Threshold of a Season

So you’ve come to the threshold of a season

Take a cue from Sister Aspen
and lay all your old answers down

You’ve received an invitation from darkness
to winter well

and the cave comes calling.

Enter the cave with a child’s heart
and a warrior’s wound

Asking all the impossible questions
impervious to troublesome answers

Fatten yourself up with them
and curl up for a mountain’s rest

You will find that winter
was waiting for you as well
and needs your warmth

The fire around which the season turns
dances in your belly

The company you keep
will become the soil of spring

The dreams you cook together
will become the tulip’s tip

For now, it is enough to know
that the cave is equally your home

within which so much lives.

-Ryan Van Lenning

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I’m calling in a small group of Co-Spelunkers of Wondering into the Cave to slow down and dive deep into the caverns of our Whole Self and Season in order to discover what emerges in the fruitful darkness.

WITHIN THE CAVE SOMETHING PULSES is a 6-week interactive experience leading up to the Winter Solstice & into the new year to sink into the Big Silence where we can hear ourselves—not the voice of society, not the voices of family and friends, but our own Sovereign Voice and Inner Guide.

FIND OUT MORE AND REGISTER HERE 

WITHIN THE CAVE SOMETHING PULSES COURSE

What if we allied ourselves to the energies of the season? What if we dove into the silent dark and sat with the wholeness of who we are? What if our shadow was an offering, and the monsters were actually the secret password?

I’m calling in a small group of Co-Spelunkers of Wondering into the Cave to slow down and dive deep into the caverns of our Whole Self and Season in order to discover what emerges in the fruitful darkness.

WITHIN THE CAVE SOMETHING PULSES is a 6-week interactive experience leading up to the Winter Solstice & into the new year to sink into the Big Silence where we can hear ourselves—not the voice of society, not the voices of family and friends, but our own Sovereign Voice and Inner Guide.

Through Online Gatherings, exercises, and experiences in between, we wonder into the following:

  • Deep Listening/Deep Belonging
  • Living the Seasons & Honoring the Darkness
  • Apprenticing to Bear Energy (Wild Purpose, Power, Presence, and Protection, Hunting Our Wholeness, Omnivorism, Unleashing Our Growl)
  • Embracing the Monsters/Stalking Shadows
  • Underground Dreaming
  • Wilderness Rite-of-Passage and Other Ceremony

A key component of this experiences is having the opportunity to do a supported solo overnight or extended DayQuest on-the-land ceremony through the framework of wilderness ceremony/rite-of-passage.

When: Tuesdays, Dec.15-Jan. 19
Time: Time determined by participants’ schedules
Where: ONLINE Zoom Gatherings
Cost: Early Bear $247 ($297 after Nov. 22)

3 Scholarships for BIPOC & LGBTQ2+ available. Limited to 6 participants.

FIND OUT MORE AND REGISTER HERE 

BEFRIENDING DARKNESS #2: CARVE YOUR BEAUTIFUL, DARK CAVE

BEFRIENDING DARKNESS #2: CARVE YOUR BEAUTIFUL, DARK CAVE

Poem-share for sinking into the energies of the season & #BefriendingDarkness, slowness, silence, & shadows.
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The path to the dark cave
starts innocently enough

with a sign full of useful information
in broad daylight, blue skies.

A fulfulling breakfast—
potatoes & eggs perhaps,
fruit in season.

Before you know it
you can hardly remember
the color of berries or eyes
or the sound of the river flowing.

Bats reign here
and the dominant thoughts
are of your bed and that last meal.

Feel the shape of those walls
textured by the smooth slink of years
moist with mysterious things
you’d rather not know.

To either side, tunnels to treaures
or traps.

There’s no way to know
and no sure way out
other than following the scent
of your deepest voice.

The deeper you spelunk
the brighter the darkness.

Hard pains, sweet pains
nectars maybe, but first the cuts
both slow and quick deaths.

Sometimes monsters
and the secret password
are the same thing.

Of course, you can avioid the path altogether
by staying “at home”

But don’t think the cave is avoidable.

Or are you one who believes in light
without darkness?

Trailheads without wounded trailfeet,
mountain views without valleys?

Oh, what an imagination!

Come now!

Carve your beautiful, dark cave
and then come home, my friend
with well-earned feet
and a heart that knows.

-Ryan Van Lenning
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Included in the new collection ‘Within the Cave Something Pulses.’ #withinthecavesomethingpulses

WITHIN THE CAVE SOMETHING PULSES COURSE (Starting Dec.4)

DEEP BELONGING FOR THE GREAT TURNING COURSE (Starting January 12)

1:1 EARTH-ROOTED MENTORING & ECOTHERAPY

CUSTOM WILDERNESS CEREMONIES/RITES-OF-PASSAGE (for individuals or small groups up to 4)

Sip the Season Darkly – Within the Cave Something Pulses

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Solstice Blessings!

