintroduce us to the transformational force and elemental magic of fire. Through a carefully planned process following the beautiful nature connection model of the Eight Shields (read more about this below), we will take questers on a journey to discover their own hearts, minds, bodies and spirits in deep connection to the land and the elements.
What is a Fire Quest?
A Fire Quest is a process that many people through history would have naturally undertaken at times of challenge or necessity in order to tune into the deeper wisdom of the world and their own intuition. It would’ve been very natural to take ourselves away to sit for the night with a fire when a big decision had to be made, or when a significant event had occurred, such as a death or the beginning of a new stage of life.
A Fire Quest is what we would call a ‘rite of passage’, a process that, in line with the much talked about Hero’s Journey, takes us out of our familiar environment, sends us through a challenge, then reintegrates us into the world transformed in some way, perhaps with more knowledge, insight and wisdom.
In these uncertain times, a Fire Quest is an opportunity to deepen our relationship with ourselves and the more-than-human world so that we can live with greater clarity, connection, creativity and love. People who undertake quests report having transformational experiences that bring them more in touch with their deepest purpose and meaning in life.
What does this Fire Quest Programme involve?
This 5 part programme involves 3 initial day-long retreats that will introduce the group to each other and begin the deepening of our connection with fire. We will learn about traditional ways of working with natural materials to make spark and flame, then spend time cultivating our collective and personal relationship to fire through practices and exercises led by the facilitators.
This is followed by 3 days together on a Fire Quest weekend where participants will prepare to spend a whole night, from sunset to sunrise, awake with fire, either as part of the central community fire, or on a solo journey alone in the woods. When solo questers go out to their fire spots, the community fire will be kept going through the night with singing, stories, and energetic support from the Elders and mentors witnessing the process. At sunrise, the questers return to the community fire where they will be welcomed back and invited to share their stories and insights.
The quest will involve fasting from food and sleep for 24hours.
The final part of the process is to return to the group for a final day of Integration and celebration. This is a core part of the process. Full integration can take months or even years, so this process will introduce the tools and practises that will enable participants to make the most of their experience over time.
The Lineage and origins of this Quest
The fire quest we will share is based on a tradition practiced by a powerful lineage of indigenous peoples of North America. It is also inspired by this land and what facilitators Leonie and Leona feel is needed for our culture and people at this time, based on their own training, personal experiences and visions. More will be shared about this on the programme.
Other commitments and Information
In order to maximise the potential life benefits of the programme, for the course of 3 months and beyond, participants will be encouraged to build in some of the Core Routines of Nature connection into everyday life. These come from the Model of the Eight Shields and will be introduced as part of the programme.
The programme will also include 3 zoom calls interspersed to support and encourage participants to build and maintain the practices in their lives at home and will also help participants to explore and hone the question or purpose of their personal Fire Quest beforehand.
So that we can provide a really supported journey we will accept a maximum of 12 participants to this programme.
Who is this for?
This programme is open to anyone who would like to deepen their relationship to nature and themselves. If you ears pricked up when you heard about the programme, or your heart flutters with nervous excitement to imagine a Fire Quest, then this could be the programme for you.
Likewise, if you work with people in nature, have children, want to learn more about the Eight Shields or are interested in rites of passage then this programme is for you, too. Whatever your experience, we pledge that you will be well supported, and that you will feel differently about life and your relationship to the other-than-human world after this programme.
We are also hoping that people who are interested in being involved in the supporting community for future Fire Quests will join this programme.
About the Eight Shields
The Eight Shields model is a cultural framework developed by Jon Young and the 8 Shields Institute. It takes inspiration from numerous land-based indigenous cultures from around the world, as well as patterns we see in nature.
It was created to organise a collection of design principles, practices and activities for deep nature connection and community building and when implemented helps to create the optimum conditions for meaningful and wholistic connection to life.
Both Leona and Leonie are very experienced in working both practically and ceremonially with Fire and Nature Connection.
Leona Johnson: Leona’s passion is exploring connection in all its forms.
After 10 years in Social Work with children and families, she was drawn to working in nature to promote more proactive forms of healing and connection. She loves the deeper sense of belonging and community that we feel when we have a strong and healthy relationship with ourselves, each other and the natural world. Leona is trained in Forest School, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Ecopsychology, Life Initiation and Rites of Passage, Grief Tending, group singing, bushcraft and The Eight Shields model of nature connection – a holistic and earth connected way of living and working for the benefit of all beings.
Leona has witnessed the healing, enlivening and joyful benefits of intentionally building a relationship with nature and believes in the profound impact that this work can have as we move through uncertain times. She currently runs Live Wild CIC and practices privately as an Eco- therapist and mentor with children and adults as well as running singing in nature retreats, grief circles and other connection-based workshops. Leona hosts the Connection Matters Podcast exploring evolutionary lifestyles, mindset, culture, healing and spirituality, as well as many other issues relating to personal growth, community and nature connection.
Leonie Morris: Leonie is a qualified Bushcraft Instructor, Forest School Leader and Wild Food Teacher. She runs Calder Valley Woodland School home education days in Hebden Bridge after many years working with Manchester Forest School and The Wood School in Manchester, which provides a nature-based learning experience for urban children. Leonie is an experienced wild food teacher and tutors on Live Wild’s seasonal foraging courses for adults. She also teaches adult bushcraft courses including whittling. After finishing a degree in Anthropology and Sociology and a Masters in Visual Anthropology, Leonie realised that it was being in nature that made her feel most alive. She began on the path of immersing herself in greenwood craft, foraging and fire-making. Over ten years later she is keen to share all her learning with others.
The cost for the programme is as follows:
Early Bird: £490/ £460 low income (Available until 2nd April 2022)
Regular Ticket Price: £510/ £480 low income
We also have a few bursary places available. Please get in touch with us about those: firstname.lastname@example.org
Exchange with regards to the Fire Quest: In many circles, it is understood that ceremony such as Fire Quest is not something that should involve money. Ceremony is a helpful structure and sacred container that engages with intention and with reciprocity with life in unseen ways. This ceremony is intended to be for the benefit of all life and should be available to everyone. The cost for this programme is for the teaching days and facilitation. You will be invited to make an optional donation for the Fire Quest ceremony itself that will go towards the reservation in US where the teachings that inspired this programme originated.