Pre- and Post- Gathering Workshops

Last edit: 31 August 2017,
collected by Brigitte Käsermann und Anna Coffman

Besides the courses below, there are other offerings ( vision quests and shorter programs) led by guides from the German Speaking Network before and after the Gathering. You can find details here:,  also page 14.  Please contact the leaders to inquire about languages spoken as well as to negotiate the participation fee for you as a participant of the International Gathering.

Pre - Gathering Workshops

All pre gathering workshops are held at our Gathering Site and group size is limited to 12 participants per workshop (fewer for some) to help us get to know each other in an intimate setting. Please register for these workshops along with your Gathering registration, and select a 1. and 2. choice for each of the two workshop days.
If you have questions about any of the workshops, please contact the presenter(s) directly.

Cost for lodging and meals is in addition to the workshop fee:

Own tent: €30/day
Log cabin: €35/day
Double: €55/day
Multiple: € 50/day

post- workshops

1. Rattlebuilding

Hannah Kalcher (Germany)

€ 60-80 sliding scale, materials included

Workshop 1: Friday 9/8/17, 3pm to  Saturday 9/9/17, lunchtime

Workshop 2: Saturday 9/9/17, 3pm to Sunday 9/10/17, lunchtime

In one day (6-8 hours) you can create your personal rattle from rawhide, leather, wood and fur. The making of a rattle is a wonderful, creative and crafty process. The rattle is an instrument for rhythm, for expanding consciousness and trance/deep relaxation and also for healing. The rattle is also a beautiful companion on a Visions Quest or other ritual.

Hannah K. Kalcher -  Visionquestguide since 2000, Arts & Crafts with natural materials, workshops, creative camps. Trained in Council, Mediation, Dances Of Universal Peace and Vision Quest ( Sedonia Cahill USA ).

2. Bringing Light to Dark Places: Pilgrimage to Dachau

Anna Coffman & Trebbe Johnson (USA)

This is offered as a giveaway. Fee for expenses: approx. €30
2-day workshop, 9/8/17 3pm to 9/10/17 lunchtime

The traumas of our ancestors linger in us, as well as in the places where those traumas occurred. This two-day program is an opportunity to bring light and healing to some of these dark places, and is based on a willingness to rest with attention and honesty in darkness, both on the land and in ourselves.

The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is about an hour’s drive from our Gathering Site, and we will spend most of Saturday there. Friday afternoon and evening, as well as Sunday morning after will be spent at the Gathering site, with council, time on the land, nonverbal expression, as well as our stories. The focus of this program is bearing witness and healing.

Anna Coffman has recently retired from hospice nursing. She continues to lead programs in the areas of nature based rites of passage, council, listening skills and grief work. She is a longtime Zen Buddhist practitioner and brings mindfulness and meditation practices into most of her offerings. Anna grew up in Germany and moved to the United States as a young adult. In recent years she has spent time Bearing Witness at the Dachau as well as Auschwitz concentration camps, and is developing programs for Jewish / German dialogue and reconciliation.

Trebbe Johnson is the founder and director of Radical Joy for Hard Times, a non-profit organization devoted to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Seeking to understand how facing inner and outer darkness can bring insight and joy, she has led workshops for people with life-altering illnesses and in many hurt places, including a clear-cut forest and the site of the last battle in the Spanish Civil War. She is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved  and the forthcoming Aphrodite at the Landfill.

3. The Four Shields of Human Nature

Petra Lentz-Snow, School of Lost Borders (USA)

€ 20-70 sliding scale;
Friday 9/8/17, 3pm to  Saturday 9/9/17, lunchtime

The Four Shields of Human Nature are one the school’s bare bone tools.  The original teaching came to Steven Foster and Meredith Little through Hyemeyohsts Storm, a mixed-blood Cheyenne/Sioux with a German father, who credited the origins of this medicine wheel to the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica.  Shared over a casual dinner conversation, for Steven and Meredith this would mark the beginning of over 30 years of inquiry into the seasonal directions of human nature.  In their complex, yet brilliantly simple interaction, the teachings of the four shields form the basis of an ecopsychology that reclaims humans as part of nature.  Healing what Steven called the ‘lie of separation’ this teaching is a road map for growing into the wholehearted fullness of our human nature.

