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Nature as a Mirror

August 15-19, 2024

​Know the natural world as a mirror of the strength, beauty and wholeness that exists within you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every day, Sun rises and travels across Sky, reaching his midday peak. Zenith touched, Sun turns his attention to the horizon. Shadows grow long, Sun sets, and the world is shrouded in darkness. Stars and Milky Way dance in Nighttime Sky, and Moon and her changing faces govern Ocean’s tides. Then miraculously yet predictably, Sun once again crests the horizon, and a new day blossoms. Spring gives birth to Summer, Summer becomes pregnant with Fall, Fall dies to Winter, and Winter rebirths Spring. Everything is connected.

Humans are Nature and the daily and seasonal cycles of birth, life, death, and renewal are reflected in our lives, too. Sun’s rise is a new beginning brimming with possibility, like tender Forest Violets pushing through Earth in Spring. High noon’s heat reminds us of the Summer of our lives, when skinny dipping and carefree play were the order of the day. Sun’s set is an ending. Like Leaves falling to Earth in autumn, it’s a time to go inward and dream. Winter is the domain of responsibility where wisdom, experience, and resilience guide us through the darkest hours. Nature is a mirror, making visible and meaningful the previously unseen. These reflections act as guides, expanding the field of possibility around us, and informing us of our strengths, desires, challenges, and hopes, awakening our deeper sense of connection to our own souls and to the source of life trying to express itself through each of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Overview

Mornings will be taken up with ceremony and teachings, afternoons or evenings with solitary time in Ravenwood’s forest. We will gather in council and harvest the medicine of our stories through the practices of Council and mirroring. Toward the end of the program you will be invited to experience a dusk to dawn solo, while your guides hold vigil.

Please Note Participants are responsible for bringing their own food and camping gear. Come prepared to be self-sufficient. When you register you will receive additional information including guidance on what to bring and how to prepare yourself. 

Retreat fee

$577.00 - $1,785.00 (Including GST).

We have established a sliding scale to make this program accessible to more people. We have set forth no criteria and ask that you pay what is appropriate given your circumstances and access to financial resources.

For guidelines on how to use the sliding scale, click here

Deposit

 A $250 deposit will secure your registration. Space is limited. Please register early to avoid disappointment. This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the base rate balance. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. They cover the work of preparing the program you signed up for, including all communication and administration involved. 

 

Maximum number of participants: 10 

 

Retreat Location

Nature as a Mirror is held at Ravenwood, on the unceded, traditional territory of the K’omoks, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations. Ravenwood is a forty acre, private forest bordering the crystal-clear waters of the Salmon River, in the Sayward Valley. The land features majestic old-growth forest, grassy meadows, and many species of edible and culturally significant plants. Visitors are graced with regular visits from a local herd of Roosevelt Elk and the annual salmon run draws in wildlife of all kinds, including black bears and bald eagles.

 

Accommodation 

Ravenwood is a wilderness camp. There is plenty of space to pitch a tent. Participants are responsible for bringing all camping gear needed to stay warm and dry and for practicing leave-no-trace camping etiquette. You will have access to a bathroom and shower. 

 

For those who prefer less rustic accommodation, there are some options available in Sayward. Our days will start early and finish late. If you are choosing this option we strongly recommend staying nearby.

 

A welcome package containing information on what to bring and how to get here will mailed

when your registration and deposit are completed.

YOUR GUIDES

Acahk Miskinâhk Iskwêw (Corinna Stevenson) & Ben Kotler

This is a rare opportunity to work with two skilled and authentic guides who practice and explore daily what they teach.

 

 

Acahk Miskinâhk Iskwêw (Corinna Stevenson); B.Ed., MATP – Ecopsychology 

Corinna is the creator of Dragonfly Healing and author of Ravenwood: The Healing Forest: Indigenous Wisdom, Life Threatening Illness, and Awakening the Heart. For over 26 years, she has guided people through personal transformation in wilderness settings. As a therapeutic wilderness guide for youth at risk, she hiked and kayaked some of British Columbia’s most remote destinations. Diagnosed in 2010 with multiple myeloma, a terminal plasma cell cancer, and no longer able to withstand the rigors of wilderness expedition, she began navigating the wild terrains of the soul.

 

Despite a prognosis of 1-3 years to live, Corinna has danced with life threatening illness for over 13 years. Through her work, she offers passage into the wild, dynamic natural world where the fullness of life, even in the face of great difficulty is felt. Those who work with her experience the miracle of finding one’s true connection with nature and how it is possible to live a good life, a beautiful life, amidst illness, chronic pain, loss, and uncertainty.

 

As a Métis woman, wisdom keeper, and ceremonialist, Corinna weaves traditional cultural teachings and Earth-based forms into all her practices. An exceptionally talented soul guide and writer, Corinna brings much heart, wisdom, and integrity to her work. She is a wonderfully grounded and deeply inspirational person who holds the tension between lightness and darkness with grace, humour, and love.

 

Corinna is caretaker of Ravenwood. She holds a Bachelor's in education from McGill University and a Master of Arts in transpersonal psychology with a concentration in ecopsychology from Naropa University. She has also completed master’s level clinical counselling courses in counselling theory, family systems therapy, group therapy, and research methods, and has trained with the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy. Corinna is a level 3 Reiki Usui practitioner and a shamanic drum journeying guide. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence (Certificate of Excellence, 2003).

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Kotler, MA, GCertSH, RCC

I am excited to help facilitate Nature as a Mirror with Corinna. She and I have a long and deep relationship as playful friends, professional colleagues, and spiritual kinfolk. Professionally, I have been a Registered Clinical Counsellor in private practice for the past twenty years. At various times in my career, I have focussed on psychological healing, wilderness therapy, and building healthy relationships. Currently I am specializing in sexual embodiment and sexuality in relationships. I have had a life-long love of connecting with nature, having spent the first part of my adulthood living a simple, earth-based lifestyle, forging relationships with earth, creatures, and soul. If you are interested in finding out more about how I work in a clinical setting, you can check out my website at www.feelchange.ca. I look forward to meeting you.

Nature as a Mirror offers

- Reconnection to self, others, and nature
- Time in solitude, on the land

- A dusk to dawn solo
- Medicine Wheel teachings
- Medicine Walks
- Nature-based ritual and ceremony
- Trance drumming and spiritual journeying
- Sensory awareness and mindfulness practices
- The Way of Council and mirroring practices

Join us for Nature as a Mirror

a 5-day contemplative retreat for those seeking to deepen their connection to self and nature. Together we will honour the transition of Summer to Fall, Nature is our guide.

By the end of our time together you will deepen your understanding of the healing and restorative qualities of nature, rekindling your relationship to your Wild Self and renewing your connection to the Earth.

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