We live in an age surrounded by signs of cultural unraveling. Standing at a threshold of a new age, we find ourselves at a kairos (opportune) moment in history. Living our lives in this ‘business-as-usual’ pattern will continue to destroy the life-systems of the planet and the possibility of discovering and living meaning-filled lives. Jesus said to his disciples, “What you hear whispered in the dark, proclaim from the rooftops.” We believe these signs of global upheaval are growing pains and perhaps revelation — a call to ‘lift the veil" and discover what is happening at a deeper mythic level. In this time, the voice of Earth cries out, and a wilder Christ-Mystery beckons. Many are beginning to wander away from creed, dogma, anxiety and conformity and into their authentic calling as agents of cultural renewal. A new tribe of humans is answering the wild call to encounter and embody the sacred.
Seminary of the Wild seeks to create space for a New Story to emerge, a Story that is broad, deep, and wild - an awakening story - worthy of this liminal age. Our story may parallel the journey of the Hebrews out of their bondage to Egypt. We are invited to journey away from our belief of separation from Earth and Mystery, a journey from a belief in original sin into a deep knowing of our original blessing and belonging. We will dismantle all of the Old Stories: of colonization, of White supremacy, of Patriarchy, of the Christianization of anything mislabeled 'savage' or ‘pagan’, of cultural conformity, of human exploitation, and collusion with Empire.
Seminary of the Wild is a unique, psycho-spiritual educational paradigm—the first of its kind— rooted in direct experience. We weave the many nature-based practices of wholing and Self-healing work from Bill Plotkin and the Animas Valley Institute with a “rewilded and always rewilding” Christian framework.
A deeper exploration will reveal that beneath the cathedrals, churches and crumbling creeds, are the wild roots of visionary experience, embodied by mystics throughout the ages who lived a nature-based spiritual path. We seek a different paradigm from the domesticating and indoctrinating forces of Western society, to boldly remember and rediscover the wild enchantment of Earth, Self, Christ, and our Call. Seminary of the Wild brings out of the 'storeroom' of the perennial wisdom tradition 'treasures new as well as old', drawing on the wisdom of ancient streams of Christian mysticism and Celtic spirituality as well as contemporary pan-cultural practices integrated from the Animas Valley Institute.
Nature-based spiritual practices, such as contemplative wanders, sacred council, facilitated group work, ceremony, dreamwork, imaginal journeys, embodied movement, writing, and eco-theological reflection and discussion will help us return to our original wholeness, our wildness, and our authentic service.
we’re really inviting all people who want to step fully into this crucial moment- to be able to find a way to respond deeply and passionately from their truest self, to offer themselves as a loving gift to our world and in service to the wild Christ
- Bryan Smith, Co-Founder
The Old English word seminary evokes a wild seed bed. It shares a common root with the word seminal, the seed or creative potent force that calls forth life from the fertility of soil. The seminary, at such a time as this, must nurture this bed of inter-connected seeds, composting old paradigms and stories for a future hope to emerge. Neither an institution nor a ‘temple made with human hands’, but a wild awakening to our deeper nature, and to what the world truly is. It begins in listening for what Earth and Spirit is summoning forth from within, our deeper calling.
This is a seminary of the wild, not simply in the wild. The wild is not a pretty backdrop for reading theological texts, it is the primary theological text. The pedagogy of the wild is an emergence, a sacred relationship or conversation born out of an older wisdom that restores our own relationship to our watershed, a sense of deep belonging to the whole world as wildly sacred.
Wild humans are self-organizing, self-determining, erotic, emotive, sensate, animated, mysterious, enchanted, embodied, attuned, nurturing and generative. Individuals who are wild know who they are, know who they belong to, know whom they serve, and that it is all sourced in the Great Mystery. The experience of this re-sacralized self and Earth becomes the doorway to a deeper, wild wisdom of the incarnated Christ through visionary experience, deep imagination and participation in the joyous and embodiment of Creation.
Wise and Wild Luminaries
"now that we’ve found our belonging in a much larger world - a much wilder world. Jesus says, “I have come to start a fire, and how I am in pain until it is kindled” - so the invitation is to come and start a fire - to come and burn."
- Matt Syrdal, Co-Founder