In this experiential workshop we will introduce ways in which the four shields and initiation rites can support the health of the individual and partner us during all kinds of life transitions.  Participants will be given an opportunity to delve into a deeper understanding about each shield and some of the dynamics within the shield system through short nature exercises.

Petra Lentz-Snow has guided vision fasts and wilderness rite of passage programs for 25 years.  She was trained by The Bear Tribe, founded by Sun Bear, and Steven Foster and Meredith Little at the School of Lost Borders where she is currently serving as Co-Director.  From 2012 - 2015 she was the Netkeeper of the Wilderness Guides Council, a US network of wilderness guides.  Born and raised in Germany, Petra is living in the US since 1991.  She is a licensed practitioner of naturopathic medicine, mother of three young adult children, a writer, artist and breast cancer survivor and activist.

4. Medicine Wheel as Practiced by Grandmother Evelyn Eaton

Lorindra Frances (USA)

€ 50-70 sliding scale
Friday 9/8/17, 3pm to  Saturday 9/9/17, lunchtime

There are many different Medicine Wheels and teachings. My teacher of the way I will share with you, was Grandmother Evelyn Eaton. She taught me how to build a Wheel and how to journey within it. Over the 30 + years of teaching it, I have learned many additional ways of using it.

In the first part of the workshop, I will share my way of empowering people to connect with the directions,  as well as the different ways of using the wheel I know about. There will be time for the participants to share their experiences with the Wheel. Before it gets dark, we will go out and find rocks with which to build the Medicine Wheel.

The next morning, we will use these rocks and what we have learned to physically build the Wheel. Afterwards, I will take the participants, who are lying down under their blankets, on a journey into the Wheel that becomes a journey of a deeper connection with their being. We will finish the workshop with time for personal sharing before taking the Wheel apart again. I am looking forward to sharing this with you all.

Bio Lorindra Frances - I am a carrier of the Sacred Medicine Pipe 35 years and I continue to  share Pipe Ceremonies. For over 20 years, I have been teaching the building of a medicine wheel and to journey in it.  30 years ago, coming back from the Ballcourt, Steven and Meredith told me to work with teens, to take them out on quest. For the past 15 years, it has been one on one with adults. I have been pouring water for sweat lodges now for over 25 years.

5. A Path with Heart: The Quest of The Spiritual Warrior

Paul Andrade,  Greenman (USA)

€ 30-70 sliding scale
Friday 9/8/17, 3pm to  Saturday 9/9/17, lunchtime

The quest of the authentic spiritual warrior is to challenge the fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create suffering and unhappiness in their own lives.

I believe that both inner psychological and spiritual practice, and community oriented social and political work are critically necessary at this critical time in humanity's evolution.

“A Path with Heart” is based, in part, on my experiences with the Toltec tradition of ancient Mexico. The Toltec path is dedicated to preserving the knowledge of achieving personal freedom and happiness. I also draw on insights and practical tools for reducing stress and overwhelm I received from the science based Institute of Heart Math which is dedicated to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives.

My intent in presenting this work is to share inner tools that I have discovered on my journey for supporting resilience and well-being in service of our work towards the transformation and renewal of the Earth and her people.

Paul Andrade - My quest to live my own unique path with heart has, at times, been challenged with experiences of loss, loneliness, and despair. Being an adventurer, and living much of my life on the edges of mainstream culture has led me to explore and practice several ancient and modern wisdom traditions. My first wilderness fast was with with Steven Foster and Meredith Little in 1986. I later completed the School of Lost Borders month long training. I have Masters Degrees in Culture and Creation Spirituality and East West Psychology. I am a member of the Elders and Gathering Council of the Wilderness Guides Council, and have served on the WGC Advisory Council.

