Fire is alchemical and is known for its transformative properties. It's metaphysical meanings are of "bravery, beginnings and drive." It burns, then cleanses, releases, and purifies.
Here, trauma victims begin to heal through their time spent connecting with nature, and they learn to be self-sufficient to grow their sense of self. Likewise, they are taught how all natural beings are connected and support each other; how our relationships are important for our selves, our survival and our health.
This element is led by a certified forest therapist and a licensed therapist.
A closing ceremony will be led by a native elder to hold space and explain how indigenous populations are connected to the land and healed by it. It will be followed by a farm-to-table meal for all participants, allowing for time to share their stories and experience, and to extend gratitude for each other. Shared meals are an important human ritual for connection.
Air feeds fire, so there can be continual change, continuous alchemy. It is the breath of life and necessary for us to both survive and thrive. For many ancient cultures, the element of air is known to carry messages to encourage us to listen to Spirit and find balance.
Aftercare and Good Practices
Program participants are asked to be committed to and be required to attend monthly meetings for the first three months after the Fire intensive. At this time, a trauma therapist will teach participants coping mechanisms, for returning to their communities, and practices to continue their growth and healing. This will be done through group therapy sessions, ideally with the same cohort they had during the intensive, to help with any issues that may have come up. This step will help the participants continue to build a solid foundation, off of which to grow, and to be grounded. In addition, participants will take a two-hour nature walk.
Additionally, one or two conservation organization representatives will present their organization at each of these meetings during the Air phase. And participants will choose the conservation organization to work with in the following Water phase.
Air can extend beyond the three-month process. It will be made available to program participants on an ongoing, as-needed basis.
Water feeds life. In Tarot, the water element is represented by cards which tell us to "express ourselves in words and deed."
Colorful, yet transparent, steady, yet ecstatic, malleable yet enduring, confined, yet limitless, reciprocal, yet grateful. Water is the fluidity of our soul.
~ Caitlin Leigh
The natural world works in reciprocity. After having learned how the entire natural world is connected, and to help continue the healing aspects of interacting with nature, Water will have participants volunteer their time in partner organizations. These can include working with efforts in local conservation or more specific forest- or animal-based organizations.
Water emphasizes the inter-connectedness of man and nature. Because being in and interacting with nature is healing, we recognize that is in our best interest to a whole and healthy environment. And, in caring for our world, we nurture our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.