FALLING OFF THE MAP: Trickster Practice In the Great Composting is an 8-week interactive course dedicated to proliferating imaginal buds and practicing ways of being beyond the inherited coordinates of Modernity, though an animist, ecospiritual, liberatory lens.

“It can be dangerous to investigate what our lives depend on,
to recognize that freedom requires a species scale betrayal of our founding mythologies.”
—Alexis Pauline Gumbs

What if we are being invited to fall through inherited maps into new/old territories of being and relating?

If there’s one thing Empire is good at, it’s zealous map-making—ensuring everything is named and charted, dominating mystery with over-determined meaning and shallow sign-posts, and cutting us off from our true inhabitance in an animate world abuzz with vitality and emergence.

Modernity created a mono-map that has us seemingly trapped by “stories so core to our existence that we don’t even track them as stories.” It’s the water we swim in. What happens when we take a breath beyond that water? Empire’s ‘doctrine of discovery’ was a primary weapon for dispossession of people from their own local, lived maps and modes of being. What might it mean to practice being a barbarian, to divest from Empire’s map?

To cross the threshold into species maturity with a next-season guest pass requires experimenting with trickster moves and imaginable buds counter to imperially approved or recognized desires and habits. It means to crack open the paved super-highways of our hearts to allow the underground tributaries of our holy longings and wild purpose to flow into new/old landscapes.

Falling Off the Map is premised on cartographic promiscuity with our holy longings as compass and structured around experimenting in an embodied way with 12-ish trickster values/practices/images, including:

  • Walking in the Labrinthocene/Great Compost Pile
  • Apprenticing to Slug, Lichen, and Water
  • Practicing Betrayal of Founding Mythologies
  • Cultivating the Proliferation of Imaginal Cells Beyond the Cell
  • The Wizardry of Both/And (in our Bureau of Binary Obliteration)
  • We Are: Otherwise Power and Cultivating the Ecological Self/Non-Self
  • Wisdom of No Escape: Honoring the Season and Risking Disintegration
  • Play and Pleasure as Pollination
  • Sacred Grief as Portal to Liberation
  • Expanding Skies Within: Dancing with Discomfort
  • Playground of Beloved Monsters
  • I Don’t Shit Rainbows Council/Dream Council

Over 8 weeks we will explore through Online Gatherings, Council Circle, Poetry, and Integration activities. The style is emergent, playful, curious, awkward, vulnerable, and honoring.

DATES: April 7 – May 26
  10am-12pm PST | 6-8pm GMT

This experience is for you the following describes you:

  • The inner maps and cairns of holy longings that plot your course are in constant tension with inherited maps
  • You feel like a barbarian in an Empire your soul doesn’t recognize
  • You are exhausted by the same old habits and even so-called solutions
  • You are inclined to trust that dreams, more-than-human kin, and so-called ‘dead’ matter are core to the story and offer abundant wisdoms
  • You are more interested in asking better questions than ‘finding THE answer’ or “saving the planet”
  • You are walking the Labyrinth
  • You are ready to own your shit, reckon with collective shit, and get real with all aspects of y/our wholeness.
  • You are exploring, or want to explore, your inner wilderness and open to expanding your toybox of exploration.
  • You want to do all this with a group of Awkward Evolutionaries and Sideways and Flawed Earth Mystics

The Program includes:

  • Eight 2-hour group Zoom gatherings with a small group of peers
  • Sense-based and soul-expanding practices and invitations that help us re-connect to inner/outer wild nature, compost old paradigms, drop deeper into our experience to build embodied capacity; and reclaim aspects of our wholeness and wild purpose.
  • Prompts and practices to deepen our liberatory commitment and journey
  • One-on-one consultation
  • Private group to connect, share, learn, and ask questions
  • A copy of Re-Membering: Poems of Earth and Soul (and early glimpse of new collection, One Bright and Real Caress)
  • Discount on future Wild Nature Heart Courses and Wilderness Programs
  • Substantial discount on the Annual Wild Nature Heart Gathering (Next one Summer 2023)

Cost: $197
(Other options $175-249)


Or Email: with your interest & send registration fee to PayPal.Me/WildNatureHeart or Venmo: @RyanVan Lenning

Scholarships available for BIPOC and LGBTQ2+
Class limited to 8 participants

About the Instructor:

My name is Ryan Van Lenning, Founder of Wild Nature Heart, and I am an earth-lover with a deep desire to be of service in the work of re-connection, re-wilding, & re-membering. I started Wild Nature Heart to support people to re-connect with the wisdom of both inner and outer wild nature, to live their soul callings into the world, and to assist in the work of repairing broken belonging.

