Earth My Body

A Primal Cave Quest 

Autumn Equinox Weekend

September 24 - 25, 2022

Fort Payne, AL

Feel Mother Earth's body against your bare skin.

Come home to yourself in the stillness of Her Womb.

Dream under Autumn's New Moon.

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A Cave Quest is a calling to return to the Wild Earth and remember. As we journey into the cave-belly of Mother Earth, feeling Her under our bare feet and allowing our own bodies to rest on Her solid ground, we come home to ourselves in a wild and primal way. A Cave Quest is a true descent into mystery and can be a life-changing experience. Through simple ceremony, an immersive underground journey, and soulful reflection, we take time away from our busy lives and modern distractions to return to Mother Earth, Listen, and Remember. This is an invitation to challenge our limitations, surrender to the wise darkness of Mother Earth, and open ourselves up to transformation.

"Earth calls us to dig deep, to uncover the blood-soaked treasure embedded in our wounds, to harvest our most ancient underworld wisdom, and to remember the way back to our wild home. Here, we stand firm in our sovereignty and our selfhood, howling incantations our hearts have always remembered." -Danielle Dulsky 

Quest Overview

Our day quest and overnight immersion will embody the structure of traditional ceremony. Morning hours will be spent preparing our minds, bodies, and spirits for the quest. We will work with poetry, the way of council, earthing, and releasing rituals to create space within ourselves for the cave journey ahead. 

We will cross the threshold together, sharing in initiation rites and blessings. Our time inside the cave will be an inward journey. Our guides will lead the group to the cavern's natural ritual room where we will connect with the primal energy of ourselves and the cave. The heart of our quest will include an extended period of complete darkness and stillness. During this time of waiting, Listening, and remembering, we open ourselves up to Mystery, wonder, visions, and the unexpected. 

We will ascend from the cave as one would journey out from the center of a labyrinth: in quiet reflection and gratitude. A period of solo reflection will follow, giving you time to reacclimate to our surroundings and take care of any personal needs before we gather in circle. 

NEW MOON CAMPING

 We will camp together under Autumn's New Moon, welcoming night dreams that may provide further clarity, wisdom, or insight. Participants will need to bring their own camping supplies (tent, cot, sleeping bag, etc.). You may choose to car camp; however, hammocks are not allowed. In the event of rain, we have access to an indoor space where we can sleep "slumber party" style. 

FASTING & MEALS

We suggest abstaining from food and beverages other than water starting on Friday night through the cave journey. This is not required; however, no food or snacks will be served until our community dinner on Saturday. If you want to eat at other times, please bring your own food or snacks. No water or food is allowed inside the cave; there are no exceptions to this so please plan accordingly. Simple breakfast options, such as organic oatmeal, will be available on Sunday morning.

Schedule

*Times are approximate*

*Central Time Zone*

Saturday, September 24

10am: Check-in/Camping Setup

(10:30am: Gates Lock)

12pm: Quest Begins

7pm: Dinner & Fire Ceremony

-

Sunday, September 25

9am Breakfast

10am Closing Ceremony

12pm Pack up Camp + Departures

Investment

Quest: $325

*Open to Adult Women*

Includes Quest, Saturday Dinner and Camping, and Sunday Breakfast. Dinner will include meat and vegan options. 

Refund Policy

No refunds are available once you have registered unless the event is cancelled. In the event of a cancellation, you will receive a full refund. If you cannot attend and want to transfer your registration to someone else, this must be approved in writing (via email) at least 7 days before the beginning of the quest.

JOURNEY GUIDES

MICHELLE RIGLING, PhD, M.Sc., CLC

Michelle is the founder of The Cavewoman Way. She is a Transpersonal Counselor and Ceremonialist with experience leading Plant Spirit Journeys, Soul-centered Dreamwork, Women's Circles, Ceremonial Drumming, and Nature-Based Retreats. To learn more about Michelle, visit THE CAVEWOMAN tab.