6. Allured by Nature:  Reflecting and Revealing the Unknown and Greater Self

Lia Naor (Israel)

€ 50-70 sliding scale
Friday 9/8/17, 3pm to  Saturday 9/9/17, lunchtime

Nature has a profound and mysterious way of revealing meaningful aspects of what it means to be a whole and fully developed human being. Through hidden signs and symbols we are reflected in our wholeness  by a quiet and intimate alluring in nature. Certain elements, visuals and textures allure and stir us more than others – what is the personal meaning of these specific callings and what can they reveal to us about our fullness?  Through this experiential workshop we will re–member/ learn to be aware of the many ways in which nature is constantly enthralling us to deeply know who we are, where we belong and what the gift we have to bring into the world is. We will learn how to listen and heed these callings as music to the soul calling us to deepen our lives and soul work. This workshop is based on years of experience as a therapist in nature as well as years of scientific research focusing on transformative experiences occurring in nature.  The experience of knowing will be revealed through deep imagery, dream work, the gift of mystery,  symbols, creative writing, poetry and conversation with the soul.

Lia Naor is nature therapist with more than 20 years of experience who has led many individuals and groups seeking growth wholeness and change  through "Ways of knowing" – a model for therapeutic quests in nature that she developed. Lia is a PhD student in the Department for Counseling and Human Development at the University of Haifa, Israel currently studying the process of positive transformation, particularly as it occurs in nature. Lia holds a BA in social work and an MA in drama therapy. Lia teaches  and studies the therapeutic aspects of nature in the context of positive change as a researcher, teacher, student and lover of human and nature.  Lia has trained with the school of Lost Borders and has gained  much experience with Animas Valley Institute.

7. Die Before You Die:  The Gifts of the Death Lodge

Petra Lentz-Snow, School of Lost Borders (USA)

€ 20-70 sliding scale
Saturday 9/9/17, 3pm to  Sunday 9/10/17, lunchtime

For indigenous people rites of death were as sacred as rites of birth.  Rituals may have varied from tribe to tribe, but the intent was always the same: helping the dying make it good with their lives, with their families and community, with themselves, and with their God, so they could let go into death as cleanly as possible. 

Not unlike the final transition of physical death, major life changes are a death to an old way of being.  The work of healing our past and leaving behind the ‘old story’ of our previous life, or life stage, is the work of the death lodge.  Dying to all that no longer serves births us into a new aliveness and enables us to take our rightful places in the new story of our lives.  During our time together we will explore the bare bones of the Death Lodge as taught at the School of Lost Borders, including 2-3 hours of solo time in nature and sharing our stories in council.

Petra Lentz-Snow has guided vision fasts and wilderness rite of passage programs for 25 years.  She was trained by The Bear Tribe, founded by Sun Bear, and Steven Foster and Meredith Little at the School of Lost Borders where she is currently serving as Co-Director.  From 2012 - 2015 she was the Netkeeper of the Wilderness Guides Council, a US network of wilderness guides.  Born and raised in Germany, Petra is living in the US since 1991.  She is a licensed practitioner of naturopathic medicine, mother of three young adult children, a writer, artist and breast cancer survivor and activist.

8. Ubuntu Philosophy – das Netz des Lebens

Naturbegegnungen und Übergangsrituale der Zulus und die Bedeutung der Ältesten für die Gemeinschaft

Scelo Cabangani Mbatha und Dr. Geseko von Lüpke

Saturday,  from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm und Sonday von 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee: € 235,- incl. lunch and supper

Scelo lässt durch unterschiedliche Übungen das Verwoben sein von Mensch und Natur lebendig werden. Diese nährende Naturverbindung hilft unserer Seele im Rhythmus der Natur zu tanzen. Seine Übungen zeigen Wege auf, wie wir mit Hilfe der Natur die Botschaften unserer Seele hören können für ein erfülltes und freudiges Leben. Sei es, dass wir gemeinsam auf innere und äußere Spurensuche gehen, dass wir den Botschaften des Wassers lauschen oder den Lehren der Gemeinschaft, die wir in den beiden Tagen kreieren. Scelo wird Wildnisweisheiten, die Bedeutung der Ältesten für die Zulus und über zwei Übergangsrituale von den Zulus mit uns teilen.