I am an inner/outer wilderness guide and poet (author of Re-Membering: Poems of Earth & Soul) and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest. I am trained as a rite-of-passage/wilderness vision fast guide through the School of Lost Borders, certified as an Ecotherapist through The Earthbody Institute, where I teach the Level 1 and 3 ecotherapy trainings. Prior to moving to California 14 years ago, I taught Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics at Sinclair College in Ohio. I live among the forest and rivers in northern California, ancestral Wiyot and Yurok land.


“Thank you for your dedication to this work and for modeling new/old ways of being in leadership and community! I gained a sense of companionship on the journey of exploring some of life and death’s biggest questions. The community formed in the group gave me a glimpse into how we can come together to unlearn, deconstruct, remember, and create more natural and balanced ways of being and relating. One of my biggest take-aways is understanding belonging as something inherent rather than “found” or “earned”. Being witnessed and witnessing others after our solo time on the land was very powerful and deeply meaningful to me on my/our journey.” —Leslie Hammer, Deep Belonging in the Great Turning (Fall 2022)

“Ryan is an amazing human being and teacher. This course will nurture your soul, challenge you, and open up new ways of seeing yourself and our wonderous planet. I will definitely be signing up for another Wild Nature Heart experience!” —Rob Daroff, MDDeep Belonging in the Great Turning (Fall 2022)

“I loved this course! This is the second course I’ve taken with Ryan and both times I felt affirmed and supported as he led us on a journey delving into themes of belonging, being, grieving, healing, and growing. Ryan encouraged us to engage with the more-than-human-world on an intimate level of discovery and connection thus cultivating a more earth-centered life. I highly recommend this course to anyone seeking a deeper connection with self and with the natural world.” —Cecelia FutchDeep Belonging in the Great Turning (Fall 2022)

“I find myself repeatedly touched by the depth of your caring for Earth and all her beings and by your dedication to practice and evolving new pathways of relationship and culture. I am moved by the presence that you bring to deep listening and your willingness to explore different perspectives. Your ability to express through poetry and action what’s in your heart and your desire for healthy relationship among all beings is a source of inspiration for me.” —Marianne B. Rowe, MS, LMFT, Summer 2022 Level 3 Ecotherapy Training, Earthbody Institute

“Ryan’s well-designed course on Deep Belonging for the Great Turning was just what I needed at a stressful time in life. The facilitation, knowledge and materials shared were generous and truly a gift to enhance my nature connection and learn about myself. This course also provided support for a solo experience which was rich and rewarding. I appreciated being in a group and connecting with other like-minded people.” Lezlie Scaliatine, Psy.D, Deep Belonging for the Great Turning Course Participant (Fall 2020)

“Ryan is a very thoughtful and sensitive instructor. His background in teaching and poetry, along with his ability to effectively “mirror” our stories about our journeys make him an excellent facilitator. Ryan helped us to organize our thoughts and feelings in this politically and environmentally challenging time, gave us hope, and guided us towards developing a personal plan for coping with the future of our planet.”
Nan Siringer, California, Deep Belonging for the Great Turning Course Participant (Fall 2020)

“Thank you again Ryan for your mentorship prior to this quest of mine. You empowered me to trust in myself, in the wild, and in the ceremony and it seemed so fitting to receive these gifts of yours just prior to a decent. I love and am sincerely grateful for your poem. It certainly helped give me courage to unflinchingly make those leaps over trees and off every known cliff and will continue to do so. I feel super motivated to continue on this path of mine and stay open to all the wild mysteries that present themselves within myself and within this more-than human world of ours. And to taking the next steps in unfurling my own gifts and presenting them to the world.”— Brady W., Wisconsin, 1-on-1 Ecotherapy Client and Course Participant (Fall 2019)

“This course is a deep-dive across 6 weeks. Ryan’s skill and generosity of spirit has guided me through a variety of themes and practices that have been both thought-provoking and empowering. I’ve valued this time immensely, and the abundant materials provided will keep me moving through this journey for a long time to come. I’ve developed a richer relationship with my Urban Wild environment in very unexpected ways, and for that I am so very grateful.”—Claire, United Kingdom, Course Participant (Fall 2019)

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