Tomorrow I head out on the mountain to guide a 4-day solo wilderness rite-of-passage ceremony for someone. I consider it a special honor to hold the sacred space and time, to facilitate that crossing of the threshold and to greet him on the return as an initiated one.

He heard the call and answered. The voice of the true self does not give up easily. The modern day wilderness fast/rite-of-passage is practice of setting time aside in sacred ceremony to be by ourselves in wild nature in order to leave behind the voices of the world, cross over into a liminal space where our senses re-awaken and we are able to re-member our place as a part of and a-kin to nature.

I’m reminded of some poetry that came through me during my first wilderness fast, that may now be medicine for others going on the sacred mountain to mark a transition, to claim their truth, to release the old, and live into their new aliveness.

The sacred mountain is calling.

Tap, tap, tap
the bell beneath the breastbone beckons:

Come, be naked and empty
under the big hard sun.

Empty yourself of everything.

Empty of food, empty of distraction,
empty of ego, empty of story.

Stretch yourself horizon to horizon
of your true home
until your soul image pops out
in high relief

like shards of obsidian
from the floor of the earth

Dive deep into your Great Sea
into the Mariana Trench
of your unadorned self.

The cracking begins.

Crack like scorched soil ready to receive.

The mud at the bottom of your being.

The shell of all the false identities.

Your fortressed heart—Cracked.

Oh it hurts—what gorgeous pain is this?

Die to all the worlds
to which you don’t belong,
leaving them to drift in the sage wind
of the high desert
as offerings to the land.

Cherish the tender beauty
of the breakdown
the sweet beauty of the rebirth.

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