HEATHER HOLLOWAY

Heather is an herbalist and nature-based ritualist. Her experience leading goddess-centered rituals as a priestess and her intimate relationships with plants and nature guide her in her own journey and support her work as a healer and guide.

EXPECTATIONS & FAQs

ATTENDANCE: Participants must attend the full program, arriving no later at10am CST on Saturday morning and staying through the end of the quest on Sunday at approximately12pm CST. Once our program starts, the entry gate to the property will be locked and late arrivals will not be allowed. Refunds nor credits are available to those who are unable to attend due to running late.

SCREENING: The Cavewoman Way reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. The Cavewoman Way also reserves the right to screen participants or require the completion of an assessment form. We reserve the right to refuse service based on our assessment of these or other criteria. Safety is a priority: we require that participants be in stable physical, mental and emotional health and abstain from any conscious-altering substances while with us. We reserve the right to refuse service based on our assessment of these or other criteria. If a participant arrives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or we determine their participation is not appropriate for any reason, the individual may be removed from the program. If this happens, refunds are typically not available.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will be expected to disconnect from cell phones and technology during the program, especially throughout the day on Saturday. 

RISK: Our cave journey will involve a moderate half-mile walk through a real cave, spending time in complete darkness, and interacting with the elements. Each of these activities comes with a variety of risks. While we do our best to inform participants of risks and keep everyone safe, participants assume all risks, known and unknown, and will be required to sign a liability waiver before we begin our activities. 

SAFETY: While there is no way to fully prepare for what you will experience, any physical or mental health concerns should be disclosed to the guides before your arrival. In addition, recreational drugs and consciousness-altering substances are not allowed.

COVID & HEALTH: Protocols will be based on state and local mandates at the time. We do not require vaccines to attend Cave Quests, however we strongly recommend testing during the 72 hours preceding the quest and welcome the use of masks at all times during the event. Do not attend if you have any contagious illness or related concerns. If you test positive for COVID the week before the quest, please contact us. We do not guarantee a refund or transfer, but we will work with you to see what options exist at that time.

MORE INFORMATION

LOCATION: All activities will take place in Fort Payne, AL. You will receive an exact address and driving directions after registration.

AGE CRITERIA: Participants must be 18 years old.

CAVE TERRAINWe will walk 0.5 miles into the cave, for a roundtrip distance of 1 mile. The terrain is packed dirt that can become slightly muddy depending on the moisture level so hiking shoes are recommended. The terrain ascends and descends throughout the walk. While the walk is not strenuous, there are many steps, and the walk may not be safe for those with mobility issues or back/knee/ankle concerns. 

TIME IN CAVE: Up to 2.5 hours

RESTROOMS: There are no restrooms in the cave. We will take multiple restroom breaks before going into the cave for this reason. Once we are inside, all participants are expected to remain with the group until we exit together.

WHAT TO WEAR: This information will be provided in your attendee packet.

WHAT TO BRING: Basic items include a journal, a change of clothing, a camp chair or blanket, camping supplies (tent, sleeping bag, etc.), snacks (if applicable), and a flashlight. Other items will be detailed in your attendee packet. 

PARKING: Parking is free onsite. The parking area is a mix of gravel and grass.

FRIDAY CAMPING: Friday camping is not available. If you are driving in from out of the area, we recommend securing your own accommodations for Friday night. There are hotels in Fort Payne, Airbnb options, and 2 nearby RV parks. In the unexpected event that we have to cancel a Cave Quest, we are not responsible for cancellation fees or lost lodging expenses that participants incur related to Friday night lodging. We strongly urge you to pay attention to the cancellation and refund policies of any lodging you book.

REFUND POLICY: Cave Quests have a no-refund and no-credit policy, with the exception of the event itself being cancelled. If the event is cancelled, you will receive a full refund. If you cannot attend, you may transfer your registration to another woman up to 5 days before the date of the quest. Last minute transfers are not available. 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Please email Michelle Rigling @ thecavewomanway@gmail.com. Due to Michelle's event and travel schedule, please allow 3-5 days for a reply. We thank you for your patience. 

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