Scelo Cabangani Mbatha,
owner and manager of Umkhiwane Ecotours, and uBizo Lwemvelo in South Africa, is a qualified Wilderness Guide and Conservationist who was born and raised in the deeply rural area of kwaHlabisa. He graduated high school in 1998 and went on to study Wildlife Management. After completing his education, he worked as a volunteer for EKZN Wildlife in South Africa, performing various tasks, including black rhino monitoring, lion call-ups, and alien plant control environmental education to School groups and the locals
In 2001 Scelo began additional training at the Wilderness School to become an official Wilderness Guide. In 2004 he received his qualification in guiding, and began leading his own trails in the Umfolozi Game Reserve, St Lucia, and the Drakensburg as well as in Botswana ( Okavango delta ) In 2010 he launched Umkhiwane Ecotours with the aim of developing local communities, increasing general awareness, and helping to conserve the flora and fauna outside of the protected areas.
Dr. Geseko von Lüpke
ist Journalist, Buchautor und internationaler Netzwerker. Seine Arbeitsbereiche umfassen indigenes Wissen, Schamanismus, kulturellen Wandel, Ökologie, neue Wissenschaften und Spiritualität. Seit 16 Jahren bietet er Visionssuchen in der Wildnis an, sowie Fortbildungen im Bereich der Tiefenökologie. In dieser Bandbreite sieht er sich als Chronist von kollektiven Übergängen und als Begleiter von individuellen Übergängen.
Geseko v. Lüpke hat auf einer Reise nach Südafrika Scelo Mbatha auf einer 5-tägigen Wanderung durch die Wildnis kennengelernt, mehrere Sendungen im Rundfunk (HR & BR) darüber veröffentlicht und ihn nun als Wildnislehrer nach Deutschland eingeladen. Geseko wird Scelo übersetzen und ihn bei seinem Tun unterstützen.

Anmeldung unter

9. Prenatal Integration Reality (PIR): Shamanic Family-Constellation on the 'CreaVista-Wheel of Life'

Shanti E. Petschel & Helen U. Heddema (Schulz) (Germany and Italy)

€ 70-90 sliding scale
Saturday 9/9/17, 3pm to  Sunday 9/10/17, lunchtime

The 'CreaVista Wheel of Life' is – like other Medicine-Wheels – a fine-tuned, very supportive, appropriate and powerful Working-Matrix for the modern Quest guide; it is a source of knowledge, wisdom and encouragement for humans-in-change of today. It´s immanent possibilities as a tool for supporting deep self-healing processes of body, heart and mind stem from its ability in reloading a connection to natural harmony, strengthen self- guidance and psycho-physiological resilience. In combination or as a follow-up for Quest-Work it has brought more ´grip`, a much deeper understanding and grasping of the earliest developmental stations of human life, which often are also underlying the behavioral patterns of people before, on and after a Quest.

These patterns are basically of pre-, peri- and post-natal origin and are likely determined (in case of ´negative`, if not traumatizing impact) to arrest natural development of a full human potential. Through the years we have learned to better understand the deeper levels of patterning and re-patterning in a human being. We can make these patterns and their liberation prominently visible by Family-Constellation on the Wheel of Life.

This is a good reason, for us as elders, wanting to open up this perspective in our experiential workshop to our international Vision-Quest  community-colleagues.

Shanti E. Petschel is a trained healing pedagogue and art´s teacher, working for social institutions in his early years and later as a free-lancing group-facilitator on an international level. Starting Youth-Quest 25 years ago, Wheel of Life and Family-Healing subsequently, by developing an own, unique style, adapted to the European conditions Founder of  the CreaVista Academy ( 2002) as an Institute to train Quest-Guides and other ways of Rites of Passage Facilitators. Director of Campus CreaVista International since 2009.

Helen U. Heddema (Schulz) is a trained occupational therapist, working in a medical field. Founder of the Aquatic Bodywork-Institute in Germany IAKA (, Co Creator of Campus CreaVista International (, VisionQuest- MIdwife ( School of Lost Borders, USA -Meredith Little & Steven Foster), Starting Youth-Quest 25 years ago, Wheel of Life and Family-Healing subsequently, travelling & teaching together with Shanti in different countries. Trained  in Hawaiian Healing,  IAT- Practitioner  & Instructor (Therapy of prenatal and birth-related trauma).

Both Helen and Shanti are currently members of the Elders Council and Teacher´s Conference of the Visionquest-Network of German-Speaking-Countries.

10. Being

Corinna Stoeffl (USA)

€ 50-70 sliding scale
Saturday 9/9/17, 3pm to  Sunday 9/10/17, lunchtime

During our time together, we will explore what it means to Be. For the first half day, the focus will be more on “Being You”. How much are you being you and how much are you a product of all the projections and expectations you received throughout your life? The other half will look at Being Present. What is the impact of being truly present with ourselves, with others, with what is and not what we would like it to be? Besides the exploration, this workshop will offer tools to become more of who we truly are, to be more present, and to make us aware of those instances when we are not Being. Would you like to have more ease in your life, as well as new tools for yourself or to work with others in sessions or during quests?

Corinna Stoeffl started training with the School of Lost Borders in ’91 and worked as a guide until ’07. After years devoted to photography, she returned to working with people in ‘13, now supporting them in changing their belief systems to overcome limitations and through changes in their lives. She teaches workshops, one of them titled the ‘Being You Adventure’. Currently, she serves again on the Advisory Board of the WGC.

Post- Gathering Offerings

All of these will be held offsite. Please register directly with the presenter(s) of the program you are interested in.

11. Alpine Hike - Canton Uri Switzerland:  Power of the Mountain - Silence

Brigitte Käsermann (Switzerland)

9/19/17– 9/23/17
2 - 6 Participants
250 € - 350 € sliding scale
+ 30€ - 100€ for lodging (sleeping under tarp whenever possible)
+ cost for food

Rocks, cliffs and mountains can fill us with inner peace. Trees, flowers and encounters with mountain animals connect us with sources of inner strength that have lain fallow. Over and over it arises from our depth, this question of the meaning of our life. When we are open and curious, nature will give us valuable answers.

The solitary, quiet Brunnital is a valley worth discovering;  with its deer population, sparkling waterfalls, untouched flora and the gigantic north walls of the Gross Windgällen mountains. There will be times of solitude and times in community. Some of the time we will sleep outdoors under a tarp, or even under the starry sky, weather permitting. You should be able to carry a backpack of about 12 to 14 kg (27-31lbs) for about 3-5 hours daily. We will be at an altitude of around 2000m (6000ft).

Arrival: by train via Munich

Brigitte Käsermann Vision Quest Guide trained by Meredith Little and Steven Foster at School of Lost Borders USA, as well as by Verena and Haiko Nitschke in Germany. I have been offering vision quests for adults and youths since 2000, and also offers various shorter courses in nature’s mirror. I have been a trainer for Vision Quest Guides since 2009. I'm is also a physical therapist, Feldenkrais teacher and craniosacral therapist.
Information and registration:

12. Coming Home Quest (Renewal Fast) in the North Italian Alps

Wolfgang und Eva Rapp (Germany)

9/18/17 - 9/27/17
€380 for accommodation,  board,  use of space and organization
travel expenses are extra

The Coming Home Quest is an offer to trained Vision Quest guides. As with all Vision Quests, the core of the Coming Home Quest is the 4-day-solo, fasting and being in solitude in nature.

Special notes for the Coming Home Quest on the Alpe Lutt:

1. The unique quality of this ritual is based on mirroring of the stories by the circle of all participants. With this the collected experiences and diversities of all can be used fruitfully.
The 2 days preparation serve for one's own inner process and to adjust to the surroundings.