I. Sip the Season Darkly

Darkness has arrived
wrapping its inky cloak
across the season
of our lives

long shadows and owls stand tall and salute
autumn’s bright slow song
becoming winter’s march

asking us not skip too quickly
over the hour
with an eager eye
grasping towards cherry blossoms
awaiting on the other side

Drink deeply from the season,
they say, from the cup overflowing
with the sweetness of the fruitful darkness

Sip the season darkly
in its slow inward night embrace

Wisdom hidden from summer’s glare
may yet pass our lips
should we have the thirst for it

Until finally, the world becomes too much with us:

We go to the cave, the secret one
in the mountain of ourselves
seeking stillness, a retreat
an inward looking

and listen for it, our own voice amidst

The Silence – can you hear it?

heart sunII. Within the Cave Something Pulses

Within the cave something pulses.
We hear it even now
feel it even now

that which deepest dark cannot smother,
and even winter’s hands cannot touch

tender tendrils of our very own vine,
bearing the wine of our heart

A Remembering–Aha!

Some secret vial of our heart’s fuel
distilled for this very hour
to sip the season brightly

And the sun too misses its lover earth
and cannot too long stay away

The sun was meant for this: to shine

To not share the big love is a wounding

So in this darkest hour
the sun knocks on the nearest horizon
and announces The Return with a subtle beat:

“Dear Love, I’m Here.”

Which is exactly what we find
written on the walls of our cave

“Dear Love, I’m Here.”

And we open our new eyes of dawn
with a deep breath

and though it’s just a whisper now
it is enough to start it all again
and again…again….again…
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Included in the new collection, Within the Cave Something Pulses, forthcoming 2020. You can get RE-MEMBERING: Poems of Earth & Soul. and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest through your local bookstore, on Amazon or Indiebound. A book of mystery poems, Silence Begins Here, book of love and erotic poetry, Wild Rose Hips, and a celebration of the flow of rivers and souls, Riverever will also be out in 2020.

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INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What emerges in the fruitful darkness?
Two groups—one All/No Genders Cohort and one Men Only Cohort.

DEEP BELONGING Courses begins January 9. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose. Day and evening times.

Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime, from anywhere.

THE COLD KNOWING

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BEFRIENDING THE DARK #2:
Poem-share for sinking into the season & Befriending the dark, slowness, silence, & shadows.
#BefriendingtheDark
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Sometimes when light takes a turn
you want it even brighter

But when dark wraps itself
around you like a cocoon

you want it deeper
than the Mariana Trench

For to hear any true thing
requires a rare silence

one that flees
from sun’s boisterous embrace
and even autumn eyes see too boldly

The hibernaculum is the school
of the unseen and undone

without which nothing
is seen or done

a temple of the night
where your stone vessel cracks

but your heartbody grows smooth
with sacred slugs and seeds

and light is far too loud
for a bear on the perimeter

when things are settling in
for the cold knowing

-Ryan Van Lenning
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Included in the new collection ‘Within the Cave Something Pulses,’ forthcoming 2020.
———————————————

INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What emerges in the fruitful darkness?
Two groups—one All/No Genders Cohort and one Men Only Cohort.

DEEP BELONGING Courses begins January 9. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose. Day and evening times.

Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime, from anywhere.

BEFRIENDING THE DARK

73E95A87-9780-48F6-A917-E0B8F3732A5FBEFRIENDING THE DARK

In these darkest days and longest nights approaching the winter solstice, I am participating in an apprenticeship to dark, silence, slowness, solitude, shadow, and soulstice.

The season contracts, things slow down, energies withdraw, go underground, and the earth releases and composts the old in order to recharge for new life. We honor the season and ourselves by doing the same.

Now the dominant culture sure as hell doesn’t necessarily abide by these energies. In this culture dedicated to light and production, business and speed, wasteful consumption, the notion of valuing and celebrating the darkness, slowness, stillness, spaciousness for rest, poetry and dreaming, the unconsciousness, cocoon and cave and womb energy, is a radical notion.

Yet life and creativity are born in these spaces. The natural cycle and balance of seasons both external and within exists for a reason.. We can dedicate ourselves to syncing our body, energy, psyche to the season by honoring the darkness, shadow, stillness, slowing down, withdrawing in. We can say no to things. We can let go of things. We can take sacred pauses to simply BE, not do.

It is not unusual to resist these downward descent energies (and I myself in the past resisted), but one can find a vitality & wisdom in befriending the dark, sinking into the slowness, and owning the shadows.

I’ll be sharing poems, images, and inspiration that honor the season of dark and shadow and slowness, Using the #BefriendingtheDark.

How are you honoring the season?
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INTO THE CAVE Courses begin January 8. What awaits in the fruitful darkness?
Two groups—one All/No Genders Cohort and one Men Only Cohort.

DEEP BELONGING Courses begins January 9. Re-Belong yourself to Place and Purpose.
Day and evening times.

Take the self-paced WILD NATURE HEART CHALLENGE at anytime, from anywhere.