School of Initiation
The Oak and Bone School of Initiation is an 8-month full-immersion initiation into the story you were born to carry into the world. We are raising the bar by asking our apprentices to take your story, your art, your soulcraft, your magic seriously. We are inviting you to trust the knowing that you carry in your bones, to take accountability for your existence, for the entirety of your human experience, and step into the Story of the World, the Story of being Human, and your own Story. This is no small task, and we are well aware of that. We are asking this because we believe the world desperately needs initiated humans willing to be in service to something bigger than their fragile egos and the story of civilization.
The Oak and Bone School of Initiation is a place to deepen into some big questions - What if everything that has happened to me is pointing towards something bigger than myself? What if I made sense? What if my gifts, skills, doubts, fears, questions, wounds, the entirety of my story thus far is meant to serve a story far greater than anything our culture has to offer me?
The Oak and Bone School of Initiation is a place to seriously confront these most fundamental aspects of existence in the midst of this time of great confusion and unsettling. The stories that brought us here are no longer serving us; the ship that brought us here is sinking. As our culture descends into the darkness of initiation, the world is calling for allies - those willing to listen, feel, trust, and bring forth an imagination big enough to be claimed by the new world that is already forming underneath the skin of the old.
To this end, we will be remembering a diverse set of skills and practices:
* Ceremony *
Our way with ceremony is one of taking radical accountability for the time and space in which find yourself. If you can summon the courage to confront your inherited cultural poverty and acknowledge that every tradition starts somewhere, you will find yourself stepping into a space of creativity, beauty and deep connection with your intuitive wisdom and the world around you. Your tradition starts here.
* The Gift of Language *
Remembering the gift of language is essential to the heart of the school. You will work deeply with the arts of poetry, story, and song. You will remember why humans were given the gift of language as you track, gather, and bring back the stories of the world.
* Ancestral Skills *
Remembering ancestral skills means remembering the most basic skills of what it means to be human: friction fire, pottery, hunting, trapping, bird language, tracking, tanning, carving, basketry, weaving, and more. All apprentices will learn a basic set of ancestral skills with the opportunity to deepen into specific directions as called to do so.
* Wild Food *
Apprentices will learn to identify, gather, process, and ferment wild food throughout the year. As a school, we will largely be subsisting on wild food we have gathered from the mountain and desert.
* Wild Medicine *
Throughout the year we will be identifying, gathering, and preparing wild plants for medicine. Apprentices will be remembering the ancient secrets of herbalism - the preparation, uses, and application of wild plants as medicine.
* Wildtending *
Apprentices will learn how to be in relationship with wild plants on their terms. We will be remembering the old agreements of reciprocal relationships with the world and what it means to care for plants in a way that benefits all beings. You will be tending wild spaces by taking responsibility for an area of wilderness and learning how to work with wild plants for food and medicine.
* Village *
We will be living in intentional community throughout the year, remembering how to be in relationship with our own kind. We are working with the deep magic of the Village, as we will be needing all of the support and accountability that a village provides.
* Death *
Working with Death as an ally is central to the school of initiation. This is no modest endeavor, as we are coming from an intensely death-phobic and grief-illiterate culture. To this end, apprentices will be working with Death through the mediums of hunting, harvesting, and ceremony.
* Dreamwork *
We will be working with dreams and the dreamworld as we navigate the underworld terrain of initiation. Apprentices will be invited to dream-councils every morning, as well as deepening further through ceremony and other animistic dreamwork practices.
* Initiation *
Throughout the year and through a variety of practices and ceremonies, apprentices will be laying the groundwork for the initiation into the story they were born to carry into the world - being claimed by their soul.