2. Even the seminar location – the Alpe Lutt – has its own uniqueness, which you need to know, so that they can flow into the decision making process:

  • The Alpe Lutt is situated in an alpine region – with steep cliffs connected with longer ascent and descent – 1560 meters (5100 feet) above sea level and can only be reached by foot. With heavy baggage, as necessary for the Vision Quest, it takes about 2-3 hours from the car park.
  • In September the weather is usually sunny and can be pleasantly warm. However, not only do you have to expect cold winds but also night frost.
  • We experience the Alp as a spiritual sanctuary that allows you to connect with the powers and characters of nature. Therefore all groups, which so far have visited, have connected the daily chores (collective wood chopping, cooking…) and meditation.
  • During the Coming Home Quest we like to work with Elders. Appropriate enquiries have been made, as well as for qualified translators (English and Russian).


  • Via train: from Munich Hbf. without difficulties possible (via Locarno or Domodossola to the train station S.Maria Maggiore)
  • Night train – connections from Hamburg or Berlin to Basel/Zürich, from there via Locarno or Domodossola to the train station S.Maria Maggiore
  • From the international airport Milano-Malpensa runs a bus 4 time a day, which takes about 2 hours to Domodossola (and back, for the flight home to all countries) and 2 x daily (unbelievably cheap) direct flights from and to Munich and many other German cities.
  • In own car, using a carpool to the car park of the lower Alp (Alpe Blitz)
  • Transfer from the train station S. Maria Maggiore or from Domodossola to Alpe Blitz can be organised (30€ per journey)

Organisers and Site Keepers:

Eva Rapp-Teichert, psychotherapist with own practice, dance teacher (sacred dance) and choir leader
Wolfgang Rapp, protestant pastor, coach and supervisor, alp farmer since 2010
Information and registration:
Eva and Wolfgang have both been Vision Quest leaders since 2005, trained by Verena and Haiko Nitschke.

13. Resting, Reaping, Reconnection: Follow up for the 2017 International Gathering

Ursula Wältring & Christian Kirchmair (Germany, Austria)

---- cancelled ----

9/17/17 - 9/22/17 (9/16 arrival possible)
210 € - 360 € sliding scale workshop fee
120 € - accommodations in your own tent or in a mattress camp
130 € - all meals
Location: Bavaria, Germany, 84359 Sinnbach am Inn

This seminar is a time-out for you, it's about an inside look to locate yourself, to find out what is true for you now, to appreciate what is time to let go or to approach.

We dedicate ourselves to your personal developmental process and we walk with you through the wheel, look into the mirror of nature and sit around the fire. We observe the transformation process of the wood, devote ourselves to our own transformation and our own fire. We hear about different experiences, challenges and diversity from the different countries, listen to the fire and connect ourselves with the circle and the center.

We will send you out into nature with tasks and mirror the stories you bring back. We would also like to offer you the opportunity to experience a 24-hour solo in nature.

This follow-up course is also an opportunity for deepening topics of the gathering and to stay in touch with the colleagues for a longer time.


For the common time you need your own tent (if required), camping mats, sleeping bag, good shoes, clothing for cold, warm and wet weather, all personal things (possibly also a musical instrument and personal sacred objects)


Arrival on saturday 16th  september after the international gathering is possible.
Start of the seminar on sunday 17th  september at 10am, end on friday 23rd at 2pm.

Number of participants: maximum 12 persons
Course Language: German + English

Christian Kirchmair - Visionquest guide (School of Lost Borders / USA), grief and dying companion, father of three adult children. After 20 years of entrepreneurship, I embarked on a new inner path in 2000, which I walk with all my heart. In the mirror of nature, I have found contact with my true nature and strength again. I feel deeply connected to people and I am at home in nature.

Ursula Wältring -I have a degree in education and experience-based education. I am also a visionquest guide, trained in the tradition of the School of Lost Borders at the Eschwege Institute of Holger and Gesa Heiten. Since 2000 I have been independent and offered seminars in nature; since 2008 I have accompanied adults and young people in times of transition with visionquests and various shorter courses.
Information